On a rainy Sunday in February knowing that we wanted to get out of the house but limited to the indoors due to the weather we settled on venturing to the South of the island to Ryukyu Glass Craft; which according to the website is the largest hand blown glass factory on Okinawa.
Facilities on the premises included a glass factory, glass shop, an outlet shop and glass museum. The museum showcased many expensive items of glass and made both Matt & I nervous having an eager nearly 4 year old wondering around wanting to touch these often priceless pieces, so we made the wise decision to leave the museum for another day. We did stop by the outlet shop ‘Janagraya’ meaning glass shop in the jungle, while we didn’t buy anything we did pay for Eden to do a quick glass craft…a gel candle (although we left out the wick so its merely an ornament) she filled a square glass candle holder with colored sand, some larger bits of colored glass, a glass ‘nemo’ fish, and a starfish before the saleswoman filled it with gel wax.
It was going to take 30 minutes for the ‘candle’ to set so while we waited for that we checked out the glass shop where the only items we wanted to buy weren’t made in Okinawa but rather in Taiwan so we passed on them! Instead we oohed and ahhed over the gorgeous glass roof; which apparently has a few imperfections but to me it was perfect, before booking Matt in to have a go at glass blowing.
I guess it was harder than it looked because a lot of the group seemed to struggle when it came to rolling the glass and there were definitely some not so cylinder shaped glasses being made! Matt was one of the said people, although in his defense I think it was because it was set up for right-handed folk, which he is not; he & the instructor had a bit of a laugh over it. Thankfully with a little help he produced a pretty funky wee glass.
Of course whats spectacular about this place is not so much whats inside the buildings but rather the outside. Glass mosaic tiles decorate the walls and pillars in amazing murals, Eden loved touching them while I just enjoyed looking at it and especially the pillars which had lots of different patterned tiles. It was also pretty cool being able to watch the workers in the glass factory do their thing, they have the art of glass blowing down and can produce many products in such a short space of time.
There is also a restaurant on the premises however we had already eaten so didn’t have a need to go there so cant tell you what it was like. All in all it was a fun adventure and perfect for a rainy day, the museum isn’t the most child friendly so if you have kids that like to touch as our Eden does I wouldn’t recommend going in unless you want to spend the entire time holding your breath. I am pleased we went, but not sure if its something we will do again, once was enough I think!