A New Wave in Japanese Souvenirs! Music Boxes—The Collectables Sold in Travel Hot Spots Across Japan

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Written by Editorial department

When it comes to souvenirs from Japan, most people go for food, toys, anime or stationery goods. Surely these are great, but why not really commemorate your trip with a travel-sized souvenir that not only delights your senses, but also comes in so many different shapes and sizes to try!

3 Music Boxes: the Japanese Keepsakes You’ve Been Missing

A Music box entertains us by crystal clear nostalgic melodies, with delicate and glittering appearance.
You can find these treasures at Orgel Doh, a specialty music box museum and souvenir shop located in tourist destinations across Japan including Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kamakura, Kyoto and more. Inside you’ll find a full range of cute, iconically Japanese and regionally themed music boxes to commemorate your trip. Here are 3 staff picks that we love.

#1. Retro-style “Steam Clock”: the Iconic Symbol from Otaru Music Box Museum in Hokkaido

The Steam Clock Music Box
The Steam Clock Music Box

Themed after the original steam clock located outside the flagship Otaru Music Box Museum shop. It even doubles as a real clock!

Price
4,180 yen (tax included)
Available at
Otaru Music Box Museum Main Building

This shop sells Japan’s biggest collection of music boxes, with over 25,000 pieces available in 3,600 designs. The flagship store is located along the historic streets of Otaru, a famous tourist destination in Hokkaido. You can spot this over 100-year old building easily by its grand, retro brick exterior, and iconic steam clock outside which always makes for an insta-perfect photo spot.

The steam clock outside Otaru Music Box Museum
The steam clock outside Otaru Music Box Museum

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#2. “Kamakura Great Buddha Music Box”: a mini memento of Kamakura’s Biggest Icon

Kamakura Great Buddha Music Box
Kamakura Great Buddha Music Box

Designed after the Kamakura Great Buddha with a rounded mini look and sweet expression, it’s sure to charm you.

Price
2,860 yen (tax included)
Available at
Kamakura Music Box Museum

In Kamakura, there are many Buddhist temples and historic landmarks, as well as modern little cafes and shops. You can find the Kamakura Music Box Museum just in front of Hasedera. It exhibits over 6,000 different music boxes featuring 1,000 different designs, many of which are unique pieces only available in Kamakura.

Kamakura Music Box Museum
Kamakura Music Box Museum

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#3. Lucky Maiko Dancer Music Box: a Kyoto-esque Keepsake

Lucky Maiko Dancer Music Box
Lucky Maiko Dancer Music Box

This all original music box blends the designs of the famous Kyoto maiko with the Japan traditional waving “lucky cat” character that many know and love.

Price
3,080 yen (tax included).
Available at
Kyoto Music Box Museum Saga

Kyoto Music Box Museum Saga is located in the Saga/Arashiyama area, a Kyoto-representative tourist destination brimming with seasonal scenery, historic Kyoto sights, culture and plenty of old world charm you can enjoy all year around.
At the entrance you’ll find many iconic Kyoto items, like a Maiko-doll greeting you, a music box topped with a rabbit in Kimono, and 3D crystal music box that light up with imagery of famous Kyoto tourist spots.

Kyoto Music Box Museum Saga
Kyoto Music Box Museum Saga

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Summary

Music boxes are an amazing souvenir whose little tune can instantly bring back memories of your travels as if you were still there. Every shop you visit is filled with that invite you to just stay a while and enjoy browsing. There’s even an option to design your own original music box, a perfect gift to share with your special someone.