Major renovations and constructions

It is unavoidable that sightseeing spots get periodically affected by minor and sometimes major renovation and repair works, especially wooden historical structures, such as temples, shrines and castles. Furthermore, some local governments in Japan are continuing efforts to restore historical structures which have been lost in the past. As a result, a traveler may occasionally come across a sightseeing spot which is closed for renewal or affected by construction works.

In an effort to help avoiding bad surprises due to constructions and renovations, we are maintaining the following list of Japanese sightseeing spots which are currently (or have recently been) affected by major renovation or construction works. Note however, that this list is not complete and that there might be other major constructions going on at spots not listed below. If you know of one, please use the feedback form further down the page and let us know.

Himeji Castle
April 2010
March 2015
Major Impact Major renovation works are being carried out on the main keep of Himeji Castle over several years, during which the main keep will be covered up by scaffolding. See the Himeji Castle page for more details.
Koishikawa Korakuen
Minor Impact Parts of the pond and several structures and walkways at Koishikawa Korakuen are being renovated into 2015 and possibly beyond. The garden remains open during the renovation, but tourists should expect the works to have a certain impact on their visit.
Rinnoji Temple
March 2021
Major Impact The Sanbutsudo Hall, the temple's main hall, is undergoing major renovation works for over ten years. During this period, the temple hall is covered by a huge scaffolding structure, but it remains open to tourists.
Toshogu Shrine
March 2019
Major Impact Several of the shrine's many buildings are being renovated in stages from 2007 to 2019. In the last stage, lasting from 2013 to 2019, the centrally placed Yomeimon Gate and two less important structures are currently being renovated. The gate is covered by scaffolding, but the shrine with its wealth of buildings and carvings is still worth a vist.
Kiyomizudera Temple
Minor Impact Nine of the buildings at Kiyomizudera are being renovated step by step over the coming years. Currently, the Okunoin Hall, which is well known for the temple's secondary balcony and the neighboring Amida Hall and Shaka Hall are being renovated. Furthermore, a few structures around the entrance, including the 3-storied pagoda, have been wrapped up for renovation. The construction has a certain but not overwhelming impact on a visit. Later in the decade, the main hall will also undergo renovation which can be expected to have a bigger impact on a visit.
Chionin Temple
March 2019
Major Impact Chionin's main hall, the Miedo Hall, is undergoing major renovation works that fully started in 2012 and will last until March 2019. During the renovation works, the hall is covered by a large scaffolding structure and closed to visitors.
Higashi Honganji Temple
July 2003
December 2015
Minor Impact The Amida Hall at Higashi Honganji is currently covered up by a huge scaffolding structure for renovation works that are scheduled to last through the year 2015.
Kamigamo Shrine
until 2015
Major Impact Kamigamo Shrine's main building is currently undergoing renovation works that are periodically carried out every 21 years (instead of a full rebuilding of the shrine). During the renovation works, the building is covered up by a large scaffolding structure. The works are scheduled for completion in 2015.
Ujigami Shrine
January 2013
December 2014
Major Impact From January 2013 through to the end of 2014, Ujigami Shrine's main hall is being renovated and covered up.
Yakushiji Temple
January 2011
Minor Impact The Eastern pagoda of Yakushiji is undergoing a major renovation over a time period of almost ten years, during which it is covered up by scaffolding. The other buildings are unaffected and still make a worthwhile visit.
Kofukuji Temple
Minor Impact The Central Golden Hall is presently being reconstructed and scheduled to be completed in October 2018. Further reconstruction works around the hall are planned for many years beyond 2018. Despite the construction works, a visit to Kofukuji is still recommended.
Peace Memorial Museum
September 2014
Spring 2018
Minor Impact The Peace Memorial Museum is currently undergoing major renovations, during which only one of the museum's two buildings will be open to visitors and the number of exhibits will be reduced. The renovations will be in two stages: from September 2014 to spring 2016 the east building will be closed, followed by the closure of the main building until spring 2018.
Nagoya Castle
Minor Impact The castle's former palace buildings are currently being reconstructed next to the main keep until spring 2018. Because visitors are allowed to closely observe the construction works, they can even enrich a visit to the castle. Furthermore, one of the castle's turret is currently being renovated until 2014.
Zuiganji Temple
March 2018
Major Impact Renovation of the main hall. The temple grounds remain open, however the main hall will be closed from September 2009 through March 2016 during which time visitors can view alternate buildings that are not normally open to the public.
Hirosaki Castle
From 2013
for about ten years
Major Impact Major renovation works on the castle's stone walls are carried out from 2013 for about ten years. In a unique procedure, the castle keep will be moved by about 70 meters to enable renovation works on its foundation and the surrounding stone walls.

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Last updated: April 12, 2014
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