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Sumida Glass Festival (4/18) -Tokyo, Japan

Sumida Glass Festival (4/18) -Tokyo, Japan
April 1, 2018 wfire3

Sumida Glass Festival (4/18) -Tokyo, Japan


A nice discovery by some family friends here in Sumida-ku a few years ago!

I was thinking of something fun to do with the kids one Saturday when a friend told us about the Sumida Glass Festival which was being held in Kinshicho.

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Apparently, this festival is held twice per year in Tokyo near Sky Tree. I`ve been living in this area for about 10 years, but I`d never heard about it until now, so we decided to crash the party and see what it was all about. Once we arrived, I immediately found myself to be awe-stricken by the beautifully and delicately designed glassworks everywhere. It was really impressive!!

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Some glassworks, such as these can take up to 3 hours to make (per glass), but the detail and effort put into each piece is what truly makes them a work of art!

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Many different shapes and designs of glass were carefully displayed throughout the small park, with many visitors stopping to admire the detailed craftsmanship of each piece. There were even a few workshops available that allowed customers to make their own glass products, such as the tonbodama (とんぼ玉) display that I went to. Unfortunately, the kids didn`t get a chance to make any this time due to the long waiting line (we needed to reserve in advance for that), however, because I was taking pictures and told them I wanted to write about it on my blog, they did give me a quick chance to play around with it myself. Here is the result!

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About とんぼ玉 ( Japanese Glass Bead ) Making!
とんぼ玉 are traditionally designed Japanese-style glass beads that can be crafted in a variety of beautiful colors, shapes, sizes, and designs. The glass is slowly melted over a gas burner and then dripped onto a small heated iron bar. The iron bar is slowly twirled over the burner between the fingers in order to give the bead it`s a rounded shape, with a few seconds cooling in between.  Once the shape of the main bead is completed, then we use smaller sticks of colored glass to add the decorations, which can range from sakura blossom leaves to more intricate and beautiful designs. It all depends on your imagination and skill with the bead-making process. My small purple bead was splashed with a pattern of pinks, light blue, and light purples in order to create a night sky effect (with an X pattern in the middle) as you can see below.

If you would like to learn more about とんぼ玉 making, you can call the shop on the poster below and make a reservation. It only costs about 3,600¥, but if you`re into arts and crafts (or are looking for something constructive to do with your children on the weekends, it`s very much worth the investment because it`s FUN!

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<< Click the image to enlarge! >>

* For making とんぼ玉 you can email the Asakusa Glass Beads Studio or visit their website! The shop is open from 10:00 am ~ 18:00 pm on most days, but be sure to reserve in advance by calling: 03-6316-7604.

The Sumida Glass Festival is graciously organized by these 3 gentlemen and is held twice per year in Sumida-ku, once in springtime ( April ) and again in Autumn ( October ). For more information about this event, you can email them or search for their homepage. These guys are very nice and friendly, so if you contact them; they may even be able to help you find places to learn the crafts for yourself!


I really enjoyed my time here and I`m looking forward to the next one!

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