Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Little Taste of Europe in Japan


I was going through some of my old folders the other day and found these photos of the Kawaguchi-Ko Music Forest. It was one of the most fascinating places Garandee's best friend brought us the last time we were in Japan.


The moment you enter, it almost feels like you've left Japan and gone into one of those fantasy novels set during the Renaissance. It's no wonder why like magic, all three of us started talking funny all of a sudden..

Garando: "Care for some tea, mi lady?"

Garandee: "Oh I'd be delighted, Sir Garando. But we'd like to see the museum first."

Garandee's friend: "It's bloody beautiful, isn't it?"

tolkien 02

The place is at one of the mountain resorts near Mt. Fuji, and that explains why the clouds were hanging so low like my old underwear...


Garandee is a magnet for swans. Either they're just curious or they're guard swans in attack mode.

tolkien 01

I can almost imagine Frodo and Sam happily frolicking around... holding hands, looking gleefully at each other and... never mind.

But the main reason we went there was for the huge collection of antique automated music boxes. You know those wind-up music boxes that played either Christmas tunes or tunes from Disney's Fantasia? Imagine a museum filled with these music boxes only they were a hundred times bigger! Big enough that their main attraction was an entire orchestra!

orchestra 01

orchestra 02

This is an orchestra of dolls playing instruments. It's one humongous music box surrounding the entire hall, it felt like we were looking at the true origin of Dolby Surround Sound!

This orchestra originated from Belgium in the 1800's and was unfortunately abandoned until a Japanese collector decided to purchase and restore it before bringing it back home to Japan. I heard all the music boxes in the museum were owned by that same collector, and to think I saw over a hundred!

I wish I had more photos, but taking pictures wasn't allowed in some parts of the museum... At least I was able to sneak in some videos. Here's a one minute video of their most kawaii (pretty) music boxes!

Garandee mode:
I want that English accent!


Alice said...

Beautiful pictures of the Kawaguchi-Ko Music Forest! The place looks magical... I'd love to be there. :D

Anonymous said...

This is one cool place I'd love to be in. I have added you in blogroll.

Garando said...

@Alice Teh
Thank you! Yeah, almost straight out of a JK Rowling book perhaps? :)

Wow, thanks Sheng! I've added you as well! :)

Anonymous said...

wow garando,those are such great pics! makes me want to go to japan right now! the place is so nice!

do you know that orchestra of dolls that "play" music? they also have that in Dam Square in Amsterdam (on wheels actually), but the ones you have seen in Japan are bigger and much nicer. :)


Garando said...

Thank you, kg! Wow, talaga? Then I guess that must be quite a popular cultural attraction siguro no?

The one in Japan was huge because apparently there were brass pipes behind the dolls. It's the same concept as a pipe organ siguro...the dolls naman were playing the bells, drums and whistles.

Anonymous said...

do the dolls move along with the music?

your pics are really nice! :)

Garando said...

Thank you, kg! Yes, the dolls actually move but it's hard to notice on the video because my camera is bulok. The dolls were ringing the bells, blowing horns and whistles, and pounding on their drums.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Garando, as for the letter, I'll give you H. Thanks for playing along.

Anonymous said...

yes...that's how they are also in Amsterdam. galing ano?

Merry Christmas to you garando and to your beautiful wide garandee! :)

Garando said...

Thanks for the letter! Ok, now it's time for me to start brainstorming.... :)

yup! Ang ganda! waiting for your next batch of Europe photos. :D Merry Christmas din to you and your family!! Is everything all set for your noche buena? Kami cramming na! LOL! :D