TOKYO Teshigoto
2018.07.03

Went to【Sumida Wa Glass-kan】to bring back memories of the old days.

Introduction of facility

The first floor of the “Sumida Wa Glass-kan” is a store where you can purchase retro taste Japanese glass at affordable price.

Maybe you can make a good buy!?
The first floor is a store of “Japanese Glass.”

Get off at Kinshicho station and walk pass through the clamorous crowd for 6 minutes. ”Sumida Wa Glass-kan” is located in the area which the ambience of downtown remains. The word “Wa Glass” describes old-fashioned glass products that colored Taisho and Showa’s life. When you look through the store on the first floor, you will find glass-made soy sauce pots, bowls for shaved ice, pendant lights and so on. Most products are sample items, goods direct from the warehouse and outlet goods so you might be able to make a good buy. Get off at Kinshicho station and walk pass through the clamorous crowd for 6 minutes. ”Sumida Wa Glass-kan” is located in the area which the ambience of downtown remains. The word “Wa Glass” describes old-fashioned glass products that colored Taisho and Showa’s life. When you look through the store on the first floor, you will find glass-made soy sauce pots, bowls for shaved ice, pendant lights and so on. Most products are sample items, goods direct from the warehouse and outlet goods so you might be able to make a good buy.

A soy sauce pot stopper. Left is screw type and the right is frosted glass type.

A classic glass-made soy sauce pot that added color to Showa’s dining table

“Sumida Wa Glass-kan” is a long-established glass maker and a facility that is operated by Hirota Glass. Hirota Glass was founded in 1899 (Meiji 32). For nearly 120 years, Hirota Glass products has been reflecting Japanese glass history and been in close contact with people’s life with products like, glassware that are used at the table, glass bottles that decorate the storefront of sweet shops and items like fish bowls. Many of their products made big hits. One of their popular products is a “soy sauce pot” that used the technique of frosted glass which can be seen on a medicine bottle where the bottle stopper and the body part attaches. When Hirota Glass commercialized a soy sauce pot in the 1970’s, the pot stopper’s mainstream was screw type pot stopper. Though screw type pot stopper had some disadvantages such as cracking by applying excessive force. Therefore, ever since the frosted glass type pot came out, the frosted glass type pot became the mainstream. Though Hirota Glass still produces screw type soy sauce pot. The reason for continuing making the screw type is “to keep the technology of making screws from glass.” When you take a close look at a jam jar, the screw is on the outside of the jar but the screw of the soy sauce pot is made on the inside. It is quite difficult to make internal screws with high glass shrinkage rate. There are lot of processing techniques with glass handicrafts, and Hirota Glass will keep making these products to keep the techniques which they have cultivated.

Yuki no Hana Series

Taisho Roman Series

Taisho Roman Series blends into the milky white glass

Products that are named Taisho Roman Series were popular in Meiji and Taisho periods. These products are brought back today by using the Aburidashi Technique called “milky glass.” Except for antique shops, it is quite valuable to encounter glass products that uses this technique today. It is said that this milky white color is generated by using material that contains natural material called bone ash and by giving a sudden temperature change during glass making. There are also many who remembers Yuki no Hana Series as a glassware of shaved iced. This also uses the technique of “milky glass.” Tools and molds that are necessary for making these valuable techniques are kept at “Sumida Wa Glass Kan.”

The 3rd floor has world’s rare glass products lined up just like an art museum.

Workshop to understand deeply about Japanese glass is under planning

“Sumida Wa Glass-kan”, where many valuable materials are kept, is going to plan experiential events in the future. They are planning to invite lectures and organize events on learning the history of glass and workshops to experience sandblasting and glass painting on the 3rd floor where glass from all over the world are collected. The detailed schedule has not been decided yet but if you are interested, please check out the website of Hirota Glass.

●Facility Name: Sumida Wa Glass-kan (1F・Shop)
●Address: 2-6-5 Kinshi, Sumida-ku Tokyo
●Opening times: 11 : 00〜17 : 00
●Shop Holiday: Saturdays・Sundays・National Holidays
●Homepage: http://hirota-glass.co.jp/ (Hirota Glass Co.,Ltd)
●Access: 6 minutes’ walk from JR・Tokyo Metro “Kinshicho” station