Approximately two hours from Tokyo, Mashiko retains its old-world Japanese charm, with an unspoiled natural environment and numerous medieval cultural assets. The town is known for its Mashiko Pottery, and for practitioners such as the late Shoji Hamada, who was the first person to be officially designated a Living National Treasure. The biannual pottery market attracts around 600,000 people. The clean local environment produces delicious fruit and vegetables, which combines with the town’s many cafes, bakeries and soba restaurants. Thus, Mashiko has rightly earned a reputation as a great place to eat out.