The Ultimate Guide to the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

A Guide to the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

Bring your cameras to capture the one-of-a-kind glass art pieces!

Do a quick Google search of things to do in Japan, and you’ll find tons of links to all kinds of museums, from the serious to the wacky. The list of art museums in Japan is particularly long! But one of the most unique museums to visit has to be the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum. It is the first art museum in Japan to specialise in Venetian glass and is also known as one of the prettiest museums in Hakone. Loved for its beautiful architecture that makes for amazing backdrops in photos, this is a must-visit attraction in the Ashigarashimo District amongst both locals and tourists!

Also read: 15 Best Winter Illuminations in Japan You Have to See IRL

Things to do at the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

Marvel at stunning Venetian glass exhibitions

Also known as Hakone Glass no Mori, the museum curates a stunning display of Venetian glass in its exhibits, shops, and garden. But before we dive into what the museum has to offer, what is Venetian glass? This is a type of glass made in Venice, Italy and is known for its beauty, especially under the light. The glassware’s history dates back to the 13th century, and it remains beloved and highly-valued today. As such, visiting this museum definitely makes for a decadent experience, one that also lets you take a peek into traditional European craftsmanship!

As you step onto this small theme park, you’ll notice the curators’ nod towards Renaissance architecture. The indoor museum buildings resemble villas that are commonplace in Italy, and the open spaces are decorated with colourful blooms and beautiful pavilions. The pathway to the museum — known as the Corridor of Light — is exceptionally pretty, with dazzling crystal glass streaming over the nine-metre-tall archway. To photography enthusiasts: This is a shot you definitely won’t want to miss!

As you step into the main exhibition halls, the Venetian Glass Museum and Venetian Modern Glass Museum, feast your eyes upon the stunning collection of over 100 glassware pieces. In fact, many of these historic pieces date as far back as the 15th century! Each piece is encased in glass with its own light source to highlight the intricate detailing and striking colours.

Additionally, the museum hosts special exhibitions that only run for a limited time period, such as themed glass collections and curated works by some of the world’s top glass masters. It even occasionally holds classical concerts. Just imagine enjoying the melodious notes from a violin while admiring the twinkling displays. Truly, you’ve got to visit the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum to admire its exhibits full of colour and sparkle!

Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens

Head over to the garden areas surrounding the museum buildings and you’ll be amazed by the outdoor landscape surrounding the museum. The picturesque scenery changes with the seasons; hydrangeas, roses, and autumn foliage take over the lush Hakone glass forest at different times of the year. P.S. — If you’re here around the Christmas period, you’ll get to enjoy the magical Christmas crystal illumination! 

And speaking of trees, the park’s Flash trees are also not to be missed! Made out of over 45,000 pieces of cut crystals, this eight-metre-high fountain sparkles in the sunlight and moves delicately with the wind.

Other things to do in the museum

After spending several hours admiring glassworks, you’d probably like to take a piece or two home, right? Then head over to the Museum Shop, where a wide variety of glass decorative pieces and accessories are sold, imported directly from Venice! We’re sure you’ll find something special to remind you of your time at Hakone Glass Museum.

Those inspired by these glamorous glass pieces can actually learn how to make their own at the museum’s Experience Studio. Attend their sandblasting or fusing workshops to learn the techniques behind these one-of-a-kind masterpieces. You’ll also find out how to make your own truly unique creation at home!

Before you say goodbye to the Hakone Glass Forest Museum, stop by the museum’s dedicated cafe and restaurant: La Canzone. It is an open terrace eatery with a view of the lush greenery of the forest ahead. Treat yourself to classic Italian fare while listening to Italian music played live right in front of you!

How much are tickets to the Hakone Venetian Glass Museum

A ticket to the Hakone Glass Museum is ¥1,800 (~S$16.75) for adults and ¥600 (~S$5.58) for children. If you’ve purchased the Hakone Free Pass, do present it at the ticketing counter and get a ¥100 discount on your ticket!

How to get there

If you’re planning to travel to the museum via public transport, here are the best ways to get there: 

  • Take the Hakone Tozan Bus from Hakone-Yumoto Station (bound for Togendai). Get off at Hyoseki Hakone Glass Forest Venetian Glass Museum Front.
  • Take the Hakone Tozan Railway from Hakone-Yumoto Station (bound for Gora Station). Get off at Gora Station, then take the Hakone Tozan Bus from Gora Station. Get off at the Hakone Glass Forest Venetian Glass Museum.

These routes will take you right to the museum entrance. 

Also read: 14 Best Places to Visit in Japan During Winter Season

There you have it: a complete guide to visiting the famous Hakone Venetian Glass Museum and Glass Forest. We hope this convinces you to put this on your itinerary for your next Japanese getaway! For more information, do visit their official website and share your photos and experiences with us on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Featured image credit: Hakone Glass Forest Museum Official Facebook Page

About Author

Beautrice Oh
Beautrice Oh

Beautrice enjoys exploring new places and jumps at any chance to try something new. She loves learning about different cultures through their food, landmarks, and hidden local spots (if she can find them)! Always enthusiastic for an adventure, she plans itineraries that fully immerse herself in the destination’s culture, and will never forget to bring along her camera to capture the memories.