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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.

Legend:    closed    major impact    minor impact

Tokyo

Sensoji Temple Minor Impact
Until October 2017
Sensoji Temple's Kaminarimon Gate is being renovated until October 2017. The scaffolding around the Kaminarimon Gate displays a large photograph of the gate, and the works have only a relatively minor impact on a visit to the temple.

Meiji Shrine Minor Impact
Spring 2016 to October 2019
In preparation for the shrine's 100th anniversary in 2020, renovation works are carried out on some of the shrine's buildings from spring 2016 to October 2019. Efforts are made to keep the impact on visitors very low.

Nikko

Rinnoji Temple Major Impact
2007 to March 2019
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 Minor Impact
2007 to 2020s
Toshogu Shrine is being renovated in stages from 2007 into the 2020s. But because only a couple of the shrine's many buildings are affected at any time, the impact on a visit is relatively small and Toshogu remains worth a visit. Renovation on the centrally placed Yomeimon Gate was completed in March 2017.

Kyoto

Kiyomizudera Temple Major Impact
2008 to March 2020
Kiyomizudera's main hall is covered up from February 2017 to March 2020 for the renovation of its roof. Visitors will be able to enter the main hall during the renovations.

Chionin Temple Major Impact
2012 to March 2019
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.

Enryakuji Temple (Hieizan) Minor Impact
2016 to 2026
Enryakuji's main hall is undergoing renovations from 2016 for about ten years. During the renovations, the main hall is covered by scaffolding, but it remains possible to enter the hall.

Nara

Yakushiji Temple Minor Impact
January 2011 to June 2020
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
1998 to 2023
The Central Golden Hall is presently being reconstructed and scheduled to be officially unveiled in October 2018. Further reconstruction works around the hall are planned for many years beyond 2018. Furthermore, the National Treasure Museum is closed during the entire year 2017 for renovations.

Hiroshima

Peace Memorial Museum Minor Impact
September 2014 to July 2018
The Peace Memorial Museum is currently undergoing 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 are scheduled to be completed by July 2018.

Nagoya

Nagoya Castle Minor Impact
2009 to 2022
The castle's former palace buildings are currently being reconstructed next to the main keep until spring 2018. It does not greatly impact a visit to the castle. On the contrary, some of the restoration works can be observed, which can enrich a visit. In addition, the castle's main keep is scheduled to be reconstructed by 2022. The current main keep is expected to be torn down from 2019.

Matsushima

Zuiganji Temple Major Impact
2009 to March 2018
Renovation of the main hall. The hall is wrapped in scaffolding, but as of April 2016, it is possible to enter the hall again.

Hirosaki

Hirosaki Castle Minor Impact
From 2013 for about ten years
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 was moved by about 70 meters to enable renovation works on its foundation and the surrounding stone walls.

Naha

Shuri Castle Minor Impact
From April 2017 to late 2018
Lacquer recoating work is being carried out on the main hall of Shuri Castle. Consequently, the hall is partially covered by scaffolding.

Page last updated: September 1, 2017