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Crafted to Taste: The Artful Intersection of Saga’s Vegetarian Cuisine and Ceramics

Continuing our journey through the vegetarian-friendly locales of Saga, this third installment in our four-part series turns our gaze from the fields of vegetables and the wholesome goodness of soybeans to another cultural and culinary cornerstone of the region: ceramics. True to the series’ theme, we’re highlighting plant-based dining experiences, but with a twist: here, the focus is not just on the food but on enjoying it with Saga’s exquisite pottery.

Saga is home to internationally renowned ceramics like Arita ware, Imari ware, and Karatsu ware. With a rich history of porcelain and pottery production, the region bursts into vibrant life each spring with pottery fairs that attract visitors from across Japan and beyond.

Plant-Based in Saga, 食材の宝庫、佐賀は器にもこだわる

In Saga, appreciating the carefully selected dishware that complements your meal is as much a part of the dining experience as the food itself.

One standout destination where the culinary meets the artistic is Gallery Arita. Located in the pottery heartland of Arita, this restaurant and café initially opened in 1986 as a gallery with a collection of 300 coffee cups. Today, it boasts over 2,500 pieces, primarily from Arita, Hasami, Imari, and Ureshino. Ordering a hot drink here offers the unique opportunity to choose your favorite cup from this vast collection, adding a personal touch to your dining experience.

Gallery Arita, ギャラリー有田

Gallery Arita’s menu features local ingredients in dishes like Arita’s traditional “godoufu,” a set meal centered around bean curd made with kudzu starch, as well as options utilizing Imari beef and Arita chicken. The vegetarian-friendly seasonal vegetable salad plate comes with godoufu katsu, a breaded and fried version of this local delicacy, served on Arita ware, showcasing the fusion of local cuisine and ceramic artistry.

Gallery Arita, ギャラリー有田

Gallery Arita, ギャラリー有田

Gallery Arita
3057 Hon-machi-Otsu, Arita-cho, Nishi-matsuura-gun, Saga
• Hours: 11:00~16:30 L.O.
• Irregular holidays
• Healthy Menu (tax included): Seasonal Vegetable Salad and Godoufu Plate ¥1,650 (reservation required two days in advance), Arita Specialty Godoufu Meal ¥1,760

In the heart of Karatsu, Karae is a vibrant space housing a hotel, cinema, pottery gallery, and souvenir shops. On its first floor, the hotel’s dining area doubles as a café where locals and tourists alike can drop by for a casual visit.

Karae Table

The café, adorned with Karatsu ware tiles, offers a welcoming atmosphere where patrons can enjoy freshly baked croissants, egg sandwiches made with local farm eggs (¥600), and a relaxing café time.

Karae Table

Specialty coffee can be savored in cups from popular Karatsu ceramists like Ryuta Kiln and Akamizu Kiln, allowing guests to choose their favorite from a curated collection.

Karae Table

Karae Table
1783 Kyo-machi, Karatsu City, Saga
• Hours: 7:30~18:00
• Open daily
• Healthy Menu (tax included): Croissant Healthy Deli Plate ¥1,300 (available 11:30~15:00), Specialty Coffee ¥650

For those looking to explore Karatsu further, renting a bicycle from Karae (available 10:00~18:00, ¥1,000 for 3 hours) and visiting Karatsu Castle or the pine-lined shores of Niji no Matsubara is highly recommended.

Plant-Based in Saga, 食材の宝庫、佐賀は器にもこだわる

Just a five-minute walk from Saga Station is Eat and Drinks E.A.D., a popular spot for lunch and parties among locals.


Renowned for its homemade carrot dressing, the café offers salads topped with homemade burdock chips, perfectly complementing Saga’s fresh vegetables.

The plant-based menu features a soy meat hamburger plate, with burgers made from soybeans, onions, and lotus root, served with a Japanese-style sauce made from maitake mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and kombu dashi. A mushroom and soy milk soup, salad, and rice accompany the meal, rounding out a hearty and healthful dining experience.


4-24 Eki-minami Hon-machi, Saga City, Saga
• Hours: 11:30~15:00, 17:00~22:00, weekends and holidays 11:30~22:00
• Closed: Tue. and the first Mon. of the month
• Healthy Menu (tax included): Soy Meat Hamburger Plate ¥1,200 (reservation required by the day before)

Diving into Saga’s veggie scene is more than just eating; it’s a whole experience. Picture sipping coffee or chowing down on a veggie plate, all served on Saga’s famous pottery. It’s a tasty way to connect with local traditions and art. So, while we’re exploring vegetarian friendly spots, we’re also getting a slice of Saga’s rich culture.

Stay tuned for the final chapter of our series, where we’ll conclude our gastronomic journey through Saga with more plant-based delights and stories that showcase the uniqueness of this vibrant region.

#SagaCeramics #VegetarianSaga #CulturalDining #ArtisanCraftsmanship #SagaJapan

Fukuoka Now x Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation.
Support for restaurants that can accommodate vegetarians.
Official website: Enjoying Vegetarianism in Saga! Vegetarian Guidebook

Vegetarian Friendly Saga Prefecture – In Four Parts
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Vol. 01 Plant-Based in Saga: A Traveler’s Guide to Vegetarian Eats in Kyushu!
Vol. 02 Savoring Saga: A Vegetarian Journey Through Soybean Cuisine and Onsen Yudofu
• Vol. 03 Crafted to Taste: The Artful Intersection of Saga’s Vegetarian Cuisine and Ceramics
Vol. 04 From Farm to Table: Exploring Saga’s Vegetarian Delights
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Food & Drink
Saga Prefecture
Published: Mar 26, 2024 / Last Updated: Apr 5, 2024

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