River Way Shoujyou in Sawara : Experience Making The Only One Accessory !

| Culture | Posted
River Way Shoujyou in Sawara : Experience Making The Only One Accessory !
Sponsored links

Do you know about “Tombo-dama” (glass balls)? They’re basically round glass balls with a hole through them, that are created using several different colors of glass, making the number of designs possible practically limitless. “Tombo” means dragonfly and the name “Tombo-dama” was given because of the fact that the glass balls closely resemble that of a dragonfly’s eyes. The name “Tombo dama” is unique to Japan but the history of glass balls is very long, with some even saying that it dates back to before Christ (BC). Generally speaking, in Japan “Tombo-dama” is most commonly associated with the Edo period, with it being most commonly used in the form of ornamental hair pins during those days. Flash forward to the modern world and you’ll see that “Tombo-dama” are also being used in a variety of other accessories, such as necklaces and earrings.

Our model Kumiko Funayama, a huge fan of accessories who has been on the hunt for a traditional “Tombo-dama” accessory, took a trip to “River Way Shoujyou”, an accessories shop specializing in the accessory.

“River Way Shoujyou” is located in Sawara, Chiba prefecture. The view surrounding the shop is charming to say the least.


And the shop itself gives off an aura of great historic relevance. In fact, the building is designated as one of Chiba prefecture’s tangible cultural properties. Built in 1832, the building was said to have been originally used for the production of soy sauce. Even before entering, we couldn’t help but feel our excitement building in great expectation for what was to come.


Upon entering the store, Kumiko found herself gazing earnestly at the multicolored “Tombo-dama” that lay before her eyes. Admiring the “Tombo-dama” is one thing, but at this store you even get the chance to make your very own!




You choose your desired color, then while using a blowtorch to melt the glass, you make it into a round shape.


All first-timers can do it too! Ms. Kase, the person in charge of the store, will be sure to assist you in the creation of your “Tombo-dama”. Kumiko chose a pink and white glass rod and decided to make a marble patterned “Tombo-dama”! You need to shape the glass while it’s hot, so the glass shaping process is completed in about 15 minutes. After this, you set aside the glass to cool for about 1 hour and the glass making process is completed.


After finishing her “Tombo-dama”, Kumiko threaded a string through it and made herself a necklace. She felt fully satisfied having made a cute strawberry milk-colored necklace!




Being able to make your very own accessory, that cannot be found anywhere else in the world surely means double the happiness then too!

Photo by Tsubasa Ishiguchi
Translated by Cheryl Coyle

Sponsored links


River Way Shoujyou
Address : I 3406 Sawara, Katori-shi, Chiba
Nearest Station : Sawara
TEL : 0478-54-1642



I like considering various things and I'm always looking for something new. There are many new things I don't still know in this world. An encounter with new things always makes me excited. I start my journey which finds something new from this site. Finally, I want to find my original life-style.

comments powered by Disqus