This unique museum inspired by “singing sands” is home to the world’s biggest hourglass. Located in the small coastal town of Nima, the museum is a testament to the beauty and wonder of Kotogahama Beach. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Shin Takamatsu, who was born in Nima, the museum features six glass pyramids that are both eye-catching and inviting.
One of the main attractions of the museum is the world’s biggest hourglass. Unlike traditional hourglasses that measure time in hours or minutes, this hourglass measures the duration of a year. It is a truly mesmerizing sight to behold. The hourglass is set in one of the glass pyramids and stands tall, towering over the small town of Nima.
Every year, on December 31 at 11:55 p.m., the huge hourglass-shaped timer is turned half a turn to start the new year. As the clock strikes midnight, one ton of fine sand begins to trickle through an aperture less than a millimeter wide. It takes a full year for the contents to flow into the bottom, marking the passage of time in a truly unique and captivating way.
The museum also showcases sand sculptures and sand from around the world and japan. It is a celebration of the beauty and diversity of sand, highlighting its importance in shaping our world. Visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the sculptures and learn about the different types of sand that exist.
In addition to its main attraction, the museum offers a variety of hands-on workshops, mostly focusing on glass. Visitors can learn about the art of glassmaking and even create their own glass masterpieces. The workshops are a great way to engage with the art and craft of glass and gain a deeper appreciation for this delicate and beautiful material.
For those looking to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area, the museum is surrounded by a large park and play area. It is the perfect spot for families to unwind and enjoy some quality time together. Children can run around and play while adults can take a leisurely stroll and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
Just a short distance from the museum is Kotogahama Beach, a stunning stretch of white sand that spans over a kilometer. The beach is known for its singing sands, a rare phenomenon found in only a few places in Japan. As you walk along the beach, you will hear the fine white sand squeakily “sing,” creating a unique and enchanting experience.
Kotogahama Beach is also a popular destination for beachgoers and nature lovers. The turquoise sea and gentle waves create a picturesque setting that may remind you of a tropical island. It is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
For history buffs, a visit to the nearby Iwami Ginzan silver mine is a must. Just a five-minute walk from the end of Kotogahama Beach, this historic site offers a glimpse into Japan’s rich mining history. Silver was once shipped out from this mine, and visitors can explore the old tunnels and learn about the mining techniques used in the past.
To reach the museum, there are several transportation options available. Visitors can take the JR Sanin Main Line, a plane, or a bus. Hagi-Iwami Airport offers flights from Tokyo, providing a convenient way to reach the museum. From Nima Station, it is just a 10-minute walk to the museum. The huge glass pyramids towering over the small town make it impossible to miss.
In conclusion, the Nima Sand Museum is a truly unique and captivating destination. Inspired by the “singing sands” of Kotogahama Beach, the museum is a celebration of sand and its beauty. The world’s biggest hourglass is a sight to behold, marking the passage of time in a mesmerizing way. With its hands-on workshops, beautiful surroundings, and nearby attractions, the museum offers something for everyone. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or a history buff, a visit to the Nima Sand Museum is an experience you won’t soon forget. So, make sure to add it to your travel itinerary and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of this incredible museum.
Address And Maps Location:
975 Amagouchi, Nima-cho, Oda-shi, Shimane-ken