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Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

  • Japanese glasses frames are renowned for their wide ranges and styles. Few people, even in Japan, are aware of the fact that more than 90% of the country’s glasses frames are manufactured in Fukui Prefecture’s own Sabae City. Not only is Sabae the biggest manufacturer of glasses in Japan, but it’s the second-largest manufacturer in the world. For guests looking to pick up a new pair of glasses, Sabae has some of the most stylish and innovative designs available in the world.

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    The Megane Museum showcases the history of glasses production in the city with exhibits that go back to the roots of the industry in the city over a hundred years ago. Originally, Japan was introduced to glasses by China in the 16th century. The country began its own production over the course of the next century. Sabae itself became involved in the glasses industry in the early 20th century, when many farmers would learn to make glasses as an extra source of income.

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Visitors can take a tour of the museum to dive into the history of the city’s glasses industry. The museum features classic examples of the original glasses designed in the area and the tools used to make them. Follow the progression of the glasses industry from hand-carved frames to the invention of titanium frames, which originated in Sabae. In the age of mass production, it’s really interesting to see the actual processes that go into making a pair of glasses by hand. The works of many local artisans are also featured throughout the exhibit.

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    There are plenty of things for guests to do at the museum. For example, if guests can make 5-7 visits, they can take a workshop where they make their own pairs of glasses by hand. The cost of the program is 18,900 yen and reservations must be made in advance. For a faster and cheaper souvenir, guests can make mini glasses for 500 yen. These tiny glasses are on a strap that can be attached to the strap slot of a cell phone as decorative accessories.

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Eyeing Up Fukui’s Megane Museum

    Apart from the museum and the workshops, the Megane Museum also has a cafe area and a sweets shop that feature pastries and snacks from all over the city. After a coffee and snack, visitors can go into the museum’s glasses shop. Stocking over 3,000 items from 40 companies, this is the perfect place to pick up a pair of glasses or shades. The shop even does eye exams to check customer’s prescriptions so the glasses are ready to go when they leave the store.

    The Megane Museum is free to enter and open 10am to 7pm every day apart from national holidays. To get to the museum, visitors should get off at Sabae Station and take a short, 10-minute walk to the museum. Visiting the museum is a great way to find a unique souvenir whether you go for a new pair of glasses or just sweets in the shape of glasses.

    Megane Museum
    Address
    Fukui Pref. Sabaeshi Shinyokoe 2-3-4 Inside the glasses hall
    Phone
    0778428311
    Sabae
    Address
    Fukui Pref. Sabaeshi Asahimachi 1-chome
    Phone
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