Restoration & Repairs
Know before you go ! Castles often undergo repairs due to age, earthquakes and typhoons. There's nothing worse than traveling to a castle only to find the scene ruined by scaffolding. It's a good idea to check the castle website for any information about closures or repairs before you. Any information I have about current castle repairs or new construction will be detailed below. If you have any new information not listed here please send it to me
to help others. Where available, the castle names link to a public page with more details about the repairs.
||Vast repairs to the plaster and roofing of the main keep and some general restoration and repair of other structures. Visitors will be able to enter the main keep for most of the time period but the scaffolding will go up after the 2010 cherry blossom season. See this link for more details. From 4/12 you will not be able to enter the main keep for the next 10 months. Crowds are expected to be very large until then. Check out the pictures on this blog from the weekend of 3/14. Wow, the cherry blossoms haven't even bloomed yet. Scaffolding is starting to go up in places outside the keep now. This site is posting weekly updates of the construction progress. If you want to go, go soon!
||January 2010 - March 2011
||Replace the roof tiles and various repairs to the exterior of the tenshu due to aging. Repairs were also conducted on the Inui Yagura from Oct 2009-March 2010.
||10/21/2008 - March 2011
||Extensive repairs and restoration of the foundation and the palace itself.
|Aizu Wakamatsu Castle
||3/19/2010 - 3/27/2011
||Replacing the roof tiles of the main keep and other minor repairs. Aiz Wakamatsu supposedly had red roofing tiles at the end of the Edo Period so the new ones will be red to fit the image of the reconstructed castle from this period. Red roof tiles were quite rare in Japan so this should be an interesting change. The main keep museum will remain open the entire period. The covering and scaffolding will be removed in stages starting in December 2010.
||7/2/2009 - 3/16/2012
||Restoration of the main foundation and stone walls. They've completely disassembled the stone walls to fortify the foundation and are rebuilding it using original techniques and materials. See the website for many pictures and details.
||2011 - 2032
||Kyoto City has put together a 21 year plan to restore all 28 of the historical buildings on the Nijo Castle grounds. This is the biggest repair and restoration project since the castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. I haven't seen a detailed timeline for which buildings will be under repair or when but I'll add details here as soon as I find them.
These are new reconstructions of castle buildings. It usually take several years to complete but doesn't significantly affect enjoying the castle. Recent reconstructions are much more faithful to the originals than some of those in the past. Sometimes they go to great lengths to find any authentic materials about the original buildings, even offering rewards.
||Rebuilding the original Honmaru Palace in three stages. Does not affect enjoying the castle today.
A note about repairs
When making repairs to historical buildings or sites they must make every effort to use traditional materials and methods. If a roof starts to leak they can't simply fill the hole with putty. It may be acceptable as a temporary first aid measure, but in the long run all repairs need to be done as authentically as possible. For this reason, repairs often take longer than we would like, but let's support their efforts for the sake of generations to come.