For my CIP, I took a pottery class at a studio called Zuikougama, near Higashiyamananajo. I went every Saturday and stayed for about three hours each class. The ceramic classes were run very differently in Japan comparing to America. The ceramic class I took at Boston University looked at ceramic from an architectural point of view. Therefore, taking a real pottery class in Japan was a very nice experience for me.
The studio was well organized in a very nice environment. In total, there were about 15 students in the class, and most of the people were elderlies who were very professional. The studio provided tools, glaze and clay, so that I never had to carry things around, and the classroom was setup in a convenient way. The teachers were patient, and they were always available for questions.
For me, the hardest part was the first class when the teacher explained the steps people followed in order to finish a piece. Language barrier was limiting me to be more creative with my projects because I could not fully express myself. However, the class gave students a lot of freedom to do what they liked. In terms of Japanese practice, it was little hard to do during the classes. Because most of people were elderlies, topics were limited, and as a pottery class, the environment was meant to be quiet, starting a conversation was only appropriate at certain times.
I have enjoyed spending my Saturday mornings doing pottery at Zuikougama, and if anyone is interested in Japanese pottery, I recommend taking this class as your CIP.