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“Bell of Time” clock tower in “Little Edo”, Kawagoe

2015.02.25

400 years have passed since the construction of the “Bell of Time” clock tower in “Little Edo”, Kawagoe.
In the old days, the bell was manually rung at specific times, but it now rings to tell the time mechanically, four times a day (6:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00).
It’s also locally known as kanetsukidō, the bell tower.

In 1893, both the bell and the tower burned down and were lost in the Great Fire of Kawagoe.
The town came together to rebuild the tower, with local businessmen, politicians, and scholars, as well as the mayor and prefectural governor, donating an astonishing total of more than 2,700 yen.
Considering that the JR regular train fare from Osaka to Tokyo at the time was only 3.56 yen, you can see that this was quite a large sum at the time. For comparison, the current fare on this route is 8,510 yen.
Of course, the Great Fire burned down many merchants’ shops as well.
But even in such difficult times, the clock tower was so important to the residents that they valued its restoration even more highly.

After passing through the bell, there is Yakushi shrine.
It has been said that there is a significant effect to bumper crops and curing disease, especially eye disease.
This was also burned down once along with the bell of the time, but it has been rebuilt in the following year.

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15−7 Saiwaichō, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama