Acoustic Gramophone Gallery

Yearning for some good old-fashioned music players?

By Ilona Lin    - 3 min read

The Acoustic Gramophone Gallery is a store and gallery selling and showcasing acoustic credenza gramophones. They also sell gramophone stock, SP records, needle-related products, and reprint CDs. Gramophones are historic wind-up record players that acoustically reproduce sound from a disk rather than a cylinder recorder. It is also an antique instrument that is popular for recording, preserving, and reproducing sound from the 1900s. Back then, it was the precursor of how people shared music.

What first caught my eye was an old portable gramophone, visible at the side of the store through the glass window. Out of curiosity and my passion for classical music, I stepped into the store. It is like time travelling back to the 1900s. The store has an elegant and traditional décor, and a vintage taste in interior design. On the right-hand side, there is an aged poster of “the master’s voice” on the wall. In addition, the store is decorated with various classy portable gramophone and reprinted CDs from 1892-1940 on the first floor. It reminded me of the 1900s Golden Age of Gramophone with popular classical recordings singing in public. Tiny gramophone figures and antique frames with pictures of great musicians can also be found on top of wooden cupboards. There is also an old grandfather clock ticking on the wall. The staff were exceptionally friendly towards us, and I was overwhelmed by their hospitality. It seemed like they appreciated the young generation showing interests in antiques and classical music. They gave us a thorough tour of the store, providing detailed explanations of the many instruments.

The gallery located on the second floor has an exhibition display of several old, acoustic credenza gramophones from 1927. The staff even took out records and played us some classical piano pieces. Standing there listening to Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No.2, and the slightly crackled noises from the early sound recordings, the music gracefully embraced me. Reality slowly shifted away from sight while I allowed my soul to peacefully sink into every note. My tranquil and soothing moment lasted for ten seconds until my partner abruptly tapped me on the shoulder and started asking where the washroom was!  

The Acoustic Gramophone Gallery was an unexpected experience and a delightful surprise. It might be the place that I recommend the most in Tokyo for music-loving travelers. Although it is not particularly fancy and high-class in terms of location, size, and décor, it is a secret gallery between alleyways hidden with antiques and vintage instruments that we rarely get to see in our everyday lives. 

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Ilona Lin

Ilona Lin @ilona.lin

Ilona is a travel photographer, graphic designer and a visual design student from University of Toronto. She appreciates Japan's unique culture and is exceptionally thrilled to share it's beauty through the eyes of her lens. 

Join the discussion

Jihad Mahmoud 3 years ago
Loved the feel in the photos!
Ilona Lin Author 3 years ago
Hi Jihad! Aw Thank you :D