Nakatsu Gion has its roots in a local fishing community's festival dating back to 1430, although...
Magma Glass Studio has been established in a delightful, period wooden building in a peaceful setting in panoramic countryside on the outskirts of Bungo Taketa. The husband and wife artist-owners transplanted their workshop to here from Yokohama near Tokyo in 2015. Ever since they have been creating original and imaginative glasswork, inspired by their beautiful natural surroundings, that is in demand across Japan.
Visitors receive a warm welcome from the resident artists and, in cooler seasons, a warm environment from the glass furnaces in front of which they rapidly and skillfully fashion molten glass into exquisite forms. Their work, which includes glass beakers, sake cups, light shades, vases and jewellery makes a wonderful prismatic display in the sunlight that streams through the studio’s windows.
Observing the glass being given form in their skilled hands alone is well worth a visit. Many visitors are inspired to try their hand, for a small fee, blowing the red-hot glass under expert guidance to create a translucent vessel of their own.
Magma Glass Studio is found far outside and high above Taketa’s city centre aside the road that climbs to the Kuju range of mountains and on to the Aso caldera in neighbouring Kumamoto Prefecture. An ideal stop for anyone touring by car, motorbike or bicycle through this picturesque region.