Onjoji’s bell is said to be one of the best temple bells in Japan, together with the bells of Byodoin Temple in Uji and Jingoji Temple in Kyoto. The bell of Onjoji is said to have the most beautiful resonance in Japan, and even common visitors can strike the bell by paying a small fee. About 10,000 visitors annually strike the bell for a fee. The bell in the first photo housed in the old bell tower is it. This old bell tower was built in 1602 and is designated as an important cultural asset. But the bell is not actually the original one but the second generation. The original bell, made in the 8th century, is shown in the second photo. This very old bell is the second largest one in that period after the bell of Todaiji Temple in Nara. It is said that this bell was once taken by force by Benkey, a famous monk soldier of Enryakuji Temple for his marvellous strength, in the 13th century. In fact, there are many scratches and cracks on the surface of the bell. They are supposed to be made when Benkei dragged the bell all the way to Enryakuji Temple at that time.
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