KYOTO -- The reliquary hall of Kinkaku-ji temple, a world cultural heritage site in this western Japan city's Kita Ward, was unveiled to the media on Dec. 29 after work to replace the roof's wooden shingles was completed.
Some of the gold leaves gilding the temple that were damaged were also replaced. Sheets covering the hall and scaffolding were removed following the re-roofing work to reveal the golden temple in its entirety for the first time in 18 years.
Some 100,000 shingles made from Sawara cypress, which is water resistant, were used to repair the roof measuring about 320 square meters in total. The re-roofing work began in September. Though the period was overlapping with the autumn tourist season, the temple decided on the schedule as the number of visitors had decreased due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Roughly 10,000 gold leaves, each measuring about 11 centimeters on a side, gilding a phoenix perched on top of the roof and other places were replaced in the same period.
Though the number of visitors to the temple is still less than 10% of an average year, the 64-year-old administrative head of Kinkaku-ji temple told the Mainichi Shimbun, "First we must pray for the end to the novel coronavirus, and then when people can safely travel, we would like them to come and see the revamped hall."
(Japanese original by Kazuki Yamazaki, Osaka Photo Group)