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Crystal Sound Museum

Free gemstone museum in Shosenkyo

Crystals and precious stones have been found in Yamanashi for thousands of years, and in the late 1800s a thriving jewelry industry grew up around the polishing of gemstones and crafting of precious metals. One third of Japan’s jewelry manufacturers are located in Yamanashi Prefecture, so if your taste in souvenirs runs to jewelry, you will enjoy checking out the jewelry shops in Kofu City.

Yamanashi is also home to the Yamanashi Prefectural Jewelry Art College, and several gemstone museums including Crystal Sounds in Shosenkyo Gorge. This free museum has a collection of precious stones from all over the world on display including crystals, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, tourmaline, and more.

The Garden

Even before you enter the museum you can see precious stones on display in the garden, including a 2 ton piece of white quartz from Brazil, and a colorful display of stone ‘slices’.

The museum entrance
The museum entrance

Battle of Kawanakajima

One of the most impressive things on display are the life-size statues of a mounted Uesugi Kenshin attacking seated Yamanashi warlord Takeda Shingen in the famous battle of Kawanakajima. The statues were created by six gemstone artists over a period of two and a half years, and are entirely covered with gemstones – 6 million carats of them!

Uesugi attacking Takeda
Uesugi attacking Takeda

Precious stone ‘paintings’

Also displayed are a number of ‘paintings’ made entirely of different colored precious stones. This style of art was developed in Yamanashi to make use of large quantities small stones which were not desirable for jewelry.

Crystal ball and birthstones

Ascending to the second floor you will find a display of birth stones, a fantastic crystal ball which looks quite spooky glowing in its dimly lit corner, a collection of meteorites, and many other interesting things.

Transparent crystal
Transparent crystal

Museum shop

The museum shop is pretty big and I found it almost as interesting as the museum. Beads and jewelry making supplies, raw crystals, gemstones and power stones can all be bought here. Exquisite carved stone ornaments, all hand made and unique, are also for sale. Of course there is also finished jewelry, much of it original and unique to Yamanashi. Maybe you can find a perfect souvenir of your Japan adventure here!

Strings of beads for sale in the store
Strings of beads for sale in the store

Getting there

Take a bus or taxi from Kofu Station to Shosenkyo-taki-ue bus stop. The museum is just a few minutes walk from there.If you are driving, there is car parking available, although it may be full at weekends, especially in autumn.

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Elena Lisina 3 years ago
The statues of Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen are impressive!
Bonson Lam 4 years ago
Truly unique! history, crystals and more.
Kim 4 years ago
Never knew that so many jewelry manufacturers were based in Yamanashi! Very cool!
Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
That transparent crystal is pretty impressive. There's a boom going on in Japan with 'powers stones' and gems. Fans of that will love this place.

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