When it comes to luxury tableware, brands like Royal Copenhagen and Meissen often jump to mind. Indeed, many of these sophisticated international brands are the envy of connoisseurs around the globe. Lesser known but worth equal consideration, though, is Japanese tableware, which includes renowned brands like Noritake and Okura Touen, where each piece is carefully handcrafted by an individual artisan, culminating in impeccable quality that feels great to use. In this article, we’ll be introducing luxury Japanese tableware brands perfect for any special occasion!
High-Quality Japanese Tableware and Their Spellbinding Designs
Tableware is far more than just a simple tool for serving food. They are the epitome of style and refinement often worthy of displaying on our shelves. These days, even low-priced tableware is made with surprisingly high quality, naturally becoming a popular choice for everyday use. However, the beauty, feel, and elegance of luxury tableware offers a sense of sophistication around one’s home that cheaper products can’t match. Thankfully, Japan is home to a wide range of luxury tableware makers, each one boasting a unique aesthetic, so you are bound to find one that’s perfect for you.
If you purchase multiple sets, you’ll be able to create an assortment of matching tableware for the entire family. Even if you live alone, having a complete tableware set is essential when entertaining guests. The sense of unity embodied in tableware sets perfectly complements special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries while making your meals all the more meaningful and delicious!
9 Recommended Luxury Japanese Tableware Brands
1. Touan: Kyo and Kiyomizu Ware
Currently in the hands of the 4th generation owner, who took the reins in 1992, Touan is a prominent maker of Kyo and Kiyomizu ware. Each Touan piece boasts a distinctive glaze, a kind of liquid chemical applied to the surface of a ware that turns into a glass-like coating after firing and which protects the product from moisture, damages, and dirt. Known as “yuyaku” or “uwagusuri,” Touan's glaze is used to create “hanakessho”: crystalized flower-like patterns that naturally emerge once the melted glaze cools after firing. As no two hanakessho patterns are ever the same, you can enjoy the fact that your piece of Touan tableware is truly one of a kind.
Additionally, these pieces feature brilliant individually hand-painted patterns just bursting with rich artistic expression. In recent years, Touan has also expanded beyond just tableware, producing a series of interior ornaments and more, all to great acclaim.
Dainichi, a renowned maker of Kyo and Kiyomizu ware, is known for creating masterpieces featuring exquisite and eye-catching examples of glazing. A rarity these days, Dainichi produces glaze the old-fashioned way in a kiln using the ashes of cedar trees, grapes, sunflowers, and other plants. This painstaking, time-consuming process yields products with extraordinary coloring and warmth.
These magnificently colored ceramics, born from ashes and flames, offer the ultimate way to add flair and glamour to your table during those extra special days!
ORI-ZARA is a luxury tableware brand created by artisans specializing in the traditional Kyoto craft of “Nishijin-ori” (high-class kimono and textiles created in the Nishijin area of northwestern Kyoto) in order to bring this incredible art closer to people. The opulent gold and silver threads of Nishijin-ori glisten differently depending on how the light hits them, changing and transforming any tableware that they’re a part of. Additionally, the exquisite colors spun by the craftspeople and the exuberant designs epitomizing Japanese harmony perfectly complement our modern lifestyles.
ORI-ZARA finishes their items with a special coating of shatterproof glass over the Nishijin-ori brocade, allowing them to be used with peace of mind. Along with tableware, ORI-ZARA products also make excellent containers for accessories and other knick-knacks. Just one ORI-ZARA plate has the power to completely transform your dining table, making these goods extremely popular gifts.
2016/ is a global brand created to continue the history and techniques of Arita ware (porcelain made in and around Arita in Saga Prefecture, northwestern Kyushu). Collaborating with 16 designers from across the world, 2016/ blends modern, international sensibilities with techniques passed down over four centuries to yield this unique contemporary tableware.
Each of the 16 designers has their own distinct style, so you’ll definitely find something at 2016/ that’s perfect for you.
UTSUÀ is a new brand originating from Arita, Saga Prefecture, an area which has been producing the legendary Arita ware for 400 years. UTSUÀ pieces are the works of Dutch designer Tijmen Smeulders who resided in Arita and devoted their life to the craft.
The brand name UTSUÀ comes from the Japanese word "utsuwa," which means "container" but also refers to the human "capacity" for tolerance and modesty. The company's intended message is “be it Japanese or Western cuisine, our tableware accepts everything.” These almost transparently white porcelain wares offer a blank canvas for creative chefs, professional and amateur alike.
Made from stylishly designed tin, Nousaku tableware is the perfect way to spice up your table for a special occasion. While most similar items mix the soft and malleable tin with other metals to strengthen it, Nousaku specifically utilizes this unique quality of tin to create the industry-first “bendable tableware.”
In addition to tableware, Nousaku also offers a wide range of tumblers, drinking sets, and more, allowing one to collect and coordinate a fully harmonized table. As you can change the shape to match any occasion, just one Nousaku item is enough to fully express yourself through tableware and utensils.
7. OTANIYAKI tamura 1784
OTANIYAKI tamura 1784 is the only workshop producing Otani ware that still has a climbing kiln dating back to the late Edo Period (1853-1868). It strives to produce wares that offer up a new sensation through the combination of clay and fire, making use of but not entirely sticking to traditional crafting techniques.
Above are two of its finest wares: one a stunning Turkish blue that sparkles at every angle, another a gem-like lapis lazuli that’s reminiscent of the jaw dropping night sky. Formed through glaze that OTANIYAKI tamura 1784 spent years developing, these colors are vivid yet will match with any dining table. To fully show off the charms of these colors, the designs of the wares themselves have been kept simple and traditional.
8. Okura Touen
Okura Tougen 8011 Blue Rose Cup & Saucer Wrapped with Japanese Paper
Established in 1919, Okura Touen is one of Japan’s most famous “meiyo”: highly-regarded ceramic brands or kilns.
Okura Touen has long provided tableware and more to important organizations like the Imperial Household Agency and the State Guest House (a facility providing state guests such as royals, presidents, or prime ministers with various services including dining and accommodation). Their extraordinarily smooth and pure white porcelain has won the hearts of connoisseurs from across the world.
Okura Touen Official Website: https://www.okuratouen.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Noritake 59512/9983 Noritake Plate, 6.7 inches (17 cm), Yoshino 1 Piece
Noritake, founded in 1904, was the first Japanese company to produce bone china (porcelain made from kaolin with added bovine bone ash), which has helped earn them a reputation as the pioneers of Japan’s Western-style tableware. Today, they are celebrated as a top-tier ceramics brand throughout the world. By tirelessly striving to promote themselves globally, they now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the world’s best tableware brands.
Noritake Official Website: https://tableware.noritake.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Koransha Tea Set Ruri Moth Orchid Lapis Lazuli 350ml R1202-AF6 Set
Boasting a 140-year-long history, Koransha is a maker of Arita ware and purveyor to the Imperial Household Agency (an organization of the Cabinet Office handling national affairs related to the Japanese Imperial family and ceremonies). In 2016, they achieved even greater fame through their collaboration with a very popular Japanese anime.
Koransha products are renowned for pushing traditional Arita ware styles forward into a new era. Often called “Koransha style,” these wares range from everyday products to luxurious high-end goods. The three brands of Koransha, “Eizaemon,” “Koransha Classic,” and “Akaemachi Kobo,” each have their own unique flair while still retaining the beloved Koransha style.
Koransha Official Website: https://www.koransha.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Spice Up Your Dining Table With a Hint of Japanese Luxury
We hope that you have enjoyed our selection of luxury Japanese tableware brands! While many think that high-class items like these would be difficult to use in everyday life, their sophistication is in fact matched by their quality, making them more convenient than the cheap tableware many people tend to use.
These days, it’s easy to find chic, reasonably-priced Japanese tableware. However, anniversaries and other significant events require an extra something to ensure an unforgettable time. That's where Japan-made luxury tableware comes in, offering that one extra touch of elegance and refinement.
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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer's website for more information.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.