Every 20 years the Shinto temple at Ise is rebuilt. It is an exact copy of the one that has stood there for the last twenty years. They alternate the sites so that they can complete one before taking down the last. Depending on which source you trust, this has been going on, in one fashion or another, for between 500 and 2000 years. They have already begun the rebuild for 02013 by harvesting the cypress trees (shown above as they were walked through Tokyo’s Rappongi district during the ‘Okihiki’ event on Feb 4th 02007).
The 20 year cycle is an interesting one. It is just long enough for one generation to teach the next. This tradition has allowed this structure, made of rice paper and wood, to last at least centuries. Below is a very rare picture of both temples. Right as one was completed, and before the last was disassmebled.