I never saw myself as a collector. In all honesty I always saw people that have a collection of things as hoarders. Yes like the TV show hoarders. Mounds and piles of a monstrosity of "stuff". That is until I moved to Japan and discovered my beloved Fukagawa. It was LOVE at first sight! Fukagawa is a Japanese porcelain company that makes vases, dinnerware and various decorative porcelain items. The unique thing about Fukagawa and what in my opinion sets them apart from the rest, is the fact that each piece is hand painted. No two pieces are alike. Each piece is made in Arita Japan. In case you don't know, Arita in the porcelain world is equated to Milan, Italy in the fashion world. I found my first Fukagawa vase at Ekorogo. A popular recycle shop in Sasebo Japan that is frequented and highly recommended by many locals. I was in the shop looking for a tea pot when I stumbled upon a beautiful blue and white vase. The vase captured my eye mostly due to its beautifully painted landscape scene. The vase highlights the beautiful mountains that surround Arita. I couldn't leave the shop with out it! Over the last two years my Fukagawa collection has grown substantially. I have over 30 vases and over 100 various pieces as well as a full China set for 8. Fukagawa's beauty fits in perfectly with my home decor. My love for Fukagawa goes well beyond their vases and porcelain. How deep is my attraction and love for Fukagawa? I got their signature makers mark tattooed on my ankle. My criticism of collectors has obviously changed.
A day out shopping kid free with a good girlfriend is always needed and always fun! For a few months I've been wanting to check out treasure hunting at Happy Lucky Arita. Happy Lucky is a warehouse in Arita filled with THOUSANDS of pieces of Arita porcelain. You pick through crates filled with porcelain. Hence the nickname treasure hunting. All of my friends have been raving about this place and darn it, I wanted to go treasure hunting and find some beautiful pieces too! My girlfriend Ginny and I planned a day and off we went! Right when we walked into Happy Lucky Site we were in awe with the amount of crates stacked on top of each other filled to the top with beautiful porcelain pieces. Tea cups, rice bowls, tea kettles, plates, chop stick rests, all kids of items. All different sizes, shapes and colors. We were pleased to hear that there is a flat fee while treasure hunting. 5,000¥ or 10,000¥ about $50 or $100 US dollars, gets you a basket that you can pile high with the porcelain pieces of your choice. The warehouse is split into two rooms. The 5,000¥ room and the 10,000¥ room. Once you chose what room you want to hunt in you have to contain your shopping to that room. We each picked the 5,000¥ room. We were given gloves and yellow baskets to use while hunting. We each brought a flashlight from home. Highly recommend! It was cloudy and raining the day we went and the warehouse was a little dark. We spent nearly 2 hours collecting all of our treasures! The best part is the hunt! I would find a rice bowl in one crate and a matching bowl in another crate on the other side the room. Trust me finding a match or a set is the best part of the hunt! A few pieces I wasn't worried about finding a pair of. The unique thing about Happy Lucky is you can build your own collection that suits your own needs and wants. You don't have to feel pressured to buy a full set of tea cups or plates. I mixed and matched most of what I found. When you're done hunting you are given a box and packing paper to pack up your finds. The amazing thing is that if you fill your basket to the top everything will fit perfectly into the box. Ready to ship in the mail or easy to transport home. Ginny and I are pleased with our finds! All this for 5,000¥!!