The largest hourglass at Nima Sand Museum in Japan

This past weekend, my wife and I had the first “us time” in 10 years more or less since our sons were born.

As such we went to western Japan, Shimane prefecture. My wife and sons had been going to a special inn/hamlet for years, but this was my first time. But in addition to that wonderful stay, which I will post in the L&E forum later, my wife thought I would be interested in visiting here:

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In case your Japanese is rusty, it says this is the largest “one-year” hourglass in the world.

From a distance, it is housed in one of these buildings:

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Actually, the main one:

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Kind of neat. As we walk closer, we get a hint of what is inside

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Knowing that the suspense is killing you, here you go:

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Here are the specifics:

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It says that the clock is 5.2 meters high, 1 meter around, and uses a ton of sand. There is also mention of a special kind of sand being used.

The sign on the side explains the math involved, at least I think so.

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In fact there is not just math, but also science involved. Guess regular sand wasn’t good enough and they needed special stuff:

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And this panel explains what went into making the glass of the hourglass

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They even shared some of the history of hourglasses:

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There were also some other “hourglasses”:

A one-day:

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And a ten-day:

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Back to the one-year “hourglass,” to put the size into perspective, here it is with my 5’2″ wife:

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And that’s about it. Being a WIS, it was quite interesting and I sincerely appreciated my wife for putting up with me. She more or less just sat in the corner waiting for me.

In the end, would I recommend a visit? Hard to say, it really is in the middle of nowhere. Getting there would NOT be easy and then there is the language barrier – nothing was in English. But, if you have a thing for hourglasses, this is really quite neat.

Hope you enjoyed and have a great week,


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