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Sam's Japan Travel Journal
by Sam, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2017/02/16 - Renovations start at Kiyomizudera's main hall

Kiyomizudera in Kyoto has been undergoing significant renovation works on many of its buildings since 2008. As the final phase of this large renovation project, the temple's most iconic building, its main hall, will be renovated; namely by replacing its famous thatched roof.

During the renovation, the building will be covered up by scaffolding and a temporary roof, with the construction of these preliminary measures having already started on February 6th. By June this year the cover will be complete, obscuring the main hall so that the renovations of the roof can commence. Despite being covered however, the hall will remain open for visitors to enter.

Heading into the temple
Business as usual on the main stage
Views of Kyoto unobstructed
...This down below however
Visitors gather on the main stage
Most of the temple's main practices are going ahead as usual

The last time the roof was renovated was around half a century ago, since which the roof has become gradually thinner. Accordingly, these renovation works will increase the roof from its current thickness of 9 centimeters, to 17 centimeters. All works on the temple are scheduled to be complete with the cover and scaffolding removed by by March 2020.

Looking up
Spot the crane
Beautiful scenes despite renovation work
From here it's plain to see the roof needs work
Scaffolding

At this early stage, the scaffolding beneath the main hall is beginning to take shape, rising from the ground up to the famous stage in the form of long wooden beams tied with wire to leave the structure looking as natural as possible. The scaffolding remains predominantly below the main hall and doesn't majorly obstruct views from the stage, with the biggest eyesore at present being the large crane used to hoist the heavy timber up into position. There is still no sign of the roof cover, and, the odd small clang of tools aside, the area remains quiet.

View from the Koyasu-no-To pagoda
Looks sturdy
Men at work
The crowds above
Getting a good look at the work area

Construction is also taking place on the Saimon gate near the temple's entrance, which remains covered with scaffold. In addition, the Amida Do and Oku-no-In halls adjacent to the main hall are partially affected but look to be coming towards the end of their individual renovations.

Gazing on Amida Do and Oku-no-In halls
Amida Do undergoing renovations
Vibrant colors
Saimon gate covered up
Many of Kiyomizudera's buildings are untouched

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List of Posts:
2017/02/21 - Tokyo Early Spring Update
2017/02/16 - Renovations start at Kiyomizudera's main hall
2017/02/09 - Crane Watching in Kushiro
2017/02/07 - 2017 Asahikawa Winter Festival
2017/02/06 - 2017 Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
2017/02/06 - 2017 Sapporo Snow Festival
2017/01/20 - Craft Beer Japan: Osaka
2017/01/16 - Early Blooming in Atami
2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/09/13 - Walking the Roots of Japan
2016/07/28 - Hakone Update
2016/04/26 - Tonami Tulip Fair 2016
2016/04/19 - Kyoto Railway Museum