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Edo Furin-Blow Your Own Glass Wind Chime

Yutaka Shinohara is one of the few people in Japan who continues on the ancient tradition of making hand-blown glass wind chimes or Edo Furin.   After the hand-blown glass balls are created they are then painted on the inside to create one of a kind pieces of art. Shinohara-san has been blowing glass furin for 45 years and  you can visit his studio, Shinohara Furin Hompo, to see the process in action and even make one of your own! 

Edo Furin were made as far back as 1600 and are thought to have been brought to Japan from China.  Furin were originally hung in bamboo forests to ward off evil spirits who were thought to dwell there.  Over time the Edo Furin has become a summer fixture in Japan and the Japanese have a fondness for the unique and peaceful sounds that the glass wind chimes emit as they sway in the breeze. 

Making your own Edo Furin will take a little bit of effort to arrange but you will have a one of a kind souvenir to take home with you!  Every time it chimes you will be reminded of this one of a kind experience and your time spent in Tokyo. 


Location:  A 10 minute walk from the Mizue Station which is approximately 35 minutes by train from Tokyo Station. (map)
Hours:  9-5, closed Sundays and Holidays
Cost:  Free to observe; Y1,000 to paint your own Edo Furin; or Y1,500 to blow your own glass bell and paint it with the assistance of the artisans at the factory.  A reservation is recommended for the latter two options and you should allow at least an hour for either.
Website: (Japanese only) or as translated with Babel Fish.
Contact:  03-3670-2512 (Japanese only)  I would recommend having a Japanese speaking friend or your hotel concierge reserve your space and confirm the hours before making the trip as the studio can be quite busy at times.

Photo Credit:  Flickr, Suspended Glass