|Above, crowds on Kyoto's Kiyomizu-dera stage was common before the pandemic. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Japan is looking towards reopening its borders to foreign tourism next month.
However, some locals in Japan are not ready for reopened borders and prefer to keep things the way they are.
According to CNBC:
As countries across Asia reopen to international travelers, Japan — one of the continent’s most popular destinations — remains firmly closed.
That may soon change. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Thursday at a news conference in London that Japan will ease border controls in June.
Locals often celebrate the easing of pandemic-related border restrictions, but some in Japan say they are fine with keeping measures in place.
Japan welcomed nearly 32 million international visitors in 2019 — up from just 6.8 million just ten years prior, according to Japan Tourism Agency.
The rapid increase in tourists caused major draws, such as the culturally rich city of Kyoto, to struggle with over-tourism.
Residents in Kyoto are now saying that “silence is back,” said Miyamoto, who recounted instances where foreign tourists spoke loudly and were discourteous to locals.
Similarly, Lee said that “a lot of people who were quite upset about over-tourism in Kyoto” are now saying “it feels like how Kyoto was 20 years ago — the good old Kyoto.”
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