Naha, Okinawa Pref., Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)–Work to rebuild Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, started Monday, after a fire burned down the UNESCO World Heritage site in October.
On the first day of reconstruction work, open to media, workers moved forward with preparations for demolishing and rebuilding the castle by putting up scaffolding and gathering and moving damaged roof tiles.
Construction work started for the castle’s Hokuden hall, which was completely destroyed by the fire, and the Hoshinmon gate, which survived the fire with partial damage.
The Japanese and Okinawa prefectural governments plan to make the castle available for viewing by visitors to the maximum extent they can while moving forward with reconstruction work.
They plan to reopen the World Heritage site relics located under the Seiden main hall, which was burned down by the fire, during a long holiday period in late April and early May.
“I want visitors to see Shuri Castle being rebuilt little by little,” Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki said during his visit to the castle.
The fire burned down eight buildings at the castle.
Authorities plan to reconstruct the buildings in stages, but they will start work on Seiden, which had had a timber structure, after discussions by experts on materials and building methods.