Sounding through clouds of flowers – is it the bell in Ueno or Asakusa?
What was alluded to in the this well-known Haiku by Matsuo Basho is this bell. The “bells of time” played the part of informing Edo citizens of the time of day. This bell on Ueno hill was one such bell.
The first bell was cast in 1666. The present bell was recast at the Kanno-ji temple in Yanaka in 1787.
Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers protecting the belfry, the bell issues it’s time-honoured sound three times a day – at 6am, 6pm and at noon.
“The bells of time” has been selected as one of the “one hundred selections of Japanese sounds and scenes which will remain forever”, settled by Agency of environment since June 1996.

Near the end of our visit to Ueno Park we noticed a sign upon which the above text was engraved. I couldn’t resist hanging around for 20 minutes just to snatch a recording of the 6pm ringing.

Recorded on 16 March 2009