Glass is a unique medium for artistic expression, and an art form which has been around for some time. The earliest evidence of glass art dates back to the 2nd millennium BC in what is now Iran, and it has evolved into all kinds of pieces, from stained glass windows to glass sculptures, jewelry, and more. In Toyama Prefecture, visitors are able to enjoy a wide array of impressive glass pieces (in an equally as impressive building) at the Toyama Glass Art Museum.
Interestingly, Toyama City has fostered glass art for many years. The Toyama Institute of Glass Art (TIGA) was created in 1991 as the first educational institution specializing in this art form. A number of pieces at the museum are in fact made by artists who studied locally.
When it comes to the museum's attractions, one of the biggest draw cards is the Glass Art Garden located on the sixth floor. There are a number of permanent pieces in this display from American glass art master Dale Chihuly, who is often regarded as one of the world's top glass artists, including his works "Toyama Mille Fiori" and "Toyama Float Boat".
The museum also has an on-site cafe serving up a range of eats and drinks, and a shop selling unique souvenirs. Regular admission to the permanent exhibits is only 200 yen for adults, and admission fees for the special exhibits vary -- but the details are posted on the museum's website in advance.