It might not be the top of your Kanazawa to-do list, but this museum is surprisingly lovely, especially if you visit during one of the performance times.

Housing gramophones from a carefully built private collection, it is a charming dedication to the history of the world’s recording systems. From Thomas Edison’s first experiments in 1877 to the stylish designs of the 20th century machines, the journey of recorded sound is followed with astonishing detail. Amassed by Hiroshi Yokaichiya, who owned a gramophone shop before the war, the collection includes bought and refurbished items he found himself, with models from around the world.

At 11am, 2pm and 4pm each day, a selection of gramophones are played, offering visitors a chance to hear the sounds of the past. The presentation is in Japanese, but they have a folder with all the information in that they’ll give you to follow along. On Sundays at 10:30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm there is a Pianola performance (also known as ghost pianos, they play using pneumatic pressure, so the keys move but no one presses them). Sunday is the best time to go, so you get a double performance, but even just the gramophone part is great.

Other Kanazawa Attractions