Bell Tower (時の鐘:TOKINOKANE)

Toki-no-kane (Bell Tower)

The Bell Tower, or "Toki-no-kane" in Japanese, was first built in 1624 by Sakai Tadakatsu, one of the highest ranking feudal lord during the Edo Period. Back then, people had been relying on the tower not only to tell the time, but also get informed of major happenings such as New Year's day and other festivities. For example on New Year's eve, the bell was stroke 108 times by the local population, which casts away the 108 desires and sins according to Buddhism. Unfortunately Kawagoe suffered from many huge fire accidents in the past and the tower has been rebuilt a few times.

Toki-no-kane (Bell Tower)Right now the tower is the fourth one and was constructed after the 1893 fire that devastated the city. It stands 16 meters above ground and has 3 stories. Although the tower is now stroke by mechanical means rather than manually, it is still chimes 4 times a day (6:00, 12:00, 15:00 & 18:00) as it has been doing for more than 350 years. Retaining the beauty of traditional Japanese construction, it is indeed the best incarnation of the Koedo atmosphere.

Bell Tower
Building 15-2 Saiwai-cho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama
 Image collection (Flickr)