Nagoya has been a pottery and porcelain production center for centuries; today, the city and its vicinity manufacture 90% of Japan's total export chinaware. The largest chinaware company in Japan is Noritake, founded in 1904 and known the world over for its fine tableware. You can learn more about Noritake by spending about an hour at the site of its former factory, beginning with the Welcome Center's short film depicting the history of Noritake. At the Craft Center, you'll see displays explaining the manufacturing and decorating processes involved in making porcelain, as well as watch artisans, who, unlike at most modern-day factories where work is largely automated, do almost all their work by hand. The Noritake Museum is probably my favorite part of the complex, with its examples of all the Noritake chinaware ever produced (including a great Art Deco collection). At the Canvas hall, all you ever wanted to know about the role ceramics plays in everyday life -- from Washlet toilets to computers -- is presented in hands-on displays activated by your own ceramic microchip card. And of course, there are also shops, including those selling Noritake fine chinaware, tableware for everyday use, and an outlet store.