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Sightseeing Spots In Japan Under Renovation In 2019 - Know Before You Visit

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Temples, shrines, castles, and other major sightseeing spots undergo periodic repairs and renovation in Japan. This article introduces Kiyomizudera Temple and other locations that are under construction in 2019, how much repair work is being done, and how long the renovations will last.

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Major Japanese Sightseeing Locations Undergoing Repairs

People traveling in Japan may be disappointed when a restaurant or museum they want to go to is closed or out of business. Perhaps even more disappointing is visiting famous sightseeing destination, only to discover it is under construction.

Renovations and repair work throughout Japan at train stations and major destinations in preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is currently being carried out.

This article has a list of famous sightseeing spots in Japan that are under repair in 2019.

Most destinations are only under partial renovation. Even though you might not be able to view the buildings or structures up close or go inside, many places are still worth visiting. Visitors can also see large-scale structures, such as castles, during the renovation process and observe Japan's traditional wood building techniques.

Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto

Kiyomizudera Temple

For the first time in fifty years, Kyoto's famous, World Heritage Site-designated Kiyomizudera Temple is having the roof of its main hall replaced.

Most of the building is covered under construction sheets, but visitors can still enter the structure and grounds with over 1,200 years of history.

Expected completion date: March 2020
Admission information: Part of the complex is covered with sheets, but admission is available as usual.

Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle was built by the general Tokugawa Ieyasu and is designated as a National Historic Site for its prominence during the Edo period (1603 - 1868). It is one of the most well-regarded castles in Japan and is a must-see in Nagoya.

As of 2019, the castle keep is under reinforcement renovation. Visitors cannot enter the keep, but there are many things to see still, including Honmaru Palace.

Also, during the last one to two weeks in March, the castle becomes painted in a beautiful delicate pink from the blooming cherry blossoms.

Expected completion date: 2022
Admission information: Visitors can enter the general castle area, but the castle keep is currently closed.

Nagoya TV Tower

Since January 7, 2019, Nagoya TV Tower, Japan's first consolidated radio tower, has been under general renovation and necessary construction to meet higher earthquake-resistant standards.

The entire area, including the nearby park, is currently under renovations.

Instead of the tower, visitors can go to Oasis 21, an ideal area for strolls and taking photos. From Oasis 21, you can capture a great picture of Nagoya TV Tower and its surroundings. Please note that the tower is not lit up at night, so take a photo during the day.

Expected completion date: Summer 2020 (between July and September)
Admission information: Both the tower and the nearby Hisaya-odori Park are closed to visitors.

Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle, is a famous structure in Kumamoto City in Japan's southern Kyushu region. It is the same location as the adorable bear mascot, Kumamon's hometown.

A large-scale earthquake occurred in 2016 in the area. The castle, including the keep and grounds, suffered significant damage, so the structure is currently undergoing extensive restoration work.

Presently, visitors are limited to strolls along the walking route surrounding the castle. However, in fall 2019, part of the castle grounds will be open, allowing for a close-up look at the restoration work.

For details, please check the schedule below.

Expected completion date: The castle keep is estimated to be finished in 2021.
Admission information: Visitors are free to walk outside the castle area. (castle guide)

  • October 5, 2019 - Route #1 Opening
    Upon completion, a route around the outside of the castle keep will be open on Sundays and national holidays (October 5-14, 2019, open daily). However, entry inside the keep will be off limits.
  • April, 2020 - Route #2 Opening
    A special passage for tours will be open.
  • April, 2021 - Route #3 Opening
    Upon completion of the castle keep restoration, the castle will be open to the public.
  • For details, see the official castle homepage

    Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima

    The image of a large, vermilion-colored torii gate (pictured above) standing majestically in the water is symbolic to Itsukushima Shrine in the Miyajima area in Hiroshima Prefecture.

    The gate's position in the water has led to natural erosion over time from the salt water. As a result, the gate is subject to periodic restoration work. The renovation includes repainting and repairing the damaged areas, as well as replacing the gate's roof.

    Schedule: Restoration work begins June 17, 2019. The completion date is undetermined.
    Admission information: Admission is unaffected.

    Famous Sightseeing Spots Offer Visitors Some Never Before Seen Views

    Visiting Japan when landmark sites are under construction can be disappointing, but in most cases, the restoration is only partial and has a minor impact on the sightseeing experience.

    It can be an ideal opportunity to get an inside perspective on the renovation and construction work needed to preserve these world-famous sites.

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