Work on the Westward Expansion of the Sanctuary Precincts Now Completed

Nine months after the end of earth-carrying hinokishin that was an earlier phase of this project, the construction for the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts has now been completed. On July 22, the Shinbashira walked in the newly expanded west Sanctuary precincts, thereby formally marking the completion of the work. He also inspected the newly extended area of the West Corridor where an elevator for the disabled is housed. After his inspection, the elevator was formally reopened. Prior to the Shinbashira’s inspection, a thanksgiving service was performed from 8:00 A.M. in the Main Sanctuary by those who were involved in the construction with Oyasato Fusekomi Committee Chairman Hiroyoshi Shimamura presiding. Shortly after 9:00 A.M., the Shinbashira started his inspection by looking around the open area of the expanded Sanctuary precincts and then walked down the newly built West Stairs located to the southwest of Foundress’ Hall 3. Then walking along the stonework wall built along the western edge of the expanded Sanctuary precincts, he went south to use the new slope leading to the area in front of the West Worship Hall. After that, he visited the newly extended first floor area in front of the elevator in the West Corridor. As a result of the construction, the west Sanctuary precincts now measure approximately 75 meters (246 ft.) from east to west and 120 meters (394 ft.) from north to south, for a total of 9,000 square meters (96,880 sq. ft.). The work done after earth-carrying hinokishin ended on October 31 last year included building the stonework wall, installing rainwater drainage systems, and dismantling the former building of Tenri Junior High School. In addition, at the end of March this year, the construction of the West Stairs was completed. In May, three Japanese zelkova trees and four camphor trees were planted in the expanded area of the west Sanctuary precincts. In the beginning of July, the interlocking block paving of the slope on the west side of the Sanctuary precincts was finished. On July 20, the Oyasato Construction Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps spread pea gravel in the expanded area of the Sanctuary precincts–an area that measures approximately 6,000 square meters (64,580 sq. ft.)–which concluded the construction for the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts. With regard to the extension work on the area in front of the elevator in the West Corridor, the elevator hall on the first floor was enlarged by approximately 2.8 meters (9.2 ft.) from east to west and 3.6 meters (11.8 ft.) from north to south. This enlargement makes it easier for wheelchair users to transfer to and from an indoor wheelchair. Although the newly expanded Sanctuary precincts and the new slope are now open to the public, some work is still underway in the area to their west, where parking lots and a 12-meter-wide approach leading from Naka-oji Avenue to the slope are being built. These facilities will be available by the Autumn Grand Service. Also the iron stairs near the east end of the west basement entrance of the Main Sanctuary leading on to the precincts will be replaced with stone stairs. The work is planned to begin in the middle of August.

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