Summer may nearly be over, but it’s still hot outside and even though you want to go somewhere and do something, sometimes you just can’t be bothered unless it involves air conditioning and being inside.
Ah, but I have a place for you, The Glass Museum; Yes, that’s its official name.
It’s about a 30 to 40-minute ride from downtown Hiroshima out past Kabe in Asakita-ku. You can use public transport (bus and/or train), but to be honest, the easiest way is to drive. For more details, see below.
I went with a group of elementary kids and to be honest, I wasn’t sure they were going to find it all that interesting. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first thing we did upon our arrival was make a sandblasted glass.
You can choose what size and shape you want and then the staff will explain each step. If you’re not sure or can’t remember, you can always ask, but there are instructions on each table. Yes, they may be in Japanese, but there are pictures and if you have a basic understanding of written Japanese, there will be no problem at all.
After sitting down, we chose the design or designs we wanted from a box on the tables in front of us. The designs are all printed on normal paper and range from Hello Kitty (what I chose), to flowers, greetings and any other thing you can think of.
Once you’ve picked what you want, you fold the paper up and insert it into the glass. Using a thin wooden skewer, you then apply red resign paint onto the glass, tracing your design. If you make a mistake it’s no problem at all as you can use rubbing alcohol and a tissue to remove any drips. After that the staff take your glass and place them into an autoclave for 10 minutes to dry and set the paint.
Before doing the sandblasting, you can use a Stanley knife to remove any final drips or mistakes. The sandblasting tool itself is easy to use and elementary school age students will have no problem with it.
You can choose to simply go around the design or to make the entire glass frosted. Once this is done you can peel the remaining resin paint off before asking the staff to wrap it for you to take home. For 1800 yen (including tax), it’s a relatively cheap activity for the whole family (or just the kids).
After that, take the time to explore the surrounding grounds that include an elaborate glass design, ‘garden,’ and, ‘castle,’ buildings that look like something out of a fairy-tale. The Glass Castle is particularly fun for kids as it houses a range of mirror and interactive optical illusions.
You can also opt to watch the glass-making process, partake in it or simply stroll around the actual museums marvelling at the artists who have their work displayed.
There’s also a restaurant or seats under cover if you decide to bring your own packed lunch.
The Glass Museum is open from 10am until 5pm every day except on Tuesdays and between December 26-January 1. Adults cost 1000 yen, with high school students 700 and Junior High School and younger 500 yen. This price gives you access to all buildings including the World Glass Museum, the Modern World Glass Art Museum, the World Beads Museum and the Glass Castle.
The Glass Museum
731-0201 2-Chome 12-55, Obayashi, Asakita-ku, Hiroshima-shi
Telephone (082) 818-0414
Public Transport Access:
By JR, take the Kabe Line to Kabe Station. Exit the Station and find the bus going to Obayashi. It’s about a 15-minute ride and a one minute walk to the Museum from the bus stop.
If you prefer to take a bus right to Obayashi, one is available from Hiroshima Station.
Photo from www.facebook.com/pg/garasunosat, used without permission.