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Mayor considering increasing Himeji Castle entry fees for overseas visitors

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What a jerk.

34 ( +66 / -32 )

Interesting to see how Japan is handling the central government's plan to get 60 million foreign tourists (about double last year's number) by 2030.

20 ( +36 / -16 )

"We would like to charge (the equivalent) of around $30 for foreigners and around $5 for residents," Kiyomoto said at the symposium on cultural heritage and natural disasters.

How they decide foreigners? Some East Asia people can be look like Japanese. Some naturalized Japanese nationals can look foreign.

Japan now becoming third world countries where main income come from foreign tourist.

-23 ( +47 / -70 )

Only 3rd world countries have separate pricing for services, because poor locals cannot afford the high prices charged on wealthy foreigners.

Guess which group Japan of 2024 belongs in.....

-20 ( +59 / -79 )

@sakurasuki

How they decide foreigners? Some East Asia people can be look like Japanese. 

A local id present at the time of ticket purchase will be sufficient.

Stuff like this is done in 3rd world countries all the time. First world countries never have separate pricing no matter how crowded it is during the tour seasons.

The only exception is the day visitor tax at Venice, but this is levied on all non city-residents, Italian or not.

-29 ( +37 / -66 )

$30 for foreigners 

Does that include tax-paying foreign permanent residents of Japan?

he wants "to avoid raising the admission fee for local residents."

Do Taro and Hanako from Hokkaido count as "local residents"?

46 ( +51 / -5 )

$30 for foreigners, $5 for residents

This is the message Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto believes will provide a welcoming experience for "foreigners"?

I could stare at the photo of Himeji Castle all day.

9 ( +28 / -19 )

And here we go again,racially profile people by appearance and nationality.

-21 ( +31 / -52 )

a UNESCO World Heritage site, in response to increasing inbound tourism.

Does UNESCO allow different entry fees based on nationality?

33 ( +37 / -4 )

Foreigners are saving the economy and defending the country

Thanks alot japan

-24 ( +33 / -57 )

Seems more like a third world country move to exploit foreigners rather than a logical move.

To don’t mention it has a very strong xenophobic mark.

-18 ( +31 / -49 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

This is the message Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto believes will provide a welcoming experience for "foreigners"?

I don't think he's welcoming foreign tourists, he's sick and tired of them and wants to drive them away.

Unfortunately, the only thing that will drive away foreign tourists is strong yen fueled by a strong Japanese economy, not rudeness or discriminatory pricing.

But Japan has nothing left but finances and hospitality/tourism, manufacturing is all gone. So the foreign tourists will keep coming and coming as yen falls further, just like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, etc.

-33 ( +27 / -60 )

When he says residents, does he mean residents of Himeji, or all residents of Japan? And would that include residents of foreign extraction?

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Not 4%, not 14%, not 40%. Oh no, 400%!

17 ( +22 / -5 )

"to avoid raising the admission fee for local residents."

He said too many visitors could damage the castle's keep

What is the definition of local residents ?

Himeji residents, or the residents of Japan ? This makes a huge difference.

70% of visitors are residents, 30% foreign tourists. Would it be all 1.4 million from Japan, he would not bother about the risk of damages

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Himeji castle looks best from a distance.

I suggest that all foreign tourists find an appropriate convenience store to frame it with and take your 'photos that you will never look at again.'

16 ( +28 / -12 )

Two-tier pricing is common in China. Part of what makes Japan superior has been rising above this kind of nonsense.

-6 ( +23 / -29 )

@rgw1

Two-tier pricing is common in China.

Indeed two-tier pricing is common in many 3rd world countries, but almost unheard of in first world countries.

-27 ( +22 / -49 )

At many places in China it's the reverse. Six years ago when I visited the Summer Palace in Shenyang (formerly Mukden), I showed my passport and was admitted free as I'm over 60.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Now, my eyesight isn't what it used to be, so correct me if I'm wrong. Doesn't the article say that he is considering it? Why all the panic and I-hate-Japan rhetoric? Wait till it happens (if it does) and then go back to your bashing. Well, I might be wrong. Maybe "considering" means "it's a done deal." I'm old, so maybe I'm all wrong here.

3 ( +27 / -24 )

When asked about his reason for the $5 fee, Kiyomoto told reporters Monday that he wants "to avoid raising the admission fee for local residents."

One might get the impression that “local residents” would apply to residents of Himeji City or Hyogo Prefecture, leaving everyone outside that area with a higher entry fee.

But the proposal would likely gain more traction inside Japan if the categories were “Japan resident” and “Foreign resident,” provable with an ID when purchasing the entry ticket.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If he's gonna talk with such disdain for foreigners maybe they should just go to another country.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

The mayor of Himeji, western Japan, has said he is contemplating "quadrupling" entry fees exclusively for foreign tourists visiting Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in response to increasing inbound tourism.

Quadruple is not even close to the ratio in wealth between those who work and actually deal with the massive influx of foreign tourists for minimum wages and the rentier class who benefit from this and the LDP/BOJ officials who create the economic conditions to exacerbate this phenomenon.

It all goes to the top The drama with troublesome tourists is all distraction for the masses.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Indeed two-tier pricing is common in many 3rd world countries, but almost unheard of in first world countries.

They do the same thing in Hawaii and many European countries.

18 ( +34 / -16 )

divindaToday  07:00 am JST

Interesting to see how Japan is handling the central government's plan to get 60 million foreign tourists (about double last year's number) by 2030.

2( +6 / -4 )

It seems like while they see tourism as a good source of income, they want to be unfriendly about it. We have the blocking of that view from Mt. Fuji in another prefecture, and now this. If this becomes a trend among local governments, I fear that it will encourage others to follow suit. I get that tourists are sometimes rowdy and all, but they should be kinder to guests, it's what gives them their income afterall.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

Insane. ¥4,000 entry fee for foreigners. How will they decide who is a foreigner? Most foreigners will stop visiting if there is a two-tier system. Visitors would have to prove their status every time.

The local economy depends on the visitors to the castle.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

I visited Seoul last January with a Korean colleague and we found that I was always charged more when I spoke in English first while shopping at markets and eating out at outdoor restaurants. My colleague mentioned that it was common problem not only for foreigners but for the locals too.

https://www.chosun.com/english/national-en/2024/03/07/MTBUPFUDY5DHZE64MDVN5EAOZU/

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Swell idea. If you have enough money to pay for a trip to Japan, a quadrupled admission fee wouldn’t hurt at all. . Resident foreigners should count as locals, of course. During WW2, the city of Himeji was bombed multiple times by US B-29 bombers but they somehow spared the castle. Quite irrelevant to the proposed fee hike though.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

Samit Basu

I think we both know Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto proposals will cause controversy and consternation

Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto could well regret his foolishness

Why he didn't simply requesting donations on site?

I would gladly contribute extra, to the upkeep of such a breath-taking historic monument.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Maybe my native country should consider charging Japanese nationals 3 times the admission fee for it's tourist attractions.

-18 ( +26 / -44 )

How about the same price for everyone to avoid the awkward questions to foreign residents who pay taxes to show id and prove an address in Japan.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

We live close to the castle in Himeji and often visit the park area, but we no longer go inside the castle. We have been inside about 10 times, but the steep stairs are too challenging for us at our age. Himeji receives government subsidies to help maintain the castle.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

This is why I seldom actually pay to go inside someplace like this.

I’ll just look at it from the outside and save my money to go to another onsen.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Japan does not really want tourists, but wants tourists money.

Is Himeji castle really worth visiting. It's only a replica.

-16 ( +14 / -30 )

BOOOOO. My friend from the US texted me yesterday saying most news reports coming out of Japan seem to have a mostly anti-tourist bent to them.

I told him he was right cuz that's exactly what's happening.

12 ( +31 / -19 )

@Asiaman7 - discounts for residents of the city/state are common everywhere, including Japan. Making national residence into a barrier is unheard of.

I used to live in a city with a historical castle and entry was free if you lived in the city. The default was that you had to pay the fee, but if you lived there and said so, you got the discount. If it's based on national residence, any one who didn't look like a Japanese national would have to be continually insisting that they live here; it is easy to envision officious clerks demanding some kind of proof only from people who don't look Japanese. It would be a very unpleasant experience in a situation that is supposed to be relaxing.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Sum

Today 07:34 am JST

Indeed two-tier pricing is common in many 3rd world countries, but almost unheard of in first world countries.

> They do the same thing in Hawaii and many European countries.

Please name some countries and attractions.

And please leave out the Louvre which is brought up every time and debunked!

The Louvre doesn't change EU residents under 25 because of a EUz younth program that pays their fee.

Otherwise all French, EU, Japanes British American, Canadians, etc...pay the same

-14 ( +14 / -28 )

4000 Yen to enter Himeji castle? Its just a bad deal.

I used to live near the castle and the interior is actually not that impressive. There aren’t many things other than empty rooms to see, and the view from the top is just OK. The only reason to pay to enter is to get some nice views of the keep closer up, but its hardly worth that much (plus you can get lots of decent views from outside the paid area).

I have no problem recommending it at 1000 Yen, but 16,000 Yen for a family of four? Forget about it. A lot of tourists will probably just scratch Himeji off their itinerary at that price, which will probably cost the city more in lost revenue from all the other things they would have spent on than they gain from charging more to those that do come. And Himeji isn’t Kyoto, tourists aren’t overcrowding its buses or causing other issues.

34 ( +34 / -0 )

Only 3rd world countries have separate pricing for services, because poor locals cannot afford the high prices charged on wealthy foreigners.

Guess which group Japan of 2024 belongs in.....

Exactly.

-20 ( +19 / -39 )

I do not understand the problem, except to me it seems there are people who just like to complain to make themselves feel self important.

I have lived and worked in Japan for many decades and now I am retired here for good. There are different admission fees for different places all over Japan depending on different criteria, such as age, city and/or prefecture residency.

With all the money somebody spends to get to Japan and travel around Japan, they are going to get upset and not see the castle because their ticket cost about one Big Mac more than for a local.

If you find Japan to be so offensive, just return to your home country.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

All this "we want to charge foreign tourists more or we want to block foreign tourists" plans/articles can only mean one of two things!

Either Japan is Soo rich it doesn't need any business from outside the country or it is so poor that it needs to gouge every yen it can from those coming here!

I am leaning towards the second choice!

-17 ( +16 / -33 )

I love visiting Himeji castle and walking around the grounds both outside and within the keep. Its history is fascinating.

This is the second such trial balloon floated recently about charging external tourists more. I think the proposals should be framed differently and they might get better traction if actually implemented. Raise the standard admission rates instead to ¥4000 for all adults and offer discounts to those who have certain IDs, with the signs only in Japanese for the discounts. Discounts of 75 percent for those who pull out residence cards, for example, from Hyogo Prefecture. Discounts for seniors and students. Put the onus on those who want the discounts to provide their IDs rather than on those who "look foreign" and it will hide the two-tier system and not annoy those who are willing to pay the regular admission price. Any foreigners who want to argue that they should get the discounted price would be free to do so by pullint out their residence cards or senior citizen cards.

Insane. ¥4,000 entry fee for foreigners. How will they decide who is a foreigner? Most foreigners will stop visiting if there is a two-tier system. Visitors would have to prove their status every time. The local economy depends on the visitors to the castle.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

So everyone can see the traditional xenophobia as part of their Japan experience?

-6 ( +19 / -25 )

All this "we want to charge foreign tourists more or we want to block foreign tourists" plans/articles can only mean one of two things!

Either Japan is Soo rich it doesn't need any business from outside the country or it is so poor that it needs to gouge every yen it can from those coming here!

I am leaning towards the second choice!

So am I.

-22 ( +14 / -36 )

So the 3 top stories on the front page in the "National news" section!

Tokyo's Shibuya enacts ban on street drinking at night in some areas

Mayor considering increasing Himeji Castle entry fees for overseas visitors

Gate installed on Mount Fuji trail to control crowds, but governor says more measures needed

All three include these anti- foreigners anti- tourists notes

Young people and foreign tourists drinking on the streets have become a common sight in recent months. (From the full article on NHK)

> "We would like to charge (the equivalent) of around $30 for foreigners and around $5 for residents,"

> Overtourism has also become a growing problem for other popular tourist destinations like Kyoto as foreign visitors flock to Japan, in part because of the weaker yen.

Anyone else seeing a trend?

This sort of reminds me when programs for foreigners students/trainees started.

Residents of a town in Shikoku demanded that the university put up a barbed wire fence and spot lights around the foreign students residency because " foreign students may just walk into their homes without permission" yeah like that was something foreigners do all the time!

I thought those days were gone but obviously they aren't and are back in full swing!

-15 ( +13 / -28 )

Quaduple is silly but two tier pricing is fine by me. You do it using any form of ID showing residence in Japan, zairyu, my number, hokensho, driving license, seito techo, etc. You make the discount a privilege, not a right, so that no ID, no discount. Japanese cinemas, ski resorts etc. already do this with discounts for "kenmin" (prefecture locals), silver (older people, sometimes just 55), university students and the like.

Following the Kumamoto Earthquake, the repairs to the castle walls there were slated to cost 500 million USD (!). That's just for stone walls under a 1960s replica castle made of concrete. Cultural properties can cost an absolute fortune to maintain, and the money has to be raised somehow.

Since only 30% are foreign tourists, this should be viewed as a fundraising exercise, not an overcrowding one.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

It's a good idea, the increased funds can be used to build more public toilets, trash cans, and for street cleaning etc.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Thankfully I visited enough times for a lifetime when I lived in Hyogo for 2.5 years.

China used to charge foreigners extra to visit places like the Forbidden City and Summer Palace. China no longer feels the need to do this.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

kohakuebisu

Today 09:02 am JST

Since only 30% are foreign tourists, this should be viewed as a fundraising exercise, not an overcrowding one.

You mean like some underdeveloped country gouging foreigners because they don't have any money locally?

-12 ( +14 / -26 )

To yall grumbling about "Racism" - you have proof of residency for a discount, so use it. Problem solved.

Also as someone who lives in a tourist area, I really do not mind higher prices for tourists. If the same income can be achieved with less tourists, then why not? I get the feeling that most grumbling about this, dont live in tourist hotspots.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

carpslidy

It's a good idea, the increased funds can be used to build more public toilets, trash cans, and for street cleaning etc.

Have you never visited? The park/castle/town is very clean. Clean toilets in the castle grounds and nearby.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Good. Smart move. Last time I went there it was stupidly overcrowded and not nice. I was surprised how cheap it was.

At least now they will increase revenue which is needed.

I increased my rental villa rate 2 years ago by 4 times. Now it's more exclusive and I make double the money per year with half the usage and wear & tear. Love this concept.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Simple response, I just won't go there.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

We live close to the castle in Himeji and often visit the park area, but we no longer go inside the castle. We have been inside about 10 times, but the steep stairs are too challenging for us at our age. Himeji receives government subsidies to help maintain the castle.

I have to say wallace, I could not transverse those stairs either, to awake everyday to Himeji Castle is a vision I would pay for.

Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto "foreigner" foolishness could have unintended repercussions backlash.

For local businesses, hospitably industry, a lead in to a "foreign tourist" stay away tax.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The picture is from before October 2009 when the castle was closed for 5 years for renovations. It is much whiter since.

Been there 5 times, 1 month ago last time, just to take pictures from outside.

From 16:00 to 17:00, maybe 2,000 visitors passed by me, I think 90% Caucasian foreigners.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

wallaceToday  09:21 am JST

carpslidy

It's a good idea, the increased funds can be used to build more public toilets, trash cans, and for street cleaning etc.

Have you never visited? The park/castle/town is very clean. Clean toilets in the castle

Yes, I've visited many times over the years

As you say , it's very clean because locals are paying taxes for these services. It's only fair for tourists to contribute

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Brilliant ,don't you just love japan ,they always find the perfect solution to everything .

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

someone needs to say it: boycott!

i know it's easier to say than do.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@ThonTaddeo

@Asiaman7 - discounts for residents of the city/state are common everywhere, including Japan. Making national residence into a barrier is unheard of

Excellent point. I guess the question concerning these comments is the intent of the mayor.

The article initially quotes him as saying, “We would like to charge around $30 for foreigners.”

Then, he is quoted as asserting he wants "to avoid raising the admission fee for local residents."

Perhaps a lower fee for “local residents” of Himeji City or Hyogo Prefecture would be more acceptable.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Local famous castle near my house in England has a tourist price and a locals price. Been like that for ages. Places in USA near where I used to live same system.

Never been any problems. Works very well.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

It's wrong to raise the admission fee just for tourists. It should be raised across the board for everyone. Because JY1000 is a pretty darn cheap fee compared to other tourist spots all over the world.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I welcome his idea.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

What's going to happen when the yen goes back up?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

N. Knight

Today 09:40 am JST

Local famous castle near my house in England has a tourist price and a locals price. Been like that for ages. Places in USA near where I used to live same system.

> Never been any problems. Works very well

When you say local and tourists, do you mean all British residents and non British residents?

I may be wrong but you probably mean local city residents and tourists not from the city meaning British tourists and non British tourists pay the same and only local tax payer of the city or region pay lower!

That isn't what is being proposed here!

But local the Mayor means all of Japan and Japanese citizens even if they don't live in Japan, and by foreigners they mean exactly that!

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

If you really want to draw attention to it - and I'm speaking to any residents here - just go and pretend to be a foreign tourist pretending to be a resident, demand that you pay the local fare, force your way in after leaving your payment on the counter. Get arrested. Then sue.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

I’ve been there. It is a really beautiful temple. I wonder if this increased entry fee will apply to permanent residents too. Why discriminate against foreigners.? If he wants to increase entry fees he should just do it. Does he intend to check the ID of every Asian person that goes in there? I’m sorry, but this guy is an idiot.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Lindsay

I’ve been there. It is a really beautiful temple.

Himeji Castle is not a temple.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Strike Himeji Castle off my bucket list. I've lived in Japan for 18 years. Not only will I never visit your castle, Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto, I will go out of my way to make sure I never spend a yen in Hyogo prefecture again. It was one of my favorite places to go. Your greed is despicable. I still haven't seen Okayama, Ehime, and I want to see Osaka and Hiroshima again, and it will be my first time to travel in the Shikoku prefectures. Sayanora Hyogo.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Been there more than a few times and the stairs to the top rooms would be easier on the legs if an elevator was in place.

Here’s hoping that addition can be added with the extra funding.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

just go and pretend to be a foreign tourist pretending to be a resident

Wouldn’t ID confirming residency be required? (Driver’s license, My Number card)

6 ( +7 / -1 )

As long as he does the price increase after i visit in 3 weeks time lol

Selfish me!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

For a nation now dependent on tourism more than ever, this latest stunt and the other anti-foreign sentiment are not helping Japan. Japan needs the money that tourism brings in, not the other way around, tourists can go to other destinations throughout Asia without the hate and hassle, I understand you have some foreigners that are jerks and that do make serious problems in Japan, but overall, the vast majority of foreigners want to have a good time and more importantly spend money, but if the locals continue to take advantage of foreigners treat them like crap and Japan starts to get a nasty reputation, who will suffer in the long-run and the end, not the Gaijin, that's for sure, they can always go somewhere else.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Great, then everyone can look at it from the outside, or just skip going.

There's a difference between reasonably raising prices across the board, (while creating the two tiers if he wants), and being greedy, exclusionist, and contemptuous in wording.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So, does this mean a quadruple pay rise for the workers there?.....Only one guess allowed. And how much will be raked off as 'Allowances' for local officials?...They will not go short of some extra cash.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

So double standards again, for locals and for foreigners.

Welcome to omotenashi Japan.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Wouldn’t ID confirming residency be required? (Driver’s license, My Number card)

Do you think they are actually going to card people? lol Good luck with that!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Quadrupling the fees? Classy stuff right there from our elected officials. This is called 'punching a gift horse in the mouth'. So the omotenashi thing was an illusion? Selective care?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I understand wanting to have the funds to maintain the facilities. But this not that. This sounds more like pure greed.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Himeji Castle is a stunningly beautiful building, I seldom, if ever, get an urge to visit places, I mean, I woud not bother with places like Mt Fuji, it is just a big hill. But this castle is just outstanding and I woud love to go inside it and explore. The price increase woud mean about 27 euros, which is not to bad, and i woud pay that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This is only for foreign tourists, known as inbound tourism. The foreign community in Japan will be charged the residents price. This is the same in many countries, which charge more for foreign tourists than locals. I have noticed this in China. They have different prices for local and overseas Chinese, as well as foreign tourists.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Makes me want to go there just to make a scene.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

EdwinToday  08:45 am JST

With all the money somebody spends to get to Japan and travel around Japan, they are going to get upset and not see the castle because their ticket cost about one Big Mac more than for a local. 

If you find Japan to be so offensive, just return to your home country.

What you say is extremely far from the truth.

Price for non residents 5 USD.

Price for non resident 30 USD

Does a big cost 25 USD???

in Japan it is 3 USD. In US 5 to 6 USD.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Asiaman7

Perhaps a lower fee for “local residents” of Himeji City or Hyogo Prefecture would be more acceptable.

Himeji/Hyogo versus non-Himeji/Hyogo (with the visitor free to prove residency any way they like) would be fine; anything nationality/"looks"-based is absolutely not fine.

In my old castle town back in the day it was 500 yen normally and zero if you lived in the city. The default was to have to pay, and you had to specifically ask for the discount if you were local/disabled/etc. What you looked like didn't matter as there were plenty of foreign students who were city residents and got in for free, and plenty of Japanese-looking people from other prefectures who paid. This Himeji situation, with its insertion of "foreign" before "tourist", and the gigantic gap (3000 yen plus!) between tourist and local, is ridiculous. It's not like residents of other parts of Japan can afford the 4500 yen he's aiming for, either.

Imagine this mayor's proposal spreading nationwide and cultural properties demanding to see things like residence cards and My Number, as if they were Ministry of Justice officials, from anyone who doesn't look like they live here. (And of course Japanese-looking people who don't live here would walk right in at the regular price.) That's not the kind of society I want to live in.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Tips for anyone wanting to save 4,000 Yen (from someone who lived next to the castle for four years).

There is a building at the very end of the shopping arcade that you walk along between Himeji Station and the caslte. Its called Egret Himeji. It is freely open to the public and you can take an elevator to a viewing platform on the roof which has the best views of Himeji castle. All free.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298191-d6692395-Reviews-Egret_Himeji-Himeji_Hyogo_Prefecture_Kinki.html

Most of the grounds of the castle are also free, its only the central area that requires a ticket. Walking along the moat has some great views and scenery.

Kokoen garden is right next to the castle. Its quite beautiful. Entry is only 300 Yen (unless the mayor is planning on quadrupling that too....)
15 ( +15 / -0 )

Doubling it to 2000 yen would be reasonable imo but 4000 yen is way overpriced.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Hi guys. While he may not be in agreement with some of you on a range of issues, Debito has an excellent piece on how he feels overtourism in Japan is being used by the bullies and xenophobes to get their way.

https://www.debito.org/

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Concerned CitizenToday 07:31 am JST

If he's gonna talk with such disdain for foreigners maybe they should just go to another country.

Yep, close to doing just that. Seems we're not welcome after 3 wonderful trips to Japan in years gone past.

All our bookings for the next trip are all able to be cancelled. We don't want to do that, but it's becoming more obvious we're not wanted. Just over the equivalent of 2 mill Yen we can spend in another country.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Do people here have the same issue with old folks getting a discount at the cinema? Is charging non-old people a higher price "greed"?

From a PR perspective, suggesting the price will be "quadrupled", even if you want to, is an own goal. Raising the price to cover expensive repairs but offering discounts to prevent Japanese and other yen earners from being priced out of what is an educational resource makes sense to me and indeed, is common worldwide. I would much rather accept that most Japanese people are not rich any more than pretend everyone in Japan is as rich as people who go on two-week or longer foreign holidays to Japan. If this feels like a Third World more or is bimbo-kusai, then so be it. The reality is that Japanese people and people earning yen now are bimbo.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

A previous poster asserted that Himeji Castle is a replica. This is wrong. It's one of a very few original castles still standing in Japan, the others being -- if memory serves me right -- Matsumoto, Inuyama, Hikone and Kumamoto. The others were torn down in the early 17th century on the orders of the Tokugawa clan, in order to exert control and "pacify" the country by discouraging revolts by the local daimyo. Nagoya Castle was not demolished and lasted until it was destroyed by US bombing raids in 1945.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Overtourism is mainly due to the weak Yen.

In years gone past Japan was known as a relatively expensive place to visit.

Now we can go there cheaper than Bali and SE Asian destinations.

Weak Yen = lots of tourists.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Kind of like Kama’aina rates for locals in Hawai’i. Doesn’t stop tourists from coming to Hawai’i.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"quadrupling" entry fees

I wonder where they even got that number. Was it decided by throwing darts on a board?

Why not going 5 times or 10 times more? What's the difference?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Makes me want to go there just to make a scene.

and what?

hassle the minimum wage part time workers that have no control over it?

that'll solve things........

it's the mayor and his cronies making the ignorant decisions.

you want to make a scene, you go straight to, wherever it is the mayor goes in "to do work" everyday.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

My feelings regarding the possible two-tier pricing system aside, I don’t get the complaints about proof of residency. By law you have to carry i.d. and if you’re a resident the card will show that.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Himeji Castle live webcam

https://www.youtube.com/live/PHQe_2MlH4E?si=sY-Ghfnm8a2a_LRS

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've probably been to Himeji Castle seven or more times, and I'm still fascinated by it. I took U.S. visitors all over Kyoto and Nara (Kiyomizu, Todai-ji, etc.) and Himeji Castle, and they all said Himeji Castle was their favorite spot. If you haven't been there yet, you may want to go there before they raise the admission prices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So how you distinguish an overseas tourist from a foreign permanent resident ?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I honestly thought all this stuff was a thing of the past.

But reading this article, and the others over the past month and worse the comments by some hear supporting this xenophobia, I wonder are we heading back to 30 plus years ago.

You know the "good old days" with the "no gaijin" signs at the fudosan, the no gaijin in bars and restaurants, the get up and move on the train if a gaijin sat next to them.

Ah yes the good old days!

I so remember it well, my then wife and is being told "no" at nearly every fudosan because I was not Japanese.

But it seems many political leaders and old people as well as many here seem to want those days to return!

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Yeah Edwin, if you don’t like the people complaining: “Just go Home”

(that one never gets old, even when a foreigner is saying it to you)

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

What a bunch of twisters.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The basic fact is most foreigners have more money than Japanese - and there will be more of this dual pricing going forward.

Leaving the fairness of this decision aside, I am sure raising the entry fees to ¥4700 ($30) for foreigners, it won't stop many from visiting Himeji. It is a great castle, and my understanding is it is only one of a few in Japan that is not a replica. The wood craftsmanship is extraordinary.

Watch your head walking up if you are on the taller side!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Fighto!

Today 12:23 pm JST

So the next time you (if you are not Japanese) or another foreigner needs an apartment, or some other services, you won't be upset if the fudosan or service provider charges you more, right?

You said it yourself:

The basic fact is most foreigners have more money than Japanese

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

Himeji Rose Garden is worth a visit when in bloom.

https://himejibaraen.com/

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So how you distinguish an overseas tourist from a foreign permanent resident ?

ID will need to be presented at the ticket counter - Zairyu card or passport - to prove you are resident in Japan.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The best viewing of the castle is in the surrounding park area. Free, at least for the time being.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

When you say local and tourists, do you mean all British residents and non British residents?

No

I may be wrong but you probably mean local city residents and tourists not from the city meaning British tourists and non British tourists pay the same and only local tax payer of the city or region pay lower!

Yes

That isn't what is being proposed here!

Correct

But local the Mayor means all of Japan and Japanese citizens even if they don't live in Japan, and by foreigners they mean exactly that!

Incorrect. Foreign residents are included in the discount.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

It is hilarious that in 2020 places like Kyoto etc..complained about COVID and not having tourists and business and now that they are raking in the money from tourists they complain that there are too many and want to charge them even more!

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

And visiting Japanese nationals from America?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So the next time you (if you are not Japanese) or another foreigner needs an apartment, or some other services, you won't be upset if the fudosan or service provider charges you more, right?

Residents in Japan should be paying the same as Japanese for entry to Himeji - as well as rental in your example. So it's a non issue for residents.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

While 4000yen is peanuts against most other currencies and salaries, held up against a local for 500yen, it devalues the whole experience.

Japan is pretty much Kao San Road with Geishas now (which are ironically inappropriate to look close up to many a local's opinon)

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Himeji Castle is a prime example, possibly the finest in the country. It tends to be overcrowded, especially during the cherry blossom season. It's best to avoid visiting then if you don't enjoy baseball game-size crowds. There are other impressive castles like Matsumoto.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So how you distinguish an overseas tourist from a foreign permanent resident ?

Do you think they are actually going to card people? lol Good luck with that!

Permanent residents / citizens show their ID to get the discounted price. It's quite a simple concept that is utilised worldwide.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

A naturalised foreigner no longer requires the ID card but the face remains the same.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

While 4000yen is peanuts against most other currencies and salaries

The Himeji City Government are actually proposing an entry fee of ¥4700 for foreigners.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

N. Knight

Today 12:32 pm JST

Your reply is unclear!

A tourist is either

A-) a non British and or a non residents of the country.

B-) a non local resident including British tourists not of the area and from other countries.

In this case the mayor isn't talking about charging more for non Himeji residents, he is talking about charging more for non Japan residents.

If I am not mistaken what you describe is only local and by that I mean the town or county and not the country get a discount.

This is seen because of taxes paid locally.

We are not looking at this, we are looking at what is essentially non Japanese/non residents paying more and ",local" meaning everyone living in Japan.

But I for one am fine showing my foreign residency card to the police, government officials, but the idea of giving it to just anyone to get into a tourist spot is a difference story.

Unlike a passport the foreign residency card has all your information including your address as does your driver's license these are not things I just let anyone see!

There are reasons why certain information is confidential!

This will not be a problem for the Japanese because no one not even the police will risk demanding proof if they say they are Japanese.

I know because when I am stopped and asked for my card and the police make the mistake if asking my Japanese wife for ID they get an earful and just drop it never seeing a thing from her!

So if you are fine with just anyone asking for your ID with your personal information including address go right ahead, I will keep mine private.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

A naturalised foreigner no longer requires the ID card but the face remains the same.

It's not that they no longer require an ID card.

If someone is naturalized, they are a citizen and plainly are not required to carry an ID card.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

N. Knight

Today 12:43 pm JST

So how you distinguish an overseas tourist from a foreign permanent resident ?

> Do you think they are actually going to card people? lol Good luck with that!

> Permanent residents / citizens show their ID to get the discounted price. It's quite a simple concept that is utilised worldwide.

Again please state examples of worldwide!

My parents have a local residency card in their small city back home.

No address no birth date just a photo name and number.

Your foreign residency card has all your information on it.

Imagine asking the Japanese to show their Juminhyo, because that is basically what you will be doing handing over your Zairyu card.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

This can’t be legal and in any event it’s PR kryptonite. It’s not going happen.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There is a simple solution, admission for all say 1200 yen

If visitors want to voluntarily donate to the upkeep of Himeji Castle have the facility to do so.

However to create a media controversy, construed to be charging "foreigners" simply being "foreigners" is contemptable.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

It is not at all clear to me how he intends to implement this in practice. That is, assuming he wants to do it consistently and without anyone slipping through.

So are they going to check everyone who visually differs from the "standard definition of Japanese"? OK, that would make sense. But how do they do it in the case of someone who is naturalized? So will they have to start requiring even naturalized citizens to produce, for example, health insurance cards or driver's licenses? So will there be some form of segregation of Japanese citizens based on how they look? Or, for example, one entrance gate for "Those who visually look Japanese" and another entrance gate for "Other skin color"?

What about, for example, a Japanese person who is a citizen of another country and is visiting as a tourist? Therefore, is not a Japanese citizen?

He said too many visitors could damage the castle's keep, which also serves as "a place of rest" for people, and setting two different admission fees might be a good idea.

Increasing the entrance fee will not prevent this. It also applies the principle of collective guilt to a particular group and ignores the fact that the damage could have been done by, say, a Japanese citizen.

The whole thing just seems to me like an attempt to increase his public image, but without any deep thoughts in it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This whole silliness was totally unwarranted unnecessary.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You know this sends the message out loud and clear, foreign tourist are unwelcome, to be ripped off on sight.!!!

And you seriously don't think that will not have a detrimental effect on Japan hospitality sector?

Grow up,

If you have a issue with "foreigners" just admit it

2 ( +9 / -7 )

If someone is naturalized, they are a citizen and plainly are not required to carry an ID card.

you just repeat what I said. At the pay window how do they prove they are Japanese? Same for children from international marriages.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Even in EU this is common practice. But, you can’t find the information online and you have to ask staff for the details. Sometimes it is even free for the locals who live in the same city or county.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Ridiculous!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So all those that down voted my comment on having to show your Zairyu card, I guess you are all fine with just letting anyone that asked to see your personal information, birth date address etc...right?

If you are why not just say so.

I would love to see and understand why you would be fine letting just anyone at a tourist attractions have all your personal information!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Wow, what a ridiculous price. Himeji Castle is beautiful, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my travels there very much and was enthralled with the view of the castle (outside) at sunset. But $30 just to enter, when the inside of the castle is effectively just multiple floors of an empty building? That price is an unreasonable ask.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree with a small price increase to cover the extra cost of maintaining such a precious monument, but charging that much? Really? That's a blatant rip off, so his idea is to charge around $35 well what happens when the yen to dollar exchange rate declined? This means that tourists in effect will be charged more, depending on the exchange rate that price could go up to $40 or more, will there be any consessions for disabled or seniors, and what about a family ticket? Ie two children and two adults so will he alter the admission price to compensate? My advice to him would be don't get greedy it could back fire on you, remember when tourists come to your town they spend more money supporting the local economy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Zairyu card

"The relevant regulation is Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act ( 出入国管理及び難民認定法 ) article 23, which states that you can not refuse to show it when asked by an immigration inspector, an immigration control officer, a police official, a coast guard officer or any other official of the state or local public entity as provided for by a Ministry of Justice ordinance."

The ticket kiosk at the castle cannot request to see it.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

What is the definition of local residents ?

Himeji residents, or the residents of Japan ?

I think the mayor means Japanese residents of Japan. And his argument, how hard it would be to ID everyone who purchases a ticket

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"All the buildings and most of the site area are owned by the national government. Ownership of the remaining area is divided among Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji City, and private companies. Under the 1950 Law, Himeji City is appointed as the official custodial body for managing the legally protected Himeji-jo site and buildings."

"The city carries out its responsibilities through the Management Office for the Himeji-jo Area, and according to the 1964 City Ordinance for the Management of Himeji-jo, the 1986 Management Plan for the Himeji-jo Historic Site (final revision in 2008), and guidance by the national government. The efforts cover activities including daily maintenance, cleaning, regular inspection, traffic restriction, disaster prevention, and site arrangement and interpretation."

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/661/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think as some suggested there’s a growing sense of Nationalism here in Japan, just as is the case elsewhere in the World.

A Chinese person recently tried to book a group hotel stay but was refused, her Japanese husband rang the same hotel and was given the booking…. Draw your own conclusions.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

What a beautiful castle!

If am already here on vacation I’m not going to be cheap and try to save $20 and skip this heritage site. The foreign tourist most likely will pay even for a family of six. More money for the local municipality.

That said this is what they do in Thailand. Japan is become cheaper and cheaper (¥150).

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Quote-- :We would like to charge (the equivalent) of around $30 for foreigners and around $5 for residents," Kiyomoto said at the symposium on cultural heritage and natural disasters.

When asked about his reason for the $5 fee, Kiyomoto told reporters Monday that he wants "to avoid raising the admission fee force local residents."

This is truly sickening. .

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Edinburgh Castle has had various schemes about entry pricing over a long period. It used to be it was free to enter inside the castle walls and walk around. (There were charges for entering some of the buildings inside.) When tourist numbers jumped, they imposed entry charges. (There are about 2 million visitors per year.) But initially, they made entry free for one month of the year (I think it was March.) Now it seems Scottish residents can get free access on Sundays for some months of the year.

The argument for allowing easier/cheaper access to residents is that it is part of the country's history culture. A further argument is that it would be wrong to deny poorer residents, especially children, to have access. I think that's understandable. As a kid, you learn about your country's history and the various events at an important castle. It's not so good if you can't afford to visit it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

That is an old photo of Himeji Castle. Now, it looks whiter than ever after the ambitious restoration project, and definitely it was not because of taxing extra money from foreign tourists.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

TokyoOldMan

Today 02:51 pm JST

I think as some suggested there’s a growing sense of Nationalism here in Japan, just as is the case elsewhere in the World.

> A Chinese person recently tried to book a group hotel stay but was refused, her Japanese husband rang the same hotel and was given the booking…. Draw your own conclusions

That is nothing new, every time I have had the misfortune to have to go to Nagoya this has been the situation and the first time was over 20 years ago.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ok sure. Let's also have other countries charge only Japanese tourists a higher price. Fair's fair right? Not discriminatory at all...

This mayor is an idiot.

Getting rather sick and tired of hearing Japan moan and groan about the influx of tourists. They need the revenue that comes from tourism and yet this is their attitude towards the very same group pumping money into the country's economy.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I say OK!

But if they want to be like that, I say remove it from the list of Unesco world heritage sites, it is only logical.

If they don't like the rest of the world seeing it or want to gouge the rest of the world and be Japan centric then let them but they cannot have it both ways, claim to be a world heritage then say "no it is primarily for Japanese".

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

wallace

Today 02:18 pm JST

Zairyu card

> "The relevant regulation is Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act ( 出入国管理及び難民認定法 ) article 23, which states that you can not refuse to show it when asked by an immigration inspector, an immigration control officer, a police official, a coast guard officer or any other official of the state or local public entity as provided for by a Ministry of Justice ordinance."

> The ticket kiosk at the castle cannot request to see it

Ok then how are they going to determine if a foreigner is a resident or not?

Your information is as far as I know correct, so that leave the above question!

I don't carry my passport around and I am fairly sure you don't either so barring taking our word that we are residents and us not required to show our zairyu card other than to the official authorities, seems there is a major flaw in the plan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I don't know if someone mentioned it, but it would be a :

a 50% increase for Japanese (from 1000 yens to 5$, with about 150 yens to the dollar)

a 500% higher difference for foreigners compare to Japanese ( yes 500% no more no less if from 5$ to 30$)
-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Jonathan Prin

> Today 04:13 pm JST

> I don't know if someone mentioned it, but it would be a :

> > > a 50% increase for Japanese (from 1000 yens to 5$, with about 150 yens to the dollar)

sI don't know where you get your calculations but at today's rate $ 5 US is ¥790 so the Japanese would actually be paying about 22% les

I don't know where you are getting your calculations from but at today's rate $5 US is ¥789. So the Japanese would be paying about 22% less

a 500% higher difference for foreigners compare to Japanese ( yes 500% no more no less if from 5$ to 30$

$30 US today is ¥4,700 a 470% increase but yes 500% more than the Japanese.

If they want that then they should remove the castle from Unesco world heritage sites because as the mayor seems to think it is more for the Japanese than the rest of the world so let them keep it to themselves!

Don't try a pretend it is the world's when they don't want the rest going there!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

So let's see... around 1.5 million people visited the castle last year, less than half a million were from overseas. So they want to charge the foreign tourists more? That doesn't make sense.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What is happening to Japan???

1 ( +7 / -6 )

They should charge all Japanese nationals the double, ¥2,000, and keep the price the same for all foreign nationals, ¥1,000.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I think the mayor had heat stroke and never thought it out.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Another city taking a poop where it eats. NO ONE visits Himeji for anything but the castle, so here's hoping if they make this move people stop visiting, and they realize what they've lost. I used to recommend Himeji to all visitors using a rail pass and moving from Osaka/Kyoto to Hiroshima or what have you, but no more. I also don't recommend the JR rail pass anymore, either.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

It seems that what started in Kyoto some years ago is spreading... it's as if the Japanese think of us foreigners as uncouth, loud, dirty and destructive... no matter where we're from. How long before we have to report to a police koban every week of our stay so that they can keep tabs on us?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I completely agree with Gene Hennigh: "Now, my eyesight isn't what it used to be, so correct me if I'm wrong. Doesn't the article say that he is considering it? Why all the panic and I-hate-Japan rhetoric? Wait till it happens (if it does) and then go back to your bashing. Well, I might be wrong. Maybe 'considering' means 'it's a done deal.' I'm old, so maybe I'm all wrong here."

Furthermore, this is not another example of "racial profiling." As others have pointed out, it's simply a matter of showing one's ID.

I've spent most of my long life in Japan but have never been to Himeji Castle. Those whose idea of "doing Japan" is joining the crowds should be allowed to do so--but at a price...Last year I was annoyed with an old European friend who came for another visit, the cheap yen clearly having gone to his head. I love Nippon; I am much less fond of "Japanland."

1 ( +6 / -5 )

ID will need to be presented at the ticket counter - Zairyu card or passport - to prove you are resident in Japan.

It has already been mentioned, but I will restate it. You do not have to show your zairyu card or passport to anyone other than people in immigration, the police, city office. Sometimes, morons at hotels will demand to see it. I refuse on principal every time.

Carding will result in a lawsuit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A naturalised foreigner no longer requires the ID card but the face remains the same.

Just being ID when you go to Himeji Castle to get the discount. One rule for all. Some foreigners can look quite Japanese, my Taiwanese neighbour for example.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And visiting Japanese nationals from America?

If you'rea Japanese national then you have address/status in Japan., even if you live abroad for work, etc.

Bring your ID to get the discount. Otherwise pay the full price as a tourist.

(In principle Americans shouldn't be allowed at all)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Carding will result in a lawsuit.

Just present your Japanese ID to get the discount. It's voluntary. No one is forcing anyone. If you don't want to show it then don't, just pay the full price or don't go at all.

Not sure why this concept is so difficult to grasp.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

ID will need to be presented at the ticket counter - Zairyu card or passport - to prove you are resident in Japan.

(I'm quoting @owzer because I can't find the original quote)

How does a passport prove you're a resident in Japan? A Japanese passport doesn't necessarily have a residential address in it, and not having a Japanese passport doesn't prove you don't live here. I've lived in Japan for almost 20 years and I don't have a Japanese passport.

And I'm wondering if showing ID to prove a piece of information about yourself to access a service, enter a premise, receive a discount, accept a delivery and so on is new to people.

Finally, anyone can request to see your Zairyu card. Whether you show it to them or not is a different story.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

N. Knight

Just show driving licence would probably be OK. A proof of Japanese address. I carry DL everywhere anyway. It's been fine as a national ID everywhere I've needed it. No sweat.

I don't drive and don't have a DL.

Just being ID when you go to Himeji Castle to get the discount. One rule for all. Some foreigners can look quite Japanese, my Taiwanese neighbour for example.

Why should I have to provide an ID? It is illegal to even ask. Just like staying in a hotel.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why should I have to provide an ID? It is illegal to even ask. Just like staying in a hotel.

Hi Wallace, They're not asking. You can volunteer it for the discount. Or just tell them you live in Japan might get you in. An honest ex-Jack Tar like yourself will never be refused ;-)

Plus you live in Hyogo so you're a better class of person.

Yes. I never show my ID in hotels in Japan. Never have an issue. For my rental villa I am required by law to collect passport copies and data on the (foreign) guests. Have submitted regularly to government.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

How does a passport prove you're a resident in Japan?

If you have a Japanese passport then you're a Japanese citizen and therefore have a residency status. Doesn't matter if the Japanese passport holder lives in Darkest Peru for 50 werks each year, they're still a citizen.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My Number Card, Driving Licence, Zairyu Card, Boat Captain Licence, Wallace's happy smile...

All would probably suffice.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If you have a Japanese passport then you're a Japanese citizen and therefore have a residency status.

I'm not sure that's correct. It infers citizenship but not residence status, necessarily. I'm sure it would be acceptable evidence in this case though.

Anyway, my point was more about a foreign resident showing their passport to prove they were a resident here.

*"ID will need to be presented at the ticket counter - Zairyu card or passport - to prove you are resident in Japan." *

Perhaps the original poster (as I say, I can't find the original post) meant Japanese people showing their passports to prove residency. I took it to mean Gaijin residents though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

deanzaZZRToday  09:05 am JST

China used to charge foreigners extra to visit places like the Forbidden City and Summer Palace. China no longer feels the need to do this.

It's not that they don't feel the need. They can't afford to do that anymore.

"China’s tourism industry has faced significant challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, China welcomed 97.7 million foreign visitors. But in 2023, this plummeted to 35.5 million, representing less than 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels."

https://eastasiaforum.org/2024/04/30/visa-free-policies-alone-will-not-revive-chinas-inbound-tourism/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The foreign passport is not proof of residency and all tourists are required to carry them. Proof of residency would be a government-issued document.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

N. Knight

My Number Card, Driving Licence, Zairyu Card, Boat Captain Licence, Wallace's happy smile...

> All would probably suffice.

Why should I have to produce any ID? it's discrimination.

I predict this will not happen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The foreign passport is not proof of residency and all tourists are required to carry them. Proof of residency would be a government-issued document.

Right. So, if you are a legal resident here, you definitely don't want to show them your foreign passport as they would take it to mean you are a tourist.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes. I never show my ID in hotels in Japan. Never have an issue.

N. Knight, That's how it's supposed to be but some hoteliers think they're supposed to check (entitled to demand to see) ID. It's rare, but it does happen.

For my rental villa I am required by law to collect passport copies and data on the (foreign) guests. Have submitted regularly to government.

Only for foreign guests visiting from abroad. Residents just have to provide an address. Truth is, a foreign visitor could just give an address and I'd never know.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Will not affect me directly because I don't go into the castle grounds, just the surrounding park.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ID will need to be presented at the ticket counter - Zairyu card or passport - to prove you are resident in Japan.

My apologies, I was quoting @Fighto!, at 12:31.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A "status of residence" (commonly known as "visa") is the permission to take up residency in Japan. Japanese citizens have none because they require none.

Yeah, I was wrong on that one, and I'm willing to walk it back. Of course residency is implied by a passport.

Point stands about foreigners showing their passports as ID to avoid the extra cost though. Wouldn't make sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Uhm ... no, it's not, sorry. Citizenshipstatus of residency, and residency are three different things and don't imply each other.

I'm not speaking in a legal sense. In the context of a Japanese showing their passport to the ticket taker at Himeji Castle in order to prove they're exempt from the higher price, I'm pretty sure the ticket taker will infer that the person is not a foreign tourist.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You're actually making my original point; the one I just conceded. Stop it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Only 3rd world countries have separate pricing for services, because poor locals cannot afford the high prices charged on wealthy foreigners.

Guess which group Japan of 2024 belongs in.....

My JPY...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

If they’re simply looking to pay for the upkeep of the castle it seems more sensible to charge more generally and offer discounts to local city residents and others (elderly/kids etc) via a form of id. Upping the price by 400% purely for foreign tourists is obviously unfair and likely to drive them away.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think there’s some error in thinking that all foreign tourists are wealthy and can be squeezed. Most Asian tourists are no more or less wealthy than the Japanese and the vast majority of long haul tourists see Japan as a once in a lifetime bucket list trip to be saved for. It’s only temporary good fortune (for them) that sees the Yen weaker. Currency values can and no doubt will adjust again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Drear foreign tourist..

Want to see it, pay for it..

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Will not affect me directly because I don't go into the castle grounds, just the surrounding park.

That’s the best part. The castle is honestly a waste of money there’s nothing in ig

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I think there’s some error in thinking that all foreign tourists are wealthy and can be squeezed. Most Asian tourists are no more or less wealthy than the Japanese and the vast majority of long haul tourists see Japan as a once in a lifetime bucket list trip to be saved for. It’s only temporary good fortune (for them) that sees the Yen weaker. Currency values can and no doubt will adjust again.

Very well said. The Canadian dollar is currently worth less than the U.S. dollar, will they charge Canadians less than Americans? It reeks of xenophobia in the sense that “all foreigners are the same”.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Modern day Price gouging.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JboneInTheZoneT

Will not affect me directly because I don't go into the castle grounds, just the surrounding park.

That’s the best part. The castle is honestly a waste of money there’s nothing in ig

I beg to differ. I have been more than 10 times over 20 years. If you haven't been inside the castle grounds and keep it is very worth a visit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I beg to differ. I have been more than 10 times over 20 years. If you haven't been inside the castle grounds and keep it is very worth a visit.

I lived in Himeji for a couple years about 15 minutes walk away from the castle and from my experiences it’s not worth it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TokyoOldManJune 18  12:19 pm JST

So how you distinguish an overseas tourist from a foreign permanent resident ?

Make everyone show i.d. It's really not rocket science. By law you have to carry i.d. and if you're a resident or non-resident, that will be reflected in your i.d. I get not liking the idea of two-tiered pricing but fail to understand the outrage over how they'll know if you're a resident or not.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

toolonggone Today 05:43 am JST

By law you have to carry i.d. and if you're a resident or non-resident, that will be reflected in your i.d. I get not liking the idea of two-tiered pricing but fail to understand the outrage over how they'll know if you're a resident or not.

I believe that Japanese citizens are not required to carry identification.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

toolonggone

Make everyone show i.d. It's really not rocket science. By law you have to carry i.d. and if you're a resident or non-resident, that will be reflected in your i.d. I get not liking the idea of two-tiered pricing but fail to understand the outrage over how they'll know if you're a resident or not.

Citizens, even naturalised ones, are not really required to carry or provide any form of identification. Another thing is that although (foreign) residents here must carry 在留カード, only a limited circle has the right to check this. For example, an immigration officer has the right to check 在留カード upon request and the resident is obliged to produce it. On the other hand, e.g. Japan Post, Bank, hotel does not have this right - although it can ask to see 在留カード, there is no legal basis for this. Same with, e.g. 住民票 - the ticket seller may want to ask for, but it would trigger so much uproar.. Not to mention handling of sensitive information.

So to suddenly have a situation where they check absolutely everyone is rubbish. Moreover, it would make the situation where a customer comes, pays and buys a ticket very complicated - someone would have to check everyone's ID, which would be time-consuming. Or to employ another person just to check.

With this twisted logic, they can "solve" the matter in an absolutely brilliant way - free for some and a current fee for others... Makes sense, ey?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Himeji government receives ¥1.4 billion in gate money. Plus sales of merchandise are high. These monies are used to administrate the castle and pay the workers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

$30 for foreigners and around $5 for residents

Oh, fantastic idea. What could possibly go wrong?

Next up, why not set up two separate entrances to the castle - one for "Japanese" and one for "Others"? Obviously, Yamada at the window won't have the time to check IDs for every single visitor (after all, about 1.48 million people visited in fiscal 2023, which boils down to around 4045 visitors per day and 579 per hour between 9 am and 4 pm), so naturally, he'll just judge everyone by their appearance, directing them left and right, perhaps taking a cue from some old German practices in Poland.

And why stop there? Separate toilets, a separate souvenir shop - it's a wonder no one's thought of this brilliance sooner. If someone’s going to get a discount and someone else is going to pay extra based on something they didn’t choose (like race or ethnicity), surely the perks will extend far beyond just the castle gates...

Or you know what? Ban all foreigners and "different-looking" people from entering the castle when the main argument is that they are damaging the castle. You save the expense of repairs and maintenance when, by totally brilliant logic, the implication is that foreigners and tourists are to blame for everything. Or is it not their fault? And then what?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Make everyone show i.d...

Even simpler... Just bring the acceptable ID if you want the resident/citizen discount.

If you don't want to show your ID that's fine too, just pay full price or don't go at all.

Easy.

No need to cry and get all french revolutionary about it.

Himeji castle will double their money if the implement the price rise and with less visitors and less wear and tear.

Good. It will be much nicer experience than the all day rugby scrum in the keep right now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The charges have not been increased. The mayor proposed the idea to gauge reactions, but I don't think he will follow through with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It's all hypothetical, not hysterical."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The charges have not been increased. The mayor proposed the idea to gauge reactions, but I don't think he will follow through with it.

Let's see what happens. Wouldn't faze me if they do it. But you're probably right.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Robert Cikki

Citizens, even naturalised ones, are not really required to carry or provide any form of identification. Another thing is that although (foreign) residents here must carry 在留カード, only a limited circle has the right to check this. For example, an immigration officer has the right to check 在留カード upon request and the resident is obliged to produce it. On the other hand, e.g. Japan Post, Bank, hotel does not have this right - although it can ask to see 在留カード, there is no legal basis for this. Same with, e.g. 住民票 - the ticket seller may want to ask for, but it would trigger so much uproar.. Not to mention handling of sensitive information.

It's not a matter of who has a right to ask for your i.d. but whether or not you’re willing to show it in order to get the hypothetical residents’ discount. The issue so many seem to be asking is how will they know if you’re a resident or tourist and showing your i.d. solves that, if that’s what one is after.

So to suddenly have a situation where they check absolutely everyone is rubbish. Moreover, it would make the situation where a customer comes, pays and buys a ticket very complicated - someone would have to check everyone's ID, which would be time-consuming. Or to employ another person just to check.

I’ve never been to Himeji Castle so I’m not sure how you purchase tickets for it but if it’s a face-to-face purchase, how long do you really imagine it takes to show your i.d.? Again, I’ve not said one way or the other if I agree with the proposed two-tiered system. There are arguments to be made for and against it but having to show an i.d.to get the cheaper fare, doesn’t seem like the strongest counter argument.

With this twisted logic, they can "solve" the matter in an absolutely brilliant way - free for some and a current fee for others... Makes sense, ey?

Who's it free for now, other than those under 18? Perhaps I’m just not understanding your last point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why should I have to provide an ID? It is illegal to even ask. Just like staying in a hotel

No its not. If you want the resident discount, prove you are a resident. Otherwise they will happily take the non discounted fare from you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With this twisted logic, they can "solve" the matter in an absolutely brilliant way - free for some and a current fee for others... Makes sense, ey?

they have no prob checking age related discounts and disabilites, which require some form of proof. Proving residency is not so onerous.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why should I have to provide an ID? It is illegal to even ask. Just like staying in a hotel

It's not illegal to ask at a hotel, it's just illegal to deny accommodation if the person actually is a resident of Japan and the person refuses to show it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I personally think it's interesting to sneak inside Himeji castle - it's impressive architecture and the atmosphere is interesting. But 4000 yen??? It's close to a one day passport for attraction park where the amusement facilities cost and the personal are huge.

And there are donation boxes as well. I don't remember how much it was for Vatican museum but the huge line before entry was 3 hours wait. Himeji is also at least an hour on weekends and you are breathing in the back of the man in front you most of the time on a dark stairways.

With the inflation and all I would say rise the price for all to 1500 no more!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An increase in fees would result in fewer foreign visitors arriving by train from Osaka, leading to financial losses for the local businesses.

The situation of having to show ID as proof of residence does not sit right with me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If the charges were increased to ¥2,000 for all visitors would generate more income. Might reduce the numbers a little which would be good. Students/children ¥500. Disabled free.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm pretty sure the MET in NY had a local donation based entry for locals and state residents and a seperate charge for visitors. Since like the 1970’s ….

0 ( +0 / -0 )

theGrigioJune 19  07:28 pm JST

I'm pretty sure the MET in NY had a local donation based entry for locals and state residents and a seperate charge for visitors. Since like the 1970’s ….

It's not all unusual for US museums to offer free days to residents. For many of them, you can only purchase tickets online and your residency is proven by the address you provide although I suppose you could lie, if you're so inclined. I don't know if they check.

*The Chicago Field Museum is free on Wednesdays for Illinois residents.

*The Art Institue of Chicago is free for Illinois residents on Thursday evenings, 5:00–8:00,

*In San Diego several Park museums offer free general admission on a rotating basis throughout each month to residents of the City and County of San Diego, and to active military personnel and their dependents.

*At the Le Brea Tar Pits & Museum L.A. County residents receive free Museum Admission 3-5 pm Monday through Friday.

*The 9/11 Museum is free all day to NYC residents every first Monday of the month beginning June 2024.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now we know that this mayor is a racist individual, why go there?

Furthermore, I am boycotting any business that does this sort of action toward foreigners.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

toolonggone

It's not a matter of who has a right to ask for your i.d. but whether or not you’re willing to show it in order to get the hypothetical residents’ discount. The issue so many seem to be asking is how will they know if you’re a resident or tourist and showing your i.d. solves that, if that’s what one is after.

We're not on the same page. Japanese citizens are under no legal obligation to carry any form of identification or to identify themselves. And they don't normally carry one because they don't have to. I am a Japanese citizen for more than two decades and normally I do not carry any document. Except my Visa cards with my name on them. So it all comes down to the fact that in order for someone to get a discount or have the privilege of paying more, then they have to show some sort of ID. And it's still an open question as to how they're going to implement that in practice. The fact that someone "will just identify themselves" is one thing, but it is still not clear how they will implement the actual check. Whether they will check all visitors (And this brings us back to the beginning, not to mention adjusting the legislation at the national level) or whether they will check visitors visually - in which case there will be a situation where a Japanese with foreign citizenship and only here on a tourist visa will be let in at a lower rate because he "looks Japanese" and conversely a naturalised Japanese (my case) will be asked for a document on the basis of a visual check - and we are back to square one.

I’ve never been to Himeji Castle so I’m not sure how you purchase tickets for it but if it’s a face-to-face purchase, how long do you really imagine it takes to show your i.d.? Again, I’ve not said one way or the other if I agree with the proposed two-tiered system. There are arguments to be made for and against it but having to show an i.d.to get the cheaper fare, doesn’t seem like the strongest counter argument.

If you are a tourist, then I assume you know that you must carry ID in Japan. And probably every tourist anywhere in the world carries a travel document. However, how they will work out the differences between countries' travel documents (whether they will have a book of some sort), how they will determine that the document is valid, or the visual difference in the photo on the travel document is also unclear.

Again, we come to the previous point - if you are a citizen of Japan, even a naturalised one, you are not obliged to carry an identity document or present it. In the case you are presenting that would mean that any citizen attending Himeji would have to know in advance that they must have ID to get the "racial discount". But the question would be what kind of ID that would be. And again, how will they check its validity.

Who's it free for now, other than those under 18? Perhaps I’m just not understanding your last point.

The whole thing is just a smack on the desk, with no deeper thought. And the collective guilt approach, where only the tourists are responsible for the damage.

If the current price increases for tourists, but stays the same for locals, then it makes more sense to reduce the price for locals by the portion by which the tourist price is to increase. That is, if things really are as they are presented.

Now try to imagine E.g. in the USA, in France, in Germany, in Spain (you name the country) a system of admission fees based on race or ethnicity only would be introduced. Or, for example, if admission to a museum in some country was X for everyone, but only for Japanese for 2x as much.

The whole thing is nonsense and completely off the mark "logic" and reasoning. It's just an attempt to make oneself visible and point the finger at "the other".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Robert Cikki

We're not on the same page. Japanese citizens are under no legal obligation to carry any form of identification or to identify themselves. And they don't normally carry one because they don't have to. I am a Japanese citizen for more than two decades and normally I do not carry any document. Except my Visa cards with my name on them. So it all comes down to the fact that in order for someone to get a discount or have the privilege of paying more, then they have to show some sort of ID.

And now that you, and most anyone who follows the news, are aware of this possible change, then bring appropriate i.d. when you visit Himegi castle, assuming this even goes into effect.

And it's still an open question as to how they're going to implement that in practice. The fact that someone "will just identify themselves" is one thing, but it is still not clear how they will implement the actual check. Whether they will check all visitors (And this brings us back to the beginning, not to mention adjusting the legislation at the national level) or whether they will check visitors visually - in which case there will be a situation where a Japanese with foreign citizenship and only here on a tourist visa will be let in at a lower rate because he "looks Japanese" and conversely a naturalised Japanese (my case) will be asked for a document on the basis of a visual check - and we are back to square one.

What legislation would have to be adjusted? No one is obligated to visit Himegi. If you want to visit and want the resident’s rate, that’s your choice but it comes with an obligation. There is no legislational changes needed.

Now try to imagine E.g. in the USA, in France, in Germany, in Spain (you name the country) a system of admission fees based on race or ethnicity only would be introduced. Or, for example, if admission to a museum in some country was X for everyone, but only for Japanese for 2x as much.

Please see my post above. There are plenty of museums in the US that offer discounts or free days to residents. The assumption that this will turn into a racial issue is yours. Honestly, I find your issue with this a little sad and confusing given that you’ve chosen to become a citizen of a country for which you seem to have rather negative opinions. I’ve got my issues with Japan, believe me. There are things I love for sure, but this country is no more perfect than any other. Still, this isn’t something I see as an issue at all. If you’re truly that concerned about it then maybe your energy would be better spent writing to the mayor and the museum director with constructive ideas as to how the potential change could best be implemented without causing offense to those who reside here but don’t “look Japanese “.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The charging of foreigners more is quite common. I have experienced this in Alaska, Australia and know it happens in my homeland New Zealand. None if these three would, despite their problems, regard themselves as 3rd world. As a tourist I have no issues with it and as a tax payer welcome the concept.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Call that a castle? Please.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has been home for many years and the influx of tourists from abroad is a plus and a minus. There is more costs to upkeep buildings, electricity and the list goes on. With the sharp decrease in the yen, it cost more for powering, repairing and general upkeep especially of these historical places that must be maintained always in order to keep people safe.

At the moment especially for the elderly and single parents' life is financially tough due to the yen being hammered, and so, personally I don't have an issue the local governments charging more. With that said, they need to be realistic and being reasonable in their increases a 1,000 to 3 thousand is not that, maybe double going to 2,000 yen is something I could see.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a foreigner I don’t mind paying more than a local to visit an attraction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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