by Sam, staff writer of japan-guide.com
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.
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.
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.
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.