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Kyoto's Kiyomizu Temple to replace main hall roof for 1st time in 50 years

The main hall of Kiyomizu Temple is pictured in this file photo taken in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. (Mainichi)

KYOTO -- The famed Kiyomizu Temple, a designated national treasure, is set to begin replacing the roof of its main hall in early February for the first time in 50 years, temple officials said.

    The work is scheduled to be completed by March 2020. During the work, visitors will be able to enter the temple premises in Higashiyama Ward, including its well-known wooden stage. However, the view of the temple on its hilltop perch -- one of the ancient capital's most famous vistas -- will be marred somewhat by the temporary roofing that will cover the main hall.

    "The work is aimed at preserving the important cultural property for future generations. We'd like people to tolerate that," said a temple official.

    Kiyomizu Temple has burned down repeatedly since it was first built during the late Nara Period in the 8th century. The current main hall was built in 1633. Its wooden stage is about 12 meters high, around 18 meters wide and some 9 meters deep.

    According to the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education, the refurbishment work will concentrate on replacing the cypress bark that is the main roofing material, and on repainting the walls.

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