Great Buddha of Kamakura getting major 'health checkup'
Asahi -- Jan 13
The Great Buddha of Kamakura is undergoing its first major "health checkup" in more than half a century.

Trucks carrying the necessary equipment arrived at Kotokuin temple early Jan. 13 to begin the two-month-long procedure on the massive bronze statue.

The 200 yen ($1.70) admission fee to the temple will be waived until March 10 while the 13.3-meter-tall statue is being examined and treated. During this period, it will be surrounded by scaffolding and covered in a translucent sheet. That means visitors will not be able to step inside the 121-ton statue.

The last time the statue believed to have been erected in the 13th century underwent such a major checkup was in 1959, and it took two and a half years to complete.

Officials said 65 million yen has been set aside for the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo to carry out the work.

As the colossal Buddha is a designated national treasure, the organization plans to be extra careful every step of the way. Technicians will use X-rays to determine the state of the statue and an ultrasonic scalpel to remove rust. Pigeon droppings and other stains will be removed by blasting them with water.

観光名所として知られる神奈川県鎌倉市の大仏が、清掃作業のため、13日から2か月間­にわたって拝観できなくなるのを前に、11日、作業の無事を祈願する法要が行われ&q­uot; 国宝に指定されている鎌倉の大仏は、1252年に鋳造された青銅製の仏像で、風雨にさ­らされて汚れやさびが目立つため、13日から2か月間、傷み具合を調べる調査や清掃作­業が行われ、この間の拝観ができなくなります。 これを前に、大仏がある寺の高徳院では11日、大勢の参拝者が見守るなか、法要が行わ­れ、関係者が作業の無事を祈願しました。
News source: Asahi
Jul 25
Aiming to mitigate the passenger congestion due to a surge in inbound tourists, the city of Kyoto proposed Monday a price hike for the one-day pass for public and private bus services. (Japan Times)
Jul 25
Japan's Environment Ministry will set up public wireless LAN services at national parks by the end of fiscal 2017, hoping to draw more overseas tourists. (Jiji)
Jul 21
Japan has changed some pictogram signs used on street corners and created new ones, mainly to help foreign visitors get around more easily, the industry ministry said Thursday. (Jiji)
Jul 20
The number of tourists coming to Japan hit a record high in the first half of 2017. The Japan National Tourism Organization says more than 13.75 million people visited Japan in the 6 months. (NHK)
Jul 18
If you want to visit the Nagoya amusement park on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you'd better go soon. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 17
Spectators, including many tourists, enjoyed a parade of colorfully decorated floats at the annual Gion Festival in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto on Monday. (NHK)
Jul 17
The health ministry will launch a survey to look into medical expenses paid by foreign tourists to deal with an apparent increase in unpaid cases, a source close to the matter said recently. (Japan Today)
Jul 16
A luxury sightseeing train to run near Tokyo has been unveiled at a ceremony with train operators, local officials and the media. (NHK)
Jul 16
The Giga Dinosaur Exhibition 2017, which exhibits reconstructed full-body skeletons and fossil specimens from many dinosaurs, opened at Makuhari Messe in Mihama Ward, Chiba, on Saturday. (the-japan-news.com)
Jul 13
Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, is filled with beautiful scenery, but one of the best concentrations is to be found in the town of Biei. With rolling hills and lush farmland, it’s enough to make anyone stop for a moment and drink it all in, especially if you’ve just come from Tokyo or one of the country’s other urban population centers. (rocketnews24.com)