Azumino Arthills Museum

Japanese name: アートヒルズミュージアム

Arthills: museum, studio, workshop, and fine glass retail

Arthills boasts the largest public collection of local and international glassware in the Azumino valley. The three story complex complete with an Italian Restaurant, strolling garden, working glass blowing studio, resident artist gallery, kids workshop, floors of shopping, and special exhibition on Émile Gallé offers an interactive and inclusive look at glassware in Azumino and the larger international community.

Glass Studio – Learn to blow glass !

The Arthills glass studio provides a balcony viewing area which overlooks its artists at work, as well as free viewing from the main floor of the studio. For a fee, which varies according to the time and/or piece of glass you wish to make, visitors can learn to blow their own glass pieces. Reservations are recommended ahead of time, but not necessary. Adjacent to the studio, be sure to check out the gallery reserved for the work of the Arthills’ artists in residence. Different artists cycle through the Arthills studio, both foreign and domestic, but Arthills has also been a resident home to some artists for seventeen years.

The Émile Gallé Gallery

The Émile Gallé Gallery features the glass work of artist Émile Gallé, an influential artist in the French Art Noveu movement. Although Arthills features local glass work and work from the larger Japanese glass community, the Émile Gallé Gallery is specifically chosen in homage to the Japanese influence upon Galle’s work, highlighting his friendship with Tokozo (Hokkai) Takashina in the 1880s.

There are no pamphlets in English for the gallery, but as you approach the main entrance to the gallery there are a number of detailed panels along the right wall with a time line, biography, and description of Gallé and his work, in English.

Although the gallery charges a small entrance fee, for those visiting Arthills to appreciate glass work, it is well worth while. The gallery features clear glass work using enamel as well as Gallé’s later use of heavier, opaque glass etched or carved with plants, animals, insects; all motifs suggestive of Japan. In addition to his training in glass work, Gallé had a deep interest in botany and philosophy which is evident in his work in everything from the sea horse adorned vases to mushroom shaped lamps throughout the gallery. Some of his pieces have clear references to ukiyo-e, or Japanese wood block prints, and Hokusai cartoons.

QUINDICI Italian Restaurant

The Italian restaurant located on the same floor as the Émile Gallé gallery combines a lovely setting with international food. The restaurant and the menu reflect one another’s clean, light, and refreshing style. The restaurant is perfect for lunch or a light dinner with a full coffee and tea bar. The windows look over Arthill’s strolling garden and greater Azumino city with views of the Alps. The menu offers a nice selection of pizzas, pastas, and salad.

Museum Hotaka Hot Springs Area
By train: 10 minute taxi ride or 30 minute bike ride from Hotaka Station
By car: 15 minute drive from the Azumino Interchange
8161-1 Hotaka Ariake
* ¥800 for Émile Gallé Gallery
See the official site
Open 7 days a week (see the official site for details)