Experience Japanese Culture
Immerse Yourself In Japanese Culture

In this story, I’ll be sharing my experience on Edo Kiriko – cut glass making and also kimono wearing, all within Tokyo!

If you are unsure about the route to your destination via the subway, you can always look out for the Tokyo Metro Welcome Board!

Tokyo Metro Welcome Board

There’s an info board called Tokyo Metro Welcome Board in major stations which contains useful info for tourists written in English, simplified Chinese and Korean, so first-time visitors to Tokyo can get around with peace of mind.

You may search for your route using the user-friendly touch screen panel, or search by landmarks from categories such as shopping, hotels, entertainment and more.


Easy-to-understand directions to your destination! The subway map may look like a daunting spiderweb, but with all this friendly help, it’s really not that intimidating to navigate Tokyo underground!

Whenever in doubt, just ask for assistance from Tourist Information. English-speaking and Chinese-speaking staff are available at Tokyo Metro Tourist Information at Ueno, Ginza, Shinjuku, and Omote–sando stations.

Kinshicho Station / 錦糸町
(6 min walk from Kinshicho Station Exit 4)
SUMIDA EDO KIRIKO MUSEUM

If you are interested in traditional handicraft especially glassware, you may like to check out Sumida Edo Kiriko Museum, a gallery shop that introduces the traditional handicraft of Edo Kiriko. It has over 350 Edo Kiriko cut glass pieces done by expert artisans for exhibition and for sale.

Edo Kiriko has been made since the Edo period, and in Sumida Edo Kiriko Museum, you can also get to experience a simple cutting process!

The manufacturing process of Edo Kiriko ware consists of two stages: making the glassware and cutting facets into the glassware.

And I was there to experience the cutting process. There’s a little cutting studio attached to the museum, and usually the whole process takes about 1 to 1.5 hours.

The first step is to choose your glassware. Initially I picked the darkest blue because it just looked so exquisite and elegant. But I was told that the darker the color is, the harder the process would be because it is so opaque that it would be hard to gauge the exact angle to cut. So for beginners, it is advised to pick a light and more transparent color.

I picked a medium-hue blue, and the next step is to mark the design that I want to carve. Before that, I actually did a cutting trial on their sample glass, and boy it was soooo hard!! The simpler the pattern is, the easier it was, so I drew the simplest design ever – which is straight lines across the glass and a little star near the edge.

And then Sumida Edo Kiriko’s master would coach you on how to cut the perfect cut glass.

Carving the bottom is relatively easier, as you can see through from above, but now I got what he meant. When you pick a dark color, you pretty much just have to use your instinct and experience as you can’t see through the bottom.

For the next 20 minutes I was completely immersed and concentrating on my glass-carving.

I realized how incredibly challenging it is to even carve a straight line, not to mention all the sophisticated designs and suave curves I have seen on other displayed products.

And then it was done!! I was actually quite proud of the end result! You can bring your masterpiece back home after the experience. Now I am using mine daily very preciously to serve drinks at home.

Given a chance I would really love to try it again, and this time perhaps I’d challenge myself with a more complicated design.

After the session, I went around and had a look at the Edo Kiriko in the shop again, with a newfound admiration and respect.

Can you just check out those intricate designs engraved with the most minute details!!

I could only imagine the hours of work and effort put into creating each of these beautiful, glistening pieces of true art.

My favorite was this with sweet cherry-blossom carvings.

An Edo Kiriko really instantly adds elegance and taste to your home. If you would just like to experience or select an Edo Kiriko for a special occasion or as a gift for your loved ones, do come by Sumida Edo Kiriko Museum!

Google map route:

 

Shibuya Station / 渋谷
(10 min walk from Shibuya Station Exit 8)
KIMONO RENTAL AKI

A kimono-wearing experience is popular on tourists’ to-do-list in Japan. I myself am a huge fan of kimonos, and whenever there’s a chance, I love wearing a kimono or yukata and strolling around the streets to take photos.

Today I’m recommending Kimono Rental Aki, right in the heart of the convenient fashion and shopping hub, Shibuya.

They have a good selection of colorful kimono and yukata. Some of the prints are really unique!

They also offer traditional children’s costume rental. If you are looking for a family photoshoot, this would be a perfect place to pick your outfits.

I was looking for something cute, bright and with a hint of autumn.

So I settled for a really gorgeous floral-patterned kimono in purple, tangerine and maple, with a super cute obi to match.

Guess what!! Hello Kitty motifs on the Obi!! The motif is subtle yet sooo adorable, it’s perfect for Kitty fans who are a little shy to wear it out loud!

Since I picked a beautiful kimono, I thought it was only worth it if I also go for a hair-set (additional fee applies), so the very experienced shop staff helped me with the perfect up-do I wanted.

Kimono-wearing was also incredible speedy. I think it took only like 5 minutes in total!

Ahhhh I’m soooo in love with this kimono!

Easy Japanese Lesson 6:

Saiko!

Pronounced
‘sai-ko’, this means ‘It’s the best’. This can be used to express your excitement for an experience, a place or even to your friend.

One shot at the alley!

All this while I have only taken photos in kimono/yukata in the day time, usually in very traditional/historical looking settings. I wanted a different backdrop for my photos this time...the city at night. I was quite excited to see how the photos would turn out – traditional costume VS metropolis backdrop.

Here are some of the photos taken!

Google map route:

And that concludes my trip with Tokyo Metro.

Thank you so much for reading and if you need more information on Tokyo Subway Ticket or anything regarding Tokyo Metro, you may visit:

www.tokyosubwayticket.com/my ❤︎