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Japan grapples with traffic jams, visitors' manners amid tourism boom

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Don't give me that visitors manners crap. There are plenty of Japanese who have no manners. If I start citing all the examples I experience everyday, the monitors will delete my post

18 ( +66 / -48 )

Some 25.4 percent cited tourists' manners as a problem in relation to the use of restrooms, while 20.3 percent listed littering in public places and residential areas.

Okinawa is the recipient of 10,000,000 tourists a year! Nearly 1/3, over 3,000,000 that are from foreign countries. The main island of Okinawa has a population of roughly 1.1 million, and the prefecture itself 1.4 million. Point of all that, we know about "tourists"

Yeah there are problems, tourists from some Asian countries do not flush paper down the toilet, they drop it on the floor, and many squat over the "western" style toilets and leave a mess.

Educating tourists on the planes, passing out pamphlets, information, etc etc etc, does not always work, and there are always those that dont follow the rules.

NOTHING can be done, unless you want to stop all tourists from coming here, sadly the only "acceptable" manner level for some folks here is ZERO and that is not being realistic.

Considering many Japanese from mainland who come down here are ever BIGGER pains in the butt than foreign one's! THEY need a big slap upside the head too sometimes!

On this, it isnt just foreigners who are a problem, but Japanese too!

5 ( +35 / -30 )

The agency said, however, "overtourism" is not a severe problem compared with other international tourist destinations.

Here we go with the "other" ....Yeah and Japan is about the 1/10 of the size of the "other" places too"! So do me a favor and pull your heads out of your nether regions!

We folks out here have to deal with it on a daily basis, and you folks who sit in glass towers that make asinine comments like this, have assistants who wipe your butts!

-23 ( +15 / -38 )

I deal with poor manners everyday here, but I rarely see a tourist...

Where large numbers of people congregate, litter follows. Take any large gathering of Japanese people (Cherry blossom viewing - お花見). If/when BINS are supplied, the likelihood of littering decreases dramatically! How about Japan supplies bins like the rest of the developed world?

As for 'bad manners' in regards to using toilets? I'm not even sure what they are talking about there. Need more information.

29 ( +35 / -6 )

I get the point that Japan has its own indigenous rude people, but they don't have to import more. As a nearly 6 foot tall ginger, I stand out enough when I visit. I don't need to add acting like a stereotypical American on top of that. I don't understand how its so hard to try to have some manners when visiting a foreign country.

16 ( +29 / -13 )

It's an easy problem to fix. Simply limit tourism to tourists from "acceptable" nations.

-21 ( +10 / -31 )

Maybe if Japan actually had more Garbage Bins in tourist areas the litter problem would greatly reduce. The reason Japan does not have public garbage bins.... because too many Japanese took advantage of them and municipalities could not handle it. Blame everything on the foreigner visiting Japan.... but other countries have plenty of public garbage bins and things work fine.

40 ( +45 / -5 )

So, let me get this straight. Japan has been plugging tourism to attract more visitors from other countries, but they are now complaining about it because they have different cultures? It's like a kid begging for an ice cream and then he says he doesn't like it. Well, the solution is simple. Roll back the clock 300 years and close country's boarders, again. No foreigners, no problems!

-7 ( +25 / -32 )

As for 'bad manners' in regards to using toilets? I'm not even sure what they are talking about there. Need more information.

https://cdn.japantimes.2xx.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/n-toilet-a-20150827.jpg

-18 ( +4 / -22 )

The reason Japan does not have public garbage bins.... because too many Japanese took advantage of them and municipalities could not handle it.

Exactly! If the government didn't make it so difficult and expensive to get rid of waste, the bins might have had a chance.

We pay so much in taxes and still have to clean our own parks and even take our own trash home.

Smell the coffee, Japan!

27 ( +34 / -7 )

30 million visitors is not "overtourism". Italy, which is smaller than Japan, has 60 million visitors each year. Even tiny Greece has about 30 million, and they are the size of Kanto Area.

26 ( +32 / -6 )

Educate the locals on proper manners first before you start blaming tourists. Never seen a tourist pick their nose on a crowded train, see Japanese people doing it every day

23 ( +31 / -8 )

Some 25.4 percent cited tourists' manners as a problem in relation to the use of restrooms

This one is interesting. Are they not flushing the toilets, or do they think the sinks are urinals?

while 20.3 percent listed littering in public places and residential areas.

Easily solved with the extra tourist dollars. Hire people to constantly walk the streets cleaning up.

overtourism

A 7 year old word.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I get the point that Japan has its own indigenous rude people, but they don't have to import more. As a nearly 6 foot tall ginger, I stand out enough when I visit. I don't need to add acting like a stereotypical American on top of that. I don't understand how its so hard to try to have some manners when visiting a foreign country.

I WISH I was "nearly" 6 ft tall sometimes! At close to 2M I stick out down here like a redwood in a forest full of asparagus sprouts! I can not go anywhere outside my house without getting double takes.

Not to mention that when people greet me for the first time, I dont get a "Good morning" (ohaiyou) or anything like that, it's ALWAYS, "Dekai ne! (Damn Big huh!)

Manners are taught at home, and it's rather obvious to me that there are far too many tourists, domestic and foreign, that never learned any!

-5 ( +19 / -24 )

tourists' manners as a problem in relation to the use of restrooms,

What exactly are they talking about? Farting too loud? Pissing on the floor? Taking a peek? What sort of manners do you need in a bathroom that is not being upheld?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

The agency said, however, "overtourism" is not a severe problem compared with other international tourist destinations.

Really? And yet it seems we read or hear complaints about overtourism in Kyoto, Hokkaido and Kamakura all the time.

Sorry Japan, you can't weaponise tourism as part of your soft war against your neighbours and then complain that the visitors aren't up to the standard that you'd like.

And don't even start with the toilet business because the number of Japanese men who don't wash their hands after using is crazy. And that includes the traps as well as the urinals. I see "manner" posters everywhere in the train system but nothing about washing your hands. Why is that?

17 ( +28 / -11 )

Local people in Kyoto handing out booklets to tourists on how to behave and want is expected of them but then I read the same is happening in Rome with tourists banned from eating on monuments or dippng into fountains to cool off. Kamakura baanning eating on the streets. Tough being a tourist these days.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

The agency said, however, "overtourism" is not a severe problem compared with other international tourist destinations.

I guess it depends who you ask. As with nearly every issue up for debate, follow the money. Of course businesses benefiting from the boom are sanguine about it. And are we surprised that an agency tasked with increasing these numbers, on behalf of a government targeting ever increased growth, would conclude that it's not a problem? Not to mention the flow of contributions to politicians' coffers from the industries profiting from the spike.

But it doesn't take an agency to take the pulse of the locals. I have family from Kyoto and of course every single person in Kansai has observed the city's evolution over the past decade. It's extremely rare that you find someone whose opinion has gone unchanged (overwhelmingly for the worse). The number of Japanese day trippers to the city have dropped by 1/2 a million for two years in a row. The city and the nation have clearly decided that the greater money to be gotten from international tourists is the priority.

Fair enough--it's their country. But it's my contention that something is lost when you sell out your cultural heritage to the highest bidder. How many Italians want to visit Venice? Or Spaniards, Barcelona. It's not only a Japanese issue. I just read about plans to build a railroad to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji. Why not put a Starbucks at the gate of Ise Jinguu?

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

Curious. What exactly did they expect would happen when swathes of people come rummaging through town? Seriously.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

At close to 2M I stick out down here like a redwood in a forest full of asparagus sprouts!

I hear you. Whenever I get in the elevator at work, I feel like Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

Why not put a Starbucks at the gate of Ise Jinguu?

A friend was in Koya San for work recently. She said there's now a conbini and temple hotels selling shojin ryori meals for 24,000 yen. She said it was full of high end tourists, both domestic and foreign. She and her staff didn't have the budget to stay so they had to go back to Osaka....

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Some 25.4 percent cited tourists' manners as a problem in relation to the use of restrooms,

Tourists need to learn that cubicles are primarily to be used for smoking and reading newspapers on your lunch break and that it's customary to pee on the floor IN FRONT OF the urinal and not actually in it.

When in Rome people.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

People need to learn that not everyone in the world is exactly like them and theirs.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

People need to learn that not everyone in the world is exactly like them and theirs.

Is this aimed at the locals or the tourists? Because if I go to someone else's house, I obey their rules, like I would expect them to do if they came to mine.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Don't give me that visitors manners crap. There are plenty of Japanese who have no manners. If I start citing all the examples I experience everyday, the monitors will delete my post

agree

Sorry Japan, you can't weaponise tourism as part of your soft war against your neighbours and then complain that the visitors aren't up to the standard that you'd like.

exactly!!

And don't even start with the toilet business because the number of Japanese men who don't wash their hands after using is crazy. And that includes the traps as well as the urinals. I see "manner" posters everywhere in the train system but nothing about washing your hands. Why is that?

good point.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Alfie, yeah, Koya-san has gotten extremely commercialized. Savvy young monk-businessmen. Spirituality inc. I'm so happy I first came here so long ago before such awakenings took place, that hey we should monetize this!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

similar polls show 80% of foreign residents in Japan complain of Japanese public urination, snorting and coughing in crowded trains and not walking in a straight line as annoying Japanese manners

20 ( +25 / -5 )

So UNESCO declared Mt Fuji was too dirty to be awarded as a natural beauty spot. That was international tourists too? Glass house Japanese throwing stones. How about separate cars for women on train lines to stop molestation, ca we blame that lack of manners on the tourists? Typical xenophobic Japanese projecting outwards.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Those pesky foreigners coming to Japan and upsetting the ‘reiwa’. Perhaps they should make all foreigners take a Japanese culture test before they come to japan so they can learn all the conservative and culturally selfish traits of Japanese culture.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

this definitely has two sides.

Are some tourists from some locations difficult and honestly a little unpleasant yes, undoubtedly, my frequent trips around the country for work have seen some massive changes and they aren't great.

However Japan needs to work with tourism companies, and airlines coming into Japan (from especially some locations) to advise some cultural norms in Japan, and when it comes to public behavior because some of them aren't clear to people who live quite differently.

Explain Flush (with paper) Toilet system

(I travel a lot there are still many places in Asia this isn't the case)

Explain Public transport and crowded location behavior

(Keep voices down, yelling into a phone and having the other end on speaker is considered rude, line up politely, be reasonable with shopping and baggage)

Explain the unfathomable lack of rubbish bins

(this one really gets to me... and now a lot of convenience stores are removing outside bins there is even less)

If a really angry NZ2011 tells you to please be quite in the hotel hall ways at 3am for the 3rd time be warned the next request won't be so friendly.

I personally think a multi-language guide as you enter Japan as a tourist that has emergency numbers and instructions as well as some simple cultural guide instructions could go a long way.

As I said I travel a lot, and Japan is significantly more pleasant as a general environment than some of the surrounding areas (other than smoking) I don't want that to change.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Yeah, an increase in bad-mannered tourists IS a problem.

. Total number of Japanese domestic travelers

○ The total number of Japanese domestic travelers was 641.08 million (a 6.0% year-on-year increase), of which overnight trips accounted for 325.66 million (a 4.0% year-on-year increase), and day tripsaccounted for 315.42 million (an 8.1% year-on-yearincrease).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Is this aimed at the locals or the tourists? Because if I go to someone else's house, I obey their rules, like I would expect them to do if they came to mine.

It's aimed at whoever is complaining about other people.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

its all about manners. The world needs to set Japan as the default, then international tourists will not be a problem. Simple. Lol

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

It's aimed at whoever is complaining about other people.

It's not unreasonable to expect people to behave themselves in a civilized fashion. If they don't, they should be complained about.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

There are no bins in Japan due to terrorism concerns. Since the Sarin gas attack.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

30 million visitors is not "overtourism"

Apparently you don't live in Japan.

Curious. What exactly did they expect would happen when swathes of people come rummaging through town? Seriously.

This. Japan assumed that mass-tourism was a great idea without problems. But nooooo, please invite even more tourists Japan, because we all need that $$

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I find it interesting that one of the complaints is about toilets. Many toilets, especially in stations used to be filthy, smelly and unpleasant. In recent years they have improved considerably because of tourism, for the sake of tourists, so that tourists would not see how dirty Japanese toilets could be.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

I live and work in Tokyo. The only persons with bad manners are middle aged Japanese men.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

When in Rome do as the Romans do!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Reckless.. there is no doubt there is a bunch of sad/grumpy/tired/rude middle age men especially in rush hour, but one doesn't excuse the other. (lets hope the next generation leaves some of that behind but as people get ground into dreamless work machines not sure if I have that much hope of that)

Not sure where you are in Tokyo... but the increase in tourism and some of the behavior mentioned is very clear to me.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Install litter bins in busy areas, like other countries do. How difficult is that?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

There are far more ill mannered Japanese than foreigners. Also, only a small percentage of tourist buses are filled with foreign visitors. The majority are filled with Japanese retirees. The older generation is where these complaints are coming from. Just like they complain about noisy school children. Most of the hoteliers and residents in these tourist traps are elderly. They are happy to take the tourist’s money though.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"close country's boarders, again. No foreigners, no problems!"

You said it I didn't.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Tourist huh, I guess that's why they have signs printed in Japanese in public toilets reminding people to keep the toilet clean.

Japan as the default standard on rudness? I guess we should all start slurping not only noodles but any liquid based food, lift plates to our chins and shovel food into our mouths, take of our shoes and pick our toes in restaurants, push past women and children to get a seat, let doors close in people's faces. Should I go on?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

25.4 percent cited tourists' manners as a problem in relation to the use of restrooms

I'd love to hear more about that. Because the people I see hawking up phlegm and gobbing it into the sink, or having a cr@p and stomping out without washing their hands, pretty much all seem to be Japanese.

And if we want to take the moral high ground about toilet manners, how about some soap in station and park restrooms?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@ SaikoPsyco

The reason Japan does not have public garbage bins.... because too many Japanese took advantage of them and municipalities could not handle it

Actually, wrong. Most public trash cans were removed after the terror incidents in 1990s. Train stations, city centres, parke etc. Please, Japanese and foreign tourists, take your trash home with you. Not too difficult.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Can we drop this "tax-free for tourists" crap? Let them pay the same as us. It may reduce the numbers a bit, or the amount they buy while here, but we sure could use the money.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Seriously, if there were more than five garbage bins in the entire country the littering wouldn't be that big of a problem.

I mean they have to clean up after them anyway and it's easier to clean a couple bins than an entire street.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Need at least one story per day on "tourists" so we can remember how great some people supposedly are. Maybe the person whose dog is crapping in front of my house is just a tourist on a really long stay?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

There are no bins in Japan due to terrorism concerns. Since the Sarin gas attack.

In actuality there are no bins, as other posters have noted, because JAPANESE customers threw their trash from their homes away and cities were having to pay a lot of money to dispose of it. Even many convenience stores took away their trash bins from in front of their stores for the same reasons.

The sarin attack was limited to a very small area, and it was for a short time only that they were removed, they soon were replaced but taken away afterwards to get people to take care of their own garbage!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

As for 'bad manners' in regards to using toilets? I'm not even sure what they are talking about there. Need more information.

https://cdn.japantimes.2xx.jp/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/n-toilet-a-20150827.jpg

Lol! I guess people really dont want to know why! Those posters and ones like it, have been placed all over the place in public bathrooms in Japan

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Alfie Noakes

A friend was in Koya San for work recently. She said there's now a conbini and temple hotels selling shojin ryori meals for 24,000 yen.

Koyasan? Shojinryori?

I could tell you about Shosanji (焼山寺), but why draw tourists?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Ganbare Japan!

Please, Japanese and foreign tourists, take your trash home with you. Not too difficult.

I sympathize, but many folks expect others to pick up for them. It’s easier to housebreak a dog.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

@zichi

When in Rome do as the Romans do!

If I remember Rome correctly from years back, this is exactly the problem.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I suggest a two years course on Japanese manners for anyone planning to visit Japan.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

There are enough sightseeing buses to cause traffic jams in 38% of municipalities with tourist destinations? Ginza okay, around Toyosu okay, Kyoto okay, Kamakura okay, but 38% of places across the country can't get moved for tourist buses? I find that very hard to believe.

I see traffic jams all the time in Matsumoto but they have nothing to do with buses carrying Chinese people.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I see traffic jams all the time in Matsumoto but they have nothing to do with buses carrying Chinese people.

There was a traffic jam on my way to work this morning, and I'd be surprised if a tourist bus had been through my boring city in the last 10 years!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Japan needs to stop presenting tourism as if they are doing a favor to the outside world by letting them visit Japan.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Having both studied Tourism and worked in the hospitality industry for many years, these kinds of complaints are common throughout the world when tourism experiences rapid growth. There are multiple issues at play here

1) Japan has experienced a rapid explosion in tourist numbers in under 20 years. In 2000 there were 4.75 million visitors to Japan. This number includes both business and those visiting friends and family who have only a portion of their time involved in tourism related activities. In 2018 that number was 31.2 million with the vast majority being tourists. Also remember that 2019 and 2020 have major sporting events.

2) Tourists tend to congregate around attractions and and not evenly dispersed. Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and to a lesser extent Okinawa and the ski resorts attract the vast majority of the tourists.

3) Foreign tourists stand out due to their appearance and mannerisms. They are a readily identifiable addition to the landscape in the eyes of the locals. Japanese tourists blend in and are not noticed as much although they are a significant component of the tourist numbers.

4) Increases in tourist numbers change the attraction that they have come to partake of. Look at the number of foreign owned ski lodges and restaurants in Hokkaido, fake monks, mass produced tourist trinkets. Prices go up, congestion increases and 'inauthentic' experiences tarnish the image of the attractions.

To manage this issue, the Japanese government should look at spreading the load by enticing travelers to new locations within Japan and cracking down on rogue operators.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

sensei258.. absolutely agreed, in fact I would stress that maybe locals need some manner education first.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If anyone is interested, JTB's research arm has some very interesting stats on inbound tourism, including countries of origin and change over time. The data can be found here:

https://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/inbound/

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I am not trying to insult Japanese here, but foreign people are not the only ones that lack manners. I have seen Japanese litter on the street, stop and pee on a building in the middle of the day, yelling on the street while drunk, causing problems on the train while drunk, harassing women on the street while drunk, spit on the sidewalk, throw a plastic bottle on the ground, right next to a trash can, and walk away. Oh, and lets not forget the 11 times I was told to go back to America. I live here in Japan, and I lack no manners. In fact, most people are surprised how polite I am. Holding a door for an older lady, letting an older lady go in the door first, bowing, etc are all things I do.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

What exactly are they talking about? Farting too loud? Pissing on the floor? Taking a peek? What sort of manners do you need in a bathroom that is not being upheld?

Not flushing toilet paper down the toilet.

Standing and squatting on the western toilets.

Knocking loudly on the stall door when it's clearly locked and occupied.

I don't even want to get into women's bathrooms. Let's just say blood and feces shouldn't go onto walls.
-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Traffic is a problem regardless of whether tourists are here or not. First of all, there need to be less lights and they should be timed with the flow of the traffic instead of grouping them in groups of 5 lights. I take my kids to running practice and there are 25 stop lights in the 5 km we have to travel! I have had to stop at 19 of them before. It usually takes me 30 minutes to travel this distance even when traffic isn't heavy.

Then you add more tourist busses and taxis because of the increased tourists and yeah, the problem becomes worse, but the initial problem is not because of the tourists.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

About not flushing toilet paper:

In some countries/cities in Asia, you're not supposed to flush it.

For example, Taipei.

https://international.thenewslens.com/article/60020

So without signage like the one Yubaru cited, Asian tourists might not know how things work in Japan.

The world map on the following site shows that countries where you SHOULD flush the paper are definitely in the minority.

https://mindofahitchhiker.com/should-you-flush-the-toilet-paper-a-flowchart/

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Instead of bashing Japan and Japanese in reverse and revenge, shouldn't we better think in positive way? Like,

'Yeah, we should control such mannerism, it's their country, so we should even be more aware as tourists than local people, this way they will also respect our places when they visit us'.

Why are we always attacking? Why are we not taking responsibility?

Japan is a country of Great culture, most of the Japanese do want foreigners to visit and experience but they also want them to follow what (Most) Japanese are following the law. But all u people are pointing out those 'some' people.

Japan is defending but u foreigners are defending rather aggressively and such hatred towards Japan.

Why are we becoming like this so lowest of the low? Shouldn't we appreciate and respect and learn good things from each other?

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

In Tokyo I can easily find garbage bins at any train station I use or any random conbini. NYC is another story...

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I am not trying to insult Japanese here, but foreign people are not the only ones that lack manners. I have seen Japanese litter on the street, stop and pee on a building in the middle of the day, yelling on the street while drunk, causing problems on the train while drunk, harassing women on the street while drunk, spit on the sidewalk, throw a plastic bottle on the ground, right next to a trash can, and walk away. Oh, and lets not forget the 11 times I was told to go back to America. I live here in Japan, and I lack no manners. In fact, most people are surprised how polite I am. Holding a door for an older lady, letting an older lady go in the door first, bowing, etc are all things I do.

Yes That's not offensive as it is the fact. There' re so awfully lots of Japanese people who don't have any idea about manner. I hate them so much and I often get in trouble by complaining to them. But that would be a different issue unless foreign visitors learned their manner by watching those Japanese.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan is labouring under the illusion that everyone has the same cultural norms, I agree that when you visit a place you should try and follow their customs, but if you don't know what they are you just do what you would at home. Most countries have litter bins in public places, maybe putting them in areas popular with tourists would help curb littering. Some countries do not allow paper to be flushed down the toilet, maybe more signs in these languages - not simply English, Chinese, Korean. Tour buses can be licenced and permits issued, limiting their numbers.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

sensei258Today  06:50 am JST

Don't give me that visitors manners crap. There are plenty of Japanese who have no manners. If I start citing all the examples I experience everyday, the monitors will delete my post

You have lots of anger pent up in you. Your new life in Japan not doing so well?

The fact is that the proportion of tourists with bad manners is much higher than an average Japanese. A lot of it has to do with the fact that tourists are unfamiliar with the rules here (like talking on the phone in the subway). Not always their fault but its the truth..

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

I don't think most foreigners here are particularly rude. In fact, I see visitors being overly concerned about doing something rude, rather than under-concerned. Every time I have visitors, I get asked the same questions about whether something is rude, or if it's ok/polite to do something.

Sometimes you see an obnoxious foreigner out and about, and those are the experience more likely to stick in your head. But they are a very small minority I think.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Alfie Noakes

And don't even start with the toilet business because the number of Japanese men who don't wash their hands after using is crazy. And that includes the traps as well as the urinals. I see "manner" posters everywhere in the train system but nothing about washing your hands. Why is that?

Excellent point. Unfortunately, for some very odd reason it seems to be primarily a male issue. Perhaps in their elementary ages they didn't like washing hands with cold water in cold schools. Seeing adults walking out of restrooms after doing their business is disgusting and rude to everyone else.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Who thought something as simple as pinching a loaf required signage and detailed explanation.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Bring back the trash bins.

The Sarin attack was long ago and the perpetrators hung, so that threat is over. If the main excuse by the government not to supply bins, which is part of their governmental responsibility to their tax pay public, is that too many Japanese were throwing their household trash in them, then do what is always done here...a persistent manners campaign. NHK specials, lots of naming and shaming...make it socially unacceptable.

Otherwise, prepare to continue to have litter stashed in the bushes, etc. by desperate people. Millions of tourists coming for rugby and 2020 Olympics should be incentive enough for the duffers in the Tokyo Met. to get into action.

What is it going to be, Japan? Bins or litter forever?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

he agency said, however, "overtourism" is not a severe problem compared with other international tourist destinations.

Here we go with the "other" ....Yeah and Japan is about the 1/10 of the size of the "other" places too"!

Not really. Very few countries 10 time bigger than Japan. The UK has about the same number of tourists as Japan (30 million) and has half the population and much less land space, for example. Also, there are over 50 countries that have more tourists per year than population. So no, Japan is nowhere near being overrun by tourists.

The problem I see is that Japan has gone for so many years with almost no tourists. Honestly, I miss those days, and tourism brings a lot of unwanted side effects. Formerly good restaurants, for example, go downhill after getting used to tourists and learning there was no point in giving great food and service anymore.

Yes, nay Japanese have bad manners. But those are hopeless cases. Most tourists, like most Japanese, want to play by the rules, and would welcome a little guidance. There will always be misbehaving tourists though. And unfortunately, it's human nature to blame all others because of a bad other.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I just got back from Japan a week ago. Last time we visited was autumn leaf viewing time in 2015, so the crowds in Kyoto were pretty big but also pretty orderly. This time was different.

Kyoto was the problem, at least on our itinerary. Unlike a huge city such as Tokyo, where the increased tourist numbers are swallowed up without difficulty (including at the Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa, which was no problem) or Osaka, whose attractions are more rambunctious, Kyoto's more delicate appeal is vulnerable to overtourism on the scale we experienced it in some parts of the city. Just too many tour groups, too many people. You can kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, and that's what overtourism does.

Anyone seen the footage of huge cruise ships sailing into Venice, dwarfing everything beneath them and making sure that most people visiting that day are going to remember the cruise ship as much as they do St Mark's Square or the Lagoon? No cruise ships in Kyoto, but my best memories of this visit to that otherwise beautiful city are going to be the day we got out of it and made a day trip to Omihachiman. Lots of charm, just enough visitors. Loved it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I have visited/lived in a handful of other asian countries and I have to say, sometimes there wasn't a week (or sometimes even a day) I wouldn't be baffled by the total lack of manners and consideration toward others in those countries if in comparison with Japan.

Everybody here have this love & hate relationship with Japan but no one cant say japanese arent one of the most considerate people on earth, be it by their own character or by social pressure, what I don't judge it wrong, I prefer to be watched by the society and pressured to treat others with consideration than to not have these invisible rules and sigh everytime I go out and have to face hordes of impolite, ''me first'' ppl everywhere, everywhere.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Yeah, TOURISTS are the cause of traffic jams. Sorry, but after a couple of decades here and reading literal predictions for mass traffic jams at every holiday, this is just a way of fobbing things off. Traffic is ALWAYS a problem here, and when the Olympics come next year, wow... is Tokyo ever going to see it.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Traffic jams caused by tour busses, well not all tour busses are for foreign tourists. If you can't handle traffic jams, how about leaving your car at home and ride a bus yourself?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

There is probably litter, because it is so difficult to find trash bins in Japan. Put more trash bins out, Japan! That was annoying AF carrying around trash for lengthy periods. Typical Japan cause a problem with your actions/lack of action and blame it on foreigners. Plus most of the littering I saw were by your own drunks.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Meh.  Rude people everywhere.  and people who abuse toilets and litter.  If they want the tourist bucks then have to put up with the overcrowding part.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The fact is that the proportion of tourists with bad manners is much higher than an average Japanese. 

This is actually quite wrong.

Just by the sheer number of people who live here that are Japanese the proportion of Japanese who have bad manners far outweighs the few tourists who show them when they come here.

Very few tourists are the problem, it just their poor manners are over blown because they are foreigners. Japanese tend to over look the poor manners of other Japanese, but believe me they far outweigh the foreigners!

How about the crappy Japanese drivers? The noisy-arsed bosojoku? The nose-picking, arse and boob pinching drunken oyajis? Need I go on?

Oh but they dont count do they? They are Japanese, and EVERYONE knows Japanese have picture perfect manners....NOT!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I welcome the tourists and try to help them out whenever possible (giving directions, helping them carry their suitcase up the stairs). My only pet peeve is when they buy a new suitcase in Japan and leave their old one on the street or in the airport.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I find it interesting that one of the complaints is about toilets. Many toilets, especially in stations used to be filthy, smelly and unpleasant. In recent years they have improved considerably because of tourism, for the sake of tourists, so that tourists would not see how dirty Japanese toilets could be.

True. Things have improved. That comment reminded me of the time I was the only non-Japanese lined up in the women's washroom of a railway station waiting my turn along with 5 or 6 others. While waiting the first woman rolled her pant legs up to her knees and the others followed suit. I did the same and they all burst out laughing when I gave them the thumbs up. They understood that I was not unaware of what I might encounter.

Experience taught me to hold out for department store washrooms whenever possible. Shocking as it was to experience it, even places as upscale as Takashimaya I never use the toire on the first floor. Those on the restauran gai tend to be the cleanest.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Reading some of these comments really confuse me. I always tell my friends the people in Japan are clean: the cities are clean: the buses, trains and terminals are clean: the parks are clean and the public bathrooms are clean. Even the bathrooms in the fast food joints are clean. Here in Honolulu many of the fast food joints do not have public toilets because they were trashed by the crazies running around the city.

And lastly, I too avoid herds of European tourist. Far too many of them act very boorish: even here in Honolulu.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

There goes my coffee....why is it that Japanese think they are the best mannered people on the friggen globe they are far from it some of the unthinkable things I have seen here in many years makes your head spin..

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It doesn't take half a brain to know that not all Japanese are polite, kind, well-mannered and take their trash home with them. Some are/do, and some aren't/don't. Just as not all foreigners who live/visit here are rude, sweet, smart, well-mannered, annoying, kind, etc. Some are and some aren't. Pointless to argue about it because whichever side of the fence you are on, whatever you have witnessed with your own eyes - there's always others who have experienced the opposite.

Japan wants tourists, so Japan have to deal with the repercussions of having tourists. Plain and simple.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If you base your economic recovery on increasing tourism, you are going to have to get used to increased tourist numbers. Most of those tourists ain't from around these parts. That's why they're tourists.

You want the money Welcome the people spending it. Pretty simple.

Crack open that Omotenashi you keep bragging about.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is always very funny. I mean what is always funny is this JT comments which always attracts nearly 100 comments once it heats up to Japanese vs foreigners. For those living here for long enough, say longer than 20years, a 1/4 of your life spent here and you don't have to be always on the other side of the fence by "B, bbbbbut, Japanese are also blah blah blah....".

The topic is about the issues municipalities in areas with popular tourist destinations are facing.

It's about the place you live.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I visit Japan regularly since 2000. Of course, every country will have people who can’t behave. Definitely Japan on the whole has the most polite and best behaved people worldwide and I know many countries Intimately. I always enjoy the respectful and disciplined manners in Japan. Moreover, rules are so obvious and clear. Foreigners have not the slightest excuse for not respecting them. And yes! I always DO find a litter bin for my waste.,

0 ( +4 / -4 )

For myself, and all the other old folk on JT we need more outdoor sidewalk toilets especially in the main tourist locations like in Kyoto. They could even charge ¥10 to use them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is always very funny. I mean what is always funny is this JT comments which always attracts nearly 100 comments once it heats up to Japanese vs foreigners. For those living here for long enough, say longer than 20years, a 1/4 of your life spent here and you don't have to be always on the other side of the fence by "B, bbbbbut, Japanese are also blah blah blah....".

The topic is about the issues municipalities in areas with popular tourist destinations are facing.

It's about the place you live.

Look, besides your math being way off, I aint 80 years old here, and there is a lot for us who are foreigners who live here in Japan, and have for a long time, me, well over 30 years, more than half my life, that we really understand.

Japan isnt anything special, Japan is just like any other country, it's just annoying as hell to read people write stuff that comes across making it seem like Japanese are "special" and foreigners are the root of all evil!

Neither is true and neither is 100% false either. A small percentage of BOTH are 100% wrong and 100% arseholes, the rest, the other 99% on BOTH sides, are average, decent people.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@Hans-Christian Gunther

I always DO find a litter bin for my waste.,

I suppose some people litter when they don’t SEE a bin. Others, like you, FIND a bin and then dispose of their trash. Good work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@BigYen

Kyoto's more delicate appeal is vulnerable to overtourism on the scale we experienced it in some parts of the city. 

Dazaifu, just south of Fukuoka, is another lovely place that just gets too many tourists, especially bus tours. Locals will still make a living, but word of mouth may eventually kill the goose.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Here's the way it tends to work in Japan: make an announcement, designate to everyone but yourself, and hope it all works out. If it doesn't, get angry at the people who point out the problems.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The Japanese don’t have to ‘grapple’ at all!

However, the greedy rule the roost!

If the people don’t like it then simply restrict the number of tourists coming here.

I watched an opposition member of the Diet voice their constituents’ opinions to Abe and Aso;congestion,lack of tour buses for Japanese tourists, garbage disposal problems etc.

They both refused to comment as they know the high revenues associated with tourism here.

There are countries eg Bhutan which restricts tourist numbers.

Japan could do the same but that would impact the bottom line-greed wins against commonsense.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru

Look, besides your math being way off, I aint 80 years old here, and there is a lot for us who are foreigners who live here in Japan, and have for a long time, me, well over 30 years, more than half my life, that we really understand.

 

Sure. Wherever you leave here for in future, at least you have spent a 1/4 of your life if you live up to average length of today’s life. That’s what I meant.  You Yubaru, spent half of your life here in Japan so far. I get it

 

Japan isnt anything special, Japan is just like any other country,

 

Sure it isn’t. How can it be in the 1st place? I haven’t seen much of posts which claim as such. I rather see more often the posts laughing, commenting cynically or with sarcasm such as Japan and Japanese weird place/culture and people.   

 

it's just annoying as hell to read people write stuff that comes across making it seem like Japanese are "special" and foreigners are the root of all evil!

 

There could be such posters who write as such whom I don’t remember at all as far as I’m concerned although there are sometimes posts from seemingly Japanese with anger, which usually get quickly deleted. But I am pretty sure that majority posts here in this JT are quite opposite, i.e., this is the place non-Japanese gather and laugh at Japan and Japanese people assuming that not so many Japanese are really reading them.

 

Neither is true and neither is 100% false either. A small percentage of BOTH are 100% wrong and 100% arseholes, the rest, the other 99% on BOTH sides, are average, decent people.

 

Of course. Yet again, I can list up the names of regular posters who does nothing but providing articles about today's Japan with only negative lights. the poster one above is a typical one.

Japan is nothing special, so what does one expect? Too much stress because it turns out to be nothing special despite your initial expectation? it's just annoying as hell to read people write stuff that comes across making it seem like everything the Japanese do laughable.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Well I should correct : the poster two above mine

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If the article is examined for positive points then none can be gleaned!

Why not?

That is kind of anomalous isn’t it?

Inbound foreign tourism is boosting profits of many companies from dried milk producers to hotels to transport companies etc

I personally know companies both foreign companies both foreign and Japanese owned making big money from tourism.

So, where in the article is the ‘thanks’ that should be extended to the waves of tourists?

It isn’t there.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I can't stop my yearnings to go to Japan. Traveling for me is not about going to as many places as I can or learn new cultures and eat different foods in different locations or brag about where I've been, it's really just about going to Japan. It's one destination I want to visit. And for the many times I've been there, Japanese have always been polite but I can't say they're very warm or friendly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When I first came to Japan (all those years long ago), I remember going to the toilet in the city office (Hirakata) and there was #$%^ everywhere. That was my first memory of a public toilet in Japan. Since then, I have seen many examples of such a mess.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Tourism is a land mine waiting to explode in Japan. It will take just one major incident involving bad tourists to get the old “This is Japan!” reaction from Japanese. And it will be a voice in unison.

Japanese should think very carefully about immigration too. Tourism is a heads up signal about over population of foreign cultures,

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Japan will have to continue grappling with tourists and all that comes with them because they want/need tourists. Pointless to complain about a problem which you asked for.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Pointless to complain about a problem which you asked for.

Indeed!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

look at these replies, more annoying than the tourists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a simple economics problem. Tourists bring tourists money. They also bring many years of habits that will not change overnight. If Japan wants tourists, Japan will need to take the good with the bad and accept tourists’ habits barring those that may break the law.

If New York can handle the millions of tourists visiting Manhattan each day, then Japan can learn to handle them too.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

On the subject of manners, I think it is a question about different cultural norms. What one person may think is appropriate, someone else may have learned is inappropriate. It is best to have a sense of humor, and not to get angry quickly. Enjoy the differences in people, as much as possible, instead of getting angry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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