Monday, April 12, 2010

A gem of a place

"Amber, much loved around the world throughout human history, is a mysterious portal to the ancient world of its own origins. The Amber Museum unveils the secrets of amber for you to see, touch and experience."
-- from the museum's pamphlet (hooray for it being in English!)

The only amber museum in Japan is in Kuji, and it's just 10 minutes away from my apartment, set near the woods. It's a very nice place, with many displays of amber and hands-on exhibits.

The first thing I saw when I visited was the "Stone of the Sun"...(which kind of looks like a giant football in this picture, ha)

According to Greek mythology, part of the sun crashed down to Earth into the ocean and broke into a million pieces, creating amber.

Amber supposedly has healing and relaxing powers. The museum has an amber embedded floor to walk across. I can't say I experienced any relaxing powers when I walked across it -- actually, it kind of hurt my feet!

I learned that Kuji is one of the world's leading amber producers, and the amber in Kuji is among the oldest in the world processed into ornaments. Kuji's amber is from the late Cretaceous Period, about 85 million years ago.

The museum is part of an "amber complex," which also includes an amber work studio, a spot to dig for amber, an old amber mine tunnel, an amber shop, a shrine, and a restaurant.

As the pamphlet says, the complex is a good place to "enjoy a deep, refreshing breath."

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I knew there was an Amber museum in Kuji, but I don't know why we didn't go there. I mean come on it's not like we did a lot. LOL JK