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小樽オルゴール堂 本館 Otaru Orgel Museum Main Building

  • Shopping (Shop)
  • Around Otaru
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  • ClosedOpen Every Day

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Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

Around Otaru
4-1 Sumiyoshicho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido, 047-0015, Japan
  • Shopping (Shop)
Opening Hours
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/07/14

European style music in Otaru?

  • Sightseeing

When sightseeing in Otaru, while walking along the short street close to the canal, you see so many different shops, restaurants and cafes. Some of them are quite rare in Japan as they were influenced by European cultures. One place in particular has contributed to develop Otaru, music box shop named Otaru orugooru dou.

The word of orugooru, which comes from the Dutch word "orgel" is now the common name for a music box in Japanese. In the shop, however, the boxes are more like small toys.

Otaru orugooru dou is also a kind of music box museum, and some of the very rare, classic and valuable music can still be played. My recommendation beside purchase is that you check the recital schedule at the entrance(each one is 15 minute long) and let your heart flow in the medieval European field!

Date of post:2015/07/07

Embraced with nostalgia by music from the heavens

  • Historical Building

Orgel is Dutch word, means music box in Japanese. In Tokugawa era Japan had the seclusion policy to restrict the foreign trade with only China and Dutch who first introduced music box to Japan; Japanese thought it a kind of organ, pronounced orgel in Dutch.

Orgel Doh is not appeared a shop but the museum of music box. The building is a designated historic landmark of Otaru, it was constructed in 1912 as the main office of the prominent rice millers and dealers in Hokkaido. It has a unique structure of the brick on wooden framing different from other historical buildings with stone in Otaru. Its exterior looks like stately building with glazed dark-red bricks and arch-shaped windows in the Renaissance style, the inside is made of zelkova tree, especially featuring a large hall with vaulted ceiling arranged with the corridor on the 2nd floor, so the building is the art itself.

I do not know any other orgel shop holding not only many varieties but also huge number of (more than 25 thousand!) music boxes in Japan. The collection of music boxes are as beautiful as looking like jewelry or high grade confectionery boxes, especially the boxes covered with glass or the glass figures boxes represent Otaru as a glass city.

Otaru Orgel Doh operates five shops in the center of Otaru, and the Main Building is located at the end of Sakaimachidori street, just facing to Merchen Crossloads. The Hall No.2 Antique Museum is the forth building to the north from the main building, this museum shows antique big sized music boxes from Europe, and I would like to recommend the performance show of Aeolian Pipe Organs Antique Music Box and other three music boxes, the show starts at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00 for 15 minutes, admission free.

Another recommendation is the view point to look down at Merchen Crossloads, at the observatory on fourth floor of LeTAO Main Building which is the northern opposite side of Orgel Doh Main Building. LeTAO is the most popular confectioner in the area operating 6 shops, and if you need a rest why don’t you visit the café on the second floor and enjoy the cake set at ¥864 (JPY), my favorite is Double Fromage (rare cheese cake) with tea.

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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