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Kyoei Glass offers Ryukyu glassware workshops

Date Posted: 1999-10-08

Ryukyu glassware is a traditional Okinawan art form. Many readers may have already had the chance to take a look at the delicate craftsmanship involved in producing Ryukyu glassware at souvenir and gift shops throughout the island. But how many readers have had the chance to witness that magical moment when a small, red hot lump of raw glass is transformed into an exquisite art form?

Kyoei Glass offers just such an opportunity to watch the magnificent skills of professional glass artisans and to experience making the glassware for yourself. At Kyoei Glass, workshops are offered daily and participants are welcome to take part in the process of making glassware, including the delicate process of blowing the glass.

During the 15-20 minute workshop, visitors can test their skills under the watchful eye of professional glass artisans, and if you have any questions, an English-speaking instructor is on-hand to help you step by step. Visitors can select from nearly 50 varieties of glass items, not to mention a color range such as blue, light blue, green, purple, and brown.

Fees for the workshop ranges from ¥1700 up to over ¥15,000 depending on the kind of glassware participants design. A 10% discount for the workshop will be given to Japan Update readers so, take advantage of it. Fees for red glass are slightly higher, due to the special materials used to make the color.

The work process itself takes only 15 to 20 minutes, however, it can take from 8 to 10 hours to blush up the color in the cooling room so, your design won’t be ready to pick-up until the following day. A mailing service is also offered for those unable to revisit Kyoei Glass.

The gift shop can be found on the second floor, where hundreds of colorful Ryukyu glassware items, from ornaments to tableware are on display. If you’re interested in purchasing a glass carafe, the price, normally ¥3,000, is just ¥1,500.

Kyoei Glass opens daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (during summer, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Directions: Take Route 58 from Naha through to Nago. Kyoei Glass is located right across from the Sun Marina Hotel in Onna Village.

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