The city of Hiroshima has been forced to postpone plans to carry out preservation work on the Atomic Bomb Dome after receiving no expressions of interest from specialist companies.
The city government was hoping to begin work on the site, which has UNESCO World Heritage listing, by the end of March.
The dome was built more than 100 years ago and was mostly destroyed by the atomic bomb dropped on the city in 1945, at the end of World War Two.
The city wants to reinforce its steel structures and brickwork walls.
In February, it invited more than 10 firms with experience in preserving cultural properties to bid for the work. None of them responded.
City officials say that they will hold another round of bidding soon after relaxing some of their requirements so that more companies can take part.
Officials suspect a shortage of workers in the construction industry is one of the reasons for the failed bidding process.
The city has also had problems getting companies to bid on rebuilding work for an area damaged by heavy rain and landslides in July last year.