The Music Box museum and Steam Clock

Before I left my hotel in the morning I thought I should probably look up something else to do in Otaru other than eat 7+ layers of ice cream. I found out about the Otaru Steam Clock and got excited.

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The Steam Clock 時計

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The problem was that the steam clock only went off on the hour for a little bit, so every time I thought ‘Oh I should hurry over’, I either was no where near or what I was doing wasn’t finished and by the time I finished what was happening it would already be over. The clock was built by Raymond Saunders in Canada. It’s powered by a steam engine and every hour on the hour the clock plays a little tune with steam that comes out of the top of the clock. It’s quite fun to watch. (I did finally make it.) As a fun note, around the same time, shortly after another clock a couple blocks away makes its sounds which you can hear while you’re near the steam clock.

The Music Box Museum 小樽オルゴール堂

The idea that I could dip inside of a building and escape from the heat and learn more about music boxes sounded wonderful. However “Music Box Museum” feels like a misnomer. I would say it’s more of a very intense shop than a museum. It’s 3 floors of music boxes. You can kind of DIY your own music box there. They have everything from heart keychains to intricate boxes and statues. Even wall hanging music boxes.

While wandering around there is a small section that gives off a museum like vibe. It’s full of antique music boxes and a diorama.

There’s also a big music box that you can put a 100 yen coin into to listen to it play.

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But as you walk around you tend to notice that there’s for sale stickers on a lot of these pieces. Next to the Orpheus you can put a coin in there is a little shop counter where you can tell them which expensive antique music box you want to buy. (They are very very expensive.)  But it’s also fun to walk around and look at them, or play the ones that you can touch.

The Music Box museum is open from 9am until 6pm. It’s a very cool place if you want to take a music box home or make your own, or just wander around listening to different ones.

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