When we got to the Venetian Glass museum, we walked inside and were given a Venetian Carnevale mask (cardboard format) as our entrance ticket. It is Carnevale year-round there, and they even loan out full costumes for people to enjoy whilst they wander the grounds. It was already a day of sensory overload, so we opted to stay in our St. Patty’s clothes instead.
The first piece you see when you walk in the front gate is a Chihuly sculpture.
Which I didn’t even know was there…but Alex wouldn’t buy that, given my oft-proven Chihuly fan-girl status. (I really did not know!) Overshadowing the Chihuly (hard to do, but it was done in this case) and indeed the entire contents of the museum, however, were their “flash trees”. Basically they took some of the octagonal crystals I used to make my Carnaval costume earrings last year…
And put them with thousands (probably tens or hundreds of thousands) of their friends in the format of an archway/curtain or a tree, and made magic.
The “trunks” of the trees are layers and layers of wrapped wire. There is no way to describe how sparkly the crystals are, especially on a sunny and breezy day like we had, but the museum does have a couple of videos on their website that give you some vague idea of it.
I raced through the museum so I wouldn’t overlook the whole collection, but with just an hour or so to sunset and closing time, what I most wanted to do was sit on their patio with a cup of tea in hand and a fuzzy blanket on my lap and stare until my eyes unfocused at those flash trees. And so I did! And while I was staring, some workers started to dismantle the big one, which was fascinating, because I got to see how it all goes together.
And I rejoiced in our lucky timing, because not only did St. Patty’s in Hakone garner us a perfect, clear day to enjoy view of Mt. Fuji, it gave us the chance to see the flash trees in all their glory. By the end of the day, the big tree was almost half-gone, and while I’m sure they will re-erect it elsewhere on the grounds, if we’d come even a day later, we would have missed seeing it for sure.