An hourglass at a museum in Shimane Prefecture that measures the duration of a year has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's largest, the museum said Sunday.

The hourglass, built at the Nima Sand Museum in Oda, is 5.2 meters tall and has a diameter of 1 meter. It began ticking on Jan. 1, 1991, using quartz sand from Yamagata Prefecture. One ton of the sand is designed to fall through the glass container over a year.

The record was published on Sept. 10.

Previously, the world's largest hourglass in Guinness World Records was 1.06 meters tall with a diameter of 38 cm. It was made by an American.

The recognition came after the publisher of Guinness World Records confirmed the size of the museum's hourglass and sounded it out about registering the device, a museum official said.

The hourglass, named Sunagoyomi (sand calendar), is housed inside a glassy, pyramid-shaped structure and serves as the museum's centerpiece. The device is turned upside down once every year to start the count again.

"I have always wanted to see it and am happy that I was able to come after it was recognized (as the world's largest)," said 57-year-old Sawako Yano, who traveled to the museum from Osaka Prefecture with her family.