- 2 Chome-25-1 Ogikubo, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 14 minute walk from JR & Tokyo Metro Ogikubo Station
Ring in the New Year at Chudoji Temple
Chudoji Temple in south Ogikubo has a huge hanging bell, which you can ring on New Year’s Eve. Most temples limit the number of people who can ring the bell (usually up to 108 people) but Chudoji allows anybody to ring the bell once you sign up at the reception desk. On New Year’s Eve, the temple opens its gate at 11:30 p.m., and the people who have signed up start to strike the giant bell with a battering ram-like hammer at around 11:45 p.m. to literally “ring in” the New Year.
Chudoji Temple is registered as a Cultural Asset of Suginami Ward. During World War Ⅱ, the temple’s bell, weighing 450 kilograms (about one half ton), was confiscated by the Government to be melted down for ammunition or supplies. After that the bell tower, also serving as the gate of the temple, became so light that it wobbled on very windy days, so the temple decided to hang a concrete block as a weight instead of the bell. After the war, a new bell was contributed to Chudoji Temple from another temple. The bell you see today is this contributed one. The concrete block is still preserved in the compound as a memento.
[Updated October 2018]