- Time Bell Tower
Time Bell Tower
A time bell tower in Aikawa that has been telling the time since the Edo Period
Time signal in Aikawa Town started in 1709, by striking taiko drums set within the Sado Commissioner's Office. The first "time bell" was cast with Sado-produced bronze in 1712, under the ordinance of Shigehide Ogiwara, a Sado Commissioner. The time bell rang out to let people know the time until around 1871, but it then went silent. The bell recently began striking again, in the morning and evening. The brick wall is part of a former court building, and the inside serves as the Sado Hangamura (print art) Museum.
Facility Basic Information
- 4 Aikawa Yaoyamachi, Sado, Niigata 952-1545
- Transport Access
- Ryotsu Port Approx 50 minutes by car
- Nearest bus stop
- Sado Hangamura （Honsen [Main Line], Nanaura Kaigansen Line） Approx. 3 minutes on foot from bus stop
- Not Available
Museums, Art Galleries and Resource Centres
Sado Hangamura Museum
Sado Hangamura Museum exhibits a collection of woodblock prints, which are the crowning achievements of the woodblock engraving movement led by late Shinichi Takahashi, a woodblock-print artist and high school teacher. Approximately 260 pieces, centering around Mr. Takahashi's posthumous works and works by amateur artists living in Sado, are on permanent display. You will encounter a variety of print art, including woodblock, copperplate and silk screen prints. The museum also hosts monthly exhibitions and woodblock print workshops (for a fee). The museum building is housed in the former Aikawa Summary Court, the architecture of which contains traces of the Meiji Period.
Kyomachi Street is a main street that connects Aikawa's gold and silver mines with the Sado Commissioner's Office. Kyomachi Street leads up the hill from Shimokyomachi, where the time bell tower is located, through Nakakyomachi to Kamikyomachi. In the past, many residences of both mine-related workers and merchants used to stand side-by-side on this street. The street itself, studded with narrow alleyways, is a reminder of the haphazard town planning that took place during Aikawa's time of prosperity. A symbolic event of Kyomachi Street, "Yoi-no-mai", is held in early June. Dancers, clad in kimonos of the past, dance to the Aikawa Ondo folk song and accompanying music.
Gold and Silver Mines Museums, Art Galleries and Resource Centres Heritage and Relics
Sado Bugyosho Site (Sado Commisioner's Office)
After the discovery of gold ore veins, Sado was placed under the direct control of the Shogunate (tenryo), and the Sado Commissioner's Office was established in Aikawa in 1603. Among the vast facilities that were used to house the Commisioner's residence, the section of the Oyakudokoro (administrative office) was restored in 2000. In addition to judicial and administrative offices such as Yakudokoro and Shirasu (court of law with white sand), the Office functioned as Yoseseriba (a place for gold refining and grading), which is quintessentially Sado's, and has, also, been faithfully restored.
Townscape Government-run Facilities Other
Sashu Oyarikan (Aikawa Tourist Exchange Center)
The perfect base for a walking tour, Sashu Oyarikan was established after repairing a historical accommodation named Sashukan, where celebrities, like famous writers, once stayed. Oyari means "take it easy" in the Aikawa dialect. Sashu Oyarikan has a lounge, exhibition rooms and public restrooms on the first floor, so please feel free to visit us. The second floor is designed for simple lodging for students (18-years-old and up) and is available for training camps, study trips and seminars.
Stores where you can eat and drink nearby
Tea House/Coffee Shop Italian Cuisine
Converted from an old Japanese-style house in the Aikawa area, this dining establishment offers a hotel-like atmosphere with a sense of Sado's long-standing traditions. Enjoy dishes highlighting Sado-sourced ingredients while taking in the stunning views of Aikawa. The outdoor terrace is a perfect spot to enjoy a warm and sunny day. This spot also offers a space for rent, so exhibitions and live entertainment are a common occurrence.
Fish Dishes Sushi
Gin Zushi is an authentic sushi bar located on the Haneda shopping street. Beyond the noren [entrance curtains] awaits a counter made of a single plate. Seasonal fresh seafood is displayed in a sushi topping showcase. Among the menu items, "Sado Sushi" comes highly recommended. This is a good-value meal of sushi, with the day's choice toppings gleaned from the day's catch in the surrounding sea. They also offer a wide selection of à la carte dishes unique to Sado, such as squid dried for one night and mozuku seaweed.
Tea House/Coffee Shop Sweets
Café de Cattleya
Founded in 1958, Café de Cattleya is a coffee shop with stained glass lights, a single flower dressing the tables, and quiet background music evoking the retro feel of the Showa times (1926-1989). It offers a choice of about thirty coffees, all of which are made with scrupulously selected coffee beans, including special blends, local brands, and Irish coffee. Cakes such as apple pies are also popular to eat along with the coffee. It also provides an ample selection of tea and juice.
Casual Eatery Set menus/Rice bowls/Kamameshi(hot pot rice) Soba (buckwheat) and Udon Noodles Tempura/Deep-Fried Dishes
Udon and soba (buckwheat) noodles kneaded freshly in the morning everyday has maintained a great reputation. Isonoya offers an ample selection of noodles including noodles with curry, along with a choice of set meals and donburi (rice with toppings). Isonoya's Set Meal, their number 1 recommendation includes assorted tempura, salad, half-size rice, and a small portion of udon or soba noodles. Fresh tempura is popular for its deliciousness.