A beautiful “new” organ in Tokyo 〜 イギリス製パイプオルガン@東京の本郷中央教会

2016-10-3-hongo-church-5-of-14Today I went to see a nineteenth-century English pipe organ that was recently installed in Tokyo’s Hongo Chuo Church.  It is a charming instrument typical of the period, with painted pipes and a luxurious selection of 8′ stops.  It fits the 1920’s church building so well that you’d assume it has always been in place.  Church organist Ms. Ikeda kindly met me today to show the instrument and talk about the installation.  Well-known Japanese organ builder Munetaka Yokota found the organ and did the restoration work, which is superb.  The speech of all the stops is sprightly, and each rank of pipes has a unique character.  Much like the Tickell organ at Rikkyo University, any stop will blend with any other stop on the organ, giving the organist a large choice of sounds from a relatively small instrument.  I look forward to hearing concerts on this unique instrument.  Congratulations on an excellent choice, Hongo Church!   Below are photos of the church and instrument (click to enlarge).


organ viewed from the pulpit

organ viewed from the pulpit 説教壇から

organ viewed from side balcony

organ viewed from side balcony バルコニーから


original church furnishings

original church furnishings 会衆席は作られた当時からのままです

The church exterior is difficult to photograph.  It’s in a very congested part of the city, and is hemmed in by signboards, electrical wires and heavy traffic.  This will give you an idea:





These photos are for organists and other maniacs.  The stop jambs of the organ.  Click to enlarge.


This entry was posted in England, Music - general ~ 音楽:一般, Organ ~ オルガン関係, Tokyo ~ 東京. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A beautiful “new” organ in Tokyo 〜 イギリス製パイプオルガン@東京の本郷中央教会

  1. Nigel says:

    Good heavens, This looks like a classic organ from one of those Methodist chapels in Wales…..just imagine what the little old ladies in the congregation would say if they knew where their organ had landed up. But it’s fantastic to think of an organ from an old Yorkshire firm getting a new lease of life in Tokyo – and the way it fits into the church is remarkable.

  2. scotto says:

    It is amazing, isn’t it, how well it fits? The church was originally Methodist, so it really is the instrument that should have/could have been there from the start. Apparently the original building had an organ, but it was destroyed with the church in the 1920’s great Kanto earthquake. They have been without a pipe organ since then, so this is a major change for the congregation. And it is really a beautiful sounding organ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.