Home > News > Tourist Pollution? in Kyoto

Tourist Pollution? in Kyoto

By June 19, 2017 at 11:28 pm

The story has to do with a disturbing movement in one of Japan's most charming tourist town - Kyoto. In a nutshell, the local Kyotoites are less anxious to see foreign tourists come to Kyoto. Why?

Today, sightseeing buses rush in the city of Kyoto day to day and deliver foreigners to afford them a good time in the ancient town that abounds in charming sights. That itself is a welcoming trend, no doubt, but the local citizens of Kyoto look at it in another way.

Like Us on Facebook

The buses are overloaded; illegal homestays rampant and the day-to-day livelihood under threats - to the extent of some areas being vacated amid tourist pollution, they say.

How should Japan, a reputed tourism nation, tackle the pressing issue?

The River Shirakawa runs through the serene Shimpashi district of Gion, with a series of traditional Kyoto houses along the brook. Now, the local residents have just made a major decision: to call off lighting-up the traditional  "cherry trees at evening"  this spring - a tradition since 27 years ago.

Chairman Toshiro Akiyama, 70, of the local chamber of commerce in Gion Nawanote remarks:

"Foreign tourists flood in our area, people come enjoy the cherry blossoms in too large a number for us to handle - what's the point of lighting up the flowers to attract more than we can afford to cater for."

Recently, young couples in the eve of the wedding come even from abroad to take memorable photographs against Kyoto and its scenic charms. Some chance to take pictures right in front of private houses - without any words of thanks, much less with due consent of the resident.

Akiyama-san adds he has called off lighting up the flowers as a message to the city authorities - "Would you leave it at that?" (Nathan Shiga) 

Source; Asahi Shimbun

Related News