|Above, tourists flock to the stores below Kiyomizu-dera. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
A new article in the Asahi Shimbun is an excellent example of why foreign tourists visiting Japan (or any other foreign country) should be respectful and on their best behavior while touring.
According to the article, Kyoto residents are getting weary of the "hordes" of tourists visiting the ancient capital.
KYOTO--Endless crowds, unknown neighbors and unruly behavior have drained many residents here of their sense of “omotenashi” (hospitality).
They now say that the hordes of overseas tourists who keep coming to the ancient capital are eroding the quality of their traditional lives.
In 2015, a record 56.84 million tourists visited Kyoto and spent nearly 1 trillion yen ($9.12 billion), also a high, according to the Kyoto city government. The spending was up 30 percent from the previous year.
The central government is continuing its campaign to draw sightseers from overseas countries to revitalize local economies suffering from population declines.
But in Kyoto, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, some residents are begging for an end to the rush.
They say the numbers have “exceeding the limit” and are describing the situation in the city as “pollution by tourism.”
|Above, visitors cover the stage of Kiyomizu-dera. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
We visited Kyoto two years ago, but the visit was during the off-season and we had no problems while visiting the city. It is possible that during the summer vacation season it is a whole different story.
We took a half-day organized bus tour that originated out of JR Kyoto Station.
|Above, the tour group photo taken at Kiyomizu-dera.|
To read more, go here.