Drinking vessel studio and gallery for fans of Japanese Sake.
Text : Keiko Nakamura / Photo : Takuya Oshima
A quiet residential area close to Kitayama-dori Street and Kamogawa River. A well-kept machiya (town house) stood right in front of me and I saw a display with drinking vessels and a name card of Shuki Koyoido right next to the entrance. Mr.Ren Uehara and Mrs.Rie Uehara manage this place on the weekend. When I stepped inside, I saw an electric kiln for ceramics at an earthen floor. Old furnitures and drinking vessels which Mr.and Mrs.Uehara created lined up nicely.
Tokkuri (sake bottle), Choko (sake cup), Sakazuki (drinking glass), a small plate for a side dish...
They produced a number of white porcelain vessels by using clay from Arita (Saga prefecture) and Izushi (Hyogo prefecture). This ‘Hakuji-hirahai (2,000yen + tax) which reminds me of exchanging cups of sake at a Shinto-style wedding has a beautiful thin peristome. Mr.Uehara told us, “I really like the posture that the elbow goes up and the spine extends. This vessel is good for heated sake”. Their vessels are very humorous as well. ‘Fujino-yamahai (1,800yen + tax)’ catches my eyes completely because once I flip over this Sakazuki, I see Mt.Fuji with snow on top. For Ochoko (sake cup), ‘Chidori-ashichoko(1,800yen + tax)’ which I can see a plover zigzagging on the bottom and ‘Heart and arrow choko(1,800yen + tax)’ has a message of “Don’t let spill sake and your love” by holding a small heart-shaped hole. Mr.Uehara said, “Spending time with sake is truly happy thing so that we both created something enjoyable thinking different unique ideas at the same time.”
I asked how they spend time together with sake, and I found the answer on their Instagram called ‘Koyoido Banshakucho’. I saw photos of their daily dishes with sake and they published a photo book as well. A time with one special sake and easy sakana (side dish). Their 3 year-old daughter also enjoy their side dish, too. Not only Japanese sake, but also they have beer and wine with hand-made side dish or just things from supermarket. I can imagine how joyful on the table with family together.
They were classmate together learning ceramics at a vocational training school in Kyoto City. Both love to drink and have a quite similar taste so that they married and decided to live with producing drinking vessels for sake in their life. After they opened Koyoido, they learned more about local sake and culture in different cities by fans of Japanese sake everywhere in Japan. They produce drinking vessels by a theme of locals’ specialities and cultures such as Shizuoka, Iwate, Fukuoka, Okayama, and Yamagata and they often hold an exhibition on the spot. Both said, “We love to keep making sake vessels and also enjoy its own culture as well”. I can’t wait to see them more in the future.
ADDRESS : 52-5 Koyamakamiuchi Kawara-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)
PHONE : +81(0)75-493-7651
OPEN : Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
HOURS : 12:00 p.m. ~ 6:00 p.m.
WEB SITE : http://www.koyoido.com
※Their selling items are different everyday depending on what they create.