Making your own glass in Otaru, Hokkaido - our experience
Our finished products!
This was our first ever trip to Hokkaido and our first ever trip together as a couple so we went a bit overboard beforehand planning and booking everything - making sure to cram in as much things to do, see and eat as possible! Prior to flying out to Hokkaido, our Japanese speaking friend kindly helped call the glass studio to book everything for us.
We were surprised the glass studio was not your typical tourist shop - we had the whole studio to ourselves! Kim-san was the owner of the studio and was super friendly! Although he wasn't fluent in English, we managed to communicate with a mixture of limited English, drawings, pointing and body lanuage :)! Another surprising thing was that there was no time limit, he allowed us to spend as long as we wanted to pick and choose what we wanted and to take as many photos and videos as we liked. Choosing our material, style and design
After we put on our aprons, arm protectors and gloves, we got a few practice runs each to get a feel of glass blowing before we got started on our actual glass.
It was a lot more difficult than what we expected but super fun! The glass was super hot and melty and would drip onto the floor if you didn't keep the rod rolling. You needed super hand-eye-mind coordination for this! Luckily, Kim-san and his assisstant was able to save a lot of the mistakes we made - I think the only thing they can't fix is if you blew too hard and created a hole at the other end of the glass. Below are a few more pictures:
This "village" is the largest glass and crafts making factory in all of Okinawa, and there is so much to explore here. Their main workshop that they offer is making ryukyu glass products, which is an Okinawan specialty that you won't find anywhere else. They have tax/duty free shops as well and an online shop that you can browse for more products. If you want to make your own however, check their website to book your own glass-making experience. If you visit their website before you book, you can get their 10-15% off coupon that is good for all the items in their shop. Items you can make range from glass making, photo frames, accessories, gel candles, and painting.
Photos found on their website
Located next to the popular Okashi Goten is this glass blowing studio that specializes in making the famous Okinawan ryukyu glass. This tradition of glass blowing is one that is very near and dear to the people of Okinawa and has become a trade that the people take great pride in. In addition to its rich culture and history, it is just so pretty and makes a great souvenir.
Visit their website to see what kind of glass you can make here and for reservation details.
Photos found on their website.