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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 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 let us know.

Legend:    closed    major impact    minor impact

Kyoto

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.

Miyajima

Floating Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine Major Impact
From June 2019
Renovation works on Miyajima's famous floating torii gate started in June 2019. The torii gate is now covered up by a partially transparent scaffolding. Furthermore, a bridge has been built on the left side of the gate (when viewed from the shrine) to aid the renovation works. A date for the completion of the renovation works has not been set yet. In addition, renovation works are currently conducted on the western side of the complex (around the entrance) from September 2020 to December 2022.

Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen Honkan Major Impact
January 2019 to December 2024
In January 2019, renovation works started on the Dogo Onsen Honkan during which the bath house is closed partially over a 6-year period. During the renovation works, two small baths on the first floor remain open to visitors (one for each gender), while the rest of the building, including the rest areas on the second and third floors, gets closed. Some parts of the building will be covered up by scaffolding; however, some of the building's sides will intentionally be kept free of scaffolding to reduce the impact on tourism.

Okayama

Okayama Castle Closed
June 2021 to November 2022
Okayama Castle is closed to tourists from June 2020 until November 2022 due to renovation works on its interior.

Fukuyama

Fukuyama Castle Closed
August 2020 to August 2022
Fukuyama Castle is undergoing renovations from August 2020 until early August 2022. During the renovations, the main tower will be covered in scaffolding and cannot be entered.

Kumamoto

Kumamoto Castle Minor Impact
From 2016 for around 20 years
Kumamoto Castle suffered serious damage in the earthquakes of April 2016. Many roof tiles fell, foundations were damaged, walls crumbled and entire structures collapsed. Five years later, on June 28, 2021, the interior of the castle's main keep was finally reopened to the public, but several other parts of the grounds, including the castle palace, remain off-limit. The castle grounds as a whole are expected to require a total of about 20 years to be fully repaired.