The Otaru Music Box Museum is a popular sightseeing attraction in Otaru. Out of its seven stores across Otaru, we will introduce how you can spend an enjoyable time at three: the Otaru Orgel Doh Main Building, the Antique Museum in Hall Number 2, and the Handicraft Studio Yō-kōbō.

What is the Otaru Music Box Museum All About?

The Otaru Music Box Museum (“Otaru Orgel Doh” in Japanese) is Japan’s largest music box store. Around 80,000 music boxes of 5,000 different kinds are available in just the main building alone.

Walk along Sakaimachi Street away from Otaru Canal, and you will reach an intersection with a solid stone building. This is the main building of the Otaru Music Box Museum.

This building was constructed in 1915 as the main office for a rice merchant. Ever since Otaru Orgel Doh was established here in 1989, the museum has seen crowds of tourists from various countries worldwide, becoming an internationally well-known sightseeing attraction.

On 29 March 1989, it was designated as a historical building by Otaru City. The decorated ceiling and handrails, as well as the corridor on the second floor, have been left untouched in their initial conditions.

The lit-up Orgel Doh building at night looks amazing in photographs!

First, Let’s Head to the Main Building!

Let’s start with the main building. Something you definitely would not want to miss is the steam clock standing gallantly before the building entrance. This steam clock symbolizes the Otaru Music Box Museum and is the largest steam clock in the world, measuring 5.5 meters in height, 1 meter in width, and 1.5 tonnes in weight.

Otaru Orgel Doh’s steam clock was constructed by Mr. Raymond Sanders, a Canadian clockmaker who also made the world’s first steam clock.

The steam clock here is made of bronze and is of the same shape as steam clocks in Vancouver, Canada. Powered by the steam generated in the boiler, the five steam whistles at the top of the steam clock produce a melody comprised of five musical scales every 15 minutes. Have your camera ready in hand for that moment when steam is released from the clock!

Upon entering the building, you will be greeted with the sight of numerous music boxes. The area right after the entrance is where many types of cute music boxes are lined up, including jewel cases and egg-shaped jewelry boxes. Visitors are instantly transported to a magical, fairytale-like world.

The “Orgel Doh Steam Clock” (4,180 yen; tax-inclusive) is an original music box by Otaru Orgel Doh. Memorialize your visit to Otaru Music Box Museum by bringing the mini steam clock back home with you!

Some of these music boxes ha…

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