Wwii-era clock tower watches over Osaka

Wwii-era clock tower watches over Osaka

OSAKA - A building in western Japan designed to look like a pendulum clock, with an actual clock on the top, has survived World War II air raids and earthquakes and keeps watch over the city.

The Ikoma Building was built in 1930 in the Art Deco style, and served as the head store of clock and watch importer Ikoma Shoten. It is now known as G.Ikoma Ltd. along the Sakaisuji Avenue office district in Osaka's Chuo Ward. It is still in use today.

The structure was designed by Hyozo So, a leading figure in the Kansai architectural world. The exterior walls are covered with tiles with a parallel scratch pattern and decorated with terra cotta. Seven granite eagle sculptures are placed at the entrance and above the show windows. The area was repeatedly bombed during WWII, but thanks to its solid concrete walls, the building survived the war. The structure was apparently not damaged in the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake, as it uses about 500 pine logs staked into the ground.

The space is now leased commercially, with concierge services, making it the most luxurious feel. The symbol of the building, a clock tower on the roof, still ticks away, watching over the ever changing city of Osaka.

This series explores Japan's architectural wonders and secrets of the past.