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Kyoto’s popular tourist spot Gion to forbid photos on private roads

134 Comments
By Scott Wilson, SoraNews24

For years, Kyoto has been fighting an uphill battle against the millions of tourists that flock to see its living time capsule of traditional Japan every year. And while the city has done everything in its power to try and educate foreign tourists on proper manners when visiting, they have largely been unsuccessful.

Tourists trespassing on private property to take photos, grabbing geisha and maiko (geisha in training) to take pictures with them, and overall wrecking the atmosphere of the area is still a real problem.

And now one district in Kyoto, the Gion District, is putting their geta-sandal foot down. Starting on the 25th of this month, an association made up of local residents and shop owners has forbidden photography on private roads.

▼ So while pictures taken from the famous Hanamikoji Main Street, pictured here, are okay, many private roads leading off it are not.

gion2.jpg
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/663highland

Residents have been putting up bulletins informing visitors of the change. They are also passing out leaflets reminding them not to take unsolicited photos of geisha and maiko, and asking them to use good manners while in the area.

Apparently video surveillance is also being used, so even if violators are not caught right away, they could still be tracked down later.

While a fine of 10,000 yen has been put in place for those who violate the ordinance, it has not been made clear yet how it will be enforced, whether it will be by police, members of the committee, volunteers, or another organization. Hopefully just the signs alone with be effective in deterring most of the would-be photographers.

Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted to the development:

“If people don’t get better then the laws are just gonna get worse.”

“The more that people visit, the more than there will be people who don’t have manners.”

“As someone who loves photography and Kyoto, I’m sad, but I support them protecting the atmosphere of Gion.”

“Thanks a lot, dumb tourists, for ruining it for the rest of us.”

“I mean, if they don’t enforce the fine, then people are just gonna ignore it.”

“Wait a minute. If the fine is only 10,000 yen, then won’t there be tourists who just see it as a fee to pay to get whatever photos they want?”

“Exactly. It’s just 10,000 yen for All You Can Photo Anywhere You Want.”

Only time will tell if the fine does its intended job. But seeing as Gion has endured hardships before to keep its traditions alive, hopefully everything will turn out fine this time too.

Source: NHK News Web via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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134 Comments
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While a fine of 10,000 yen has been put in place for those who violate the ordinance, it has not been made clear yet how it will be enforced, whether it will be by police, members of the committee, volunteers, or another organization. Hopefully just the signs alone with be effective in deterring most of the would-be photographers.

Is it legally enforceable to have a law about taking photos in a public place? Can the police legally arrest someone for not following it?

Are the people fined per incident?

Once again, like the drinking in Shibuya issue, these local districts coming up with rules and regulations without any thought to how they are going to be enforced is just paying lip service to the folks who are affected by the problems.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Is it legally enforceable to have a law about taking photos in a public place? Can the police legally arrest someone for not following it?

of course not. It’s just silly people making silly rules that have no meaning.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Are they talking about public roads lined with private properties or wholly owned private roads? Seems an important distinction.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Are they talking about public roads lined with private properties or wholly owned private roads? Seems an important distinction.

Wholly owned private roads in a city are quite rare. They are talking about public roads with "private" dwellings.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Tourists trespassing on private property to take photos, grabbing geisha and maiko (geisha in training) to take pictures with them, and overall wrecking the atmosphere of the area is still a real problem.

I'm not pointing fingers, but this is what I actually saw:

My ex and I were walking through the crowded streets and we saw a few women dressed in beautiful kimonos. And a group of Chinese tourists (I knew they were Chinese because I had just came from China after 4 months, so I knew the language and manners) saw these two kimono wearing women going about their business. One Chinese woman GRABBED both women and pulled them towards her tour group and actually positioned the two women where to stand and they took a picture with them. There were no questions as to "Can I take a picture with you?" And the group just walked off after the picture.

I was at a BEAUTIFUL Japanese garden with a small waterfall, Koi fish and bonsai trees in Kyoto and there was a bamboo fence around the garden AND a sign implying "Do not cross!". Another group of tourists from China trampled on the garden's grass, were throwing pieces of dried branches in the Koi pond and were washing their hands in the small waterfall. Nobody said anything. I just called out "Ay!" and shook my head. Then an old woman staff came out and yelled at them.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

LOL a new scam has born.

“Exactly. It’s just 10,000 yen for All You Can Photo Anywhere You Want

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Most non-Japanese visiting Kyoto are Asians, so any warnings etc. need to be in Asian languages.

If tourists are insatiable for this kind of thing, perhaps someone should build a "JapanLand" theme park outside Kyoto with geisha actors and olde-style buildings where people can get their selfies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is it legally enforceable to have a law about taking photos in a public place? Can the police legally arrest someone for not following it?

of course not. It’s just silly people making silly rules that have no meaning.

They can't arrest you but they can issue a citation. A public ordinance is a fancy word for a bylaw. Cities and municipalities in Japan as capable of making bylaws which are legally binding just the same as national laws.

A city that has a no dumping ordinance (which I'm pretty sure all of them do) can legally issue a fine for anyone caught doing so. Refusing to pay the fine can lead to arrest or a court appearance.

Are the people fined per incident?

Considering its a public ordinance they would be fined per incident. Think of it like a parking ticket. They work in the same ways.

Wholly owned private roads in a city are quite rare. They are talking about public roads with "private" dwellings.

@Yubaru, no they are not. They are talking about private roads (私道) which in Kyoto are fairly common. Though they may look like public roads in as they are connecting streets, many of them are actually privately owned driveways.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/kyoto/20191025/2010005022.html

At 3:00 minutes into the video they explain this and show a map.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good.

They have every right to enforce rude tourists that have no respect for private property or local citizens just so they can take the 'perfect' shot to post on their social media accounts.

Anyone with common sense and sense of respect for other cultures and countries would have no issues with this.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

It's interesting how they're framing this as an anti-photography law, when actually, it's a trespassing law.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The irony of using video surveillance to catch people taking photos.........

12 ( +16 / -4 )

I just pulled up Google maps and looked at which areas in Gion were available for street view--almost all. So pictures are okay in all those areas...where the hell else do you need to take a photo?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They are talking about private roads (私道) which in Kyoto are fairly common. Though they may look like public roads in as they are connecting streets, many of them are actually privately owned driveways.

There is a large difference between a road and a driveway! Lol! Most driveways connect to streets too, just like mine, and everyone knows the difference, even tourists! IT's the locals that like to park on my driveway that are the problem!

They can't arrest you but they can issue a citation.

And you know this how? Cops can detain you for breaking the ordinances too ya know!

Tourists trespassing on private property to take photos, grabbing geisha and maiko (geisha in training) to take pictures with them, and overall wrecking the atmosphere of the area is still a real problem."

When there is no distinction between them, and people are walking on "public roads" !

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I hope a lawyer challenges the constitutionality of this, assuming the "private roads" are actually public roads.

I've been to hard-core authoritarian countries, and I've never seen this.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Kyoto should be snubbed, seriously. The mayor has declared that he hates tourists (but loves their money) and that Kyoto is “not a tourist city”, has imposed hotel races (like you’re not already paying!), and the people of Kyoto are so high and mighty it’s not worth it. This is yet another move. Someone can walk around a crowded area, blowing cigarette smoke at everyone, or oyaji vomit all over the place after enkais, but they don’t want people taking photos and enjoying their time in a place the government has asked them to come visit and declared the Japanese people a “motenasu “ culture.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Just ban tourism , problem solved. Culture preservation is more important than tourists who do nothing but destroy things, they are also the culprits who take pictures of Geishas, they don't understand that these Geishas are not for tourism. Tourists are Jama! Keep it the way it was before, when Japan let all the tourists out. Japan is a very wealthy country they don't need tourism to survive.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

I visited Harlem, New York recently and was extremely careful about how I used my camera. These places are neighborhoods with their own unique cultures and people who live there, trying to carry on their traditions. They are not theme parks. Awareness and common sense are lacking.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

We have visited Kyoto 2-3 times a year for the last 15 years because it is easy travel from Kobe, and cheap but we have moved to a new location so I think we are finished.

70% of the tourists/visitors are domestic.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Ban tourism in Japan and in return ban Japanese tourists who travel in other countries as well. Maybe it's better that we all just stay in our own countries and enjoy our own private properties. In that way we can all achieve peace and culture preservation!

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Since these days the majority use their smartphone for taking photos its impossible to know if someone is taking a photo or just using their phone and the authorities have no right to seize the phone to check or even request to have it opened.

Can of worms here!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

There is a large difference between a road and a driveway! Lol! Most driveways connect to streets too, just like mine, and everyone knows the difference, even tourists! 

It's much more complex than that. And "driveway" in this context has a different meaning from the same word in English. There is really know way to know which small roads are private or public by looking at them. If you buy land in Japan, it would be a mistake not to be familiar with the difference. If you buy land on a private road without understanding the ramifications, it could be costly. Do a search of 私道 if you want to know more.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Or just stop visiting Kyoto. It's boring there anyway, what is so entertaining about old temples that all look the same? Why would you need to see a clean and old Japanese neighborhood while locals don't want you to be there anyway. And why would you pay overpriced hotels, restaurants and ryokan when you are not welcome at all. Go to better and tourism friendly places like Thailand and Bali, at least you can enjoy nice and beautiful trpoical islands, eat good food, relax, party and most of all the locals will welcome you with open arms. Kyoto is overrated but boring.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Ban tourism in Japan and in return ban Japanese tourists who travel in other countries as well. Maybe it's better that we all just stay in our own countries and enjoy our own private properties. In that way we can all achieve peace and culture preservation!

BS talk! Do you realize what you are saying? Actually you should try to get out from your hole of Japan so that it will prevent you from writing such silly things. Trying to constrain the freedom of movement of people is dictatorship, are you remotely close to understand that?

Japan is a very wealthy country they don't need tourism to survive.

This is factually wrong since many regions and municipalities in Japan with aging population or depopulation increasingly depend on tourisms for their existence.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

One more reason to avoid xenophobic Kyoto.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

while Japanese tourists can do whatever they want in other countries, Japanese people want you to Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, but don't swallow in their own country. They will smile and be polite, but they don't want you.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Always amusing that cities and businesses want your money...they just dont want you!

I avoid Kyoto..it , to me, is no fun at all.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@noypikantoku

yes its a shame that Japan can't be a tropical destination all year round. If only we could control the weather.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@noypikantoku

Kyoto is overrated? Why do travel magazines call it one of the best cities in the world then? Most Westerners say its a beautiful city.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

I like Kyoto and of course, with any popular destination it's going to have its share of tourists. Tourists who both benefit and belittle the area. The latter we can do without out, I'm sure.

Ban tourism in Japan and in return ban Japanese tourists who travel in other countries as well. Maybe it's better that we all just stay in our own countries and enjoy our own private properties. In that way we can all achieve peace and culture preservation!

Hmmm. That sort of outlook doesn't usually have a positive outcome. See history for examples. I believe we can educate ourselves and not just get along but live and love with our brothers and sisters in other countries and cultures.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people dropping too much litter on this post

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yup indeed! Because Japanese people are very calm and peaceful. So they will smile at you , take your money be polite , but deep in their hearts they don't want you. They just want to show politeness. And people in Kyoto are exactly like that. It's called "O-SEI-JI" again, feel free to get mad at my comments but that is the reality.

Well, there are polite and bad people in every country in the world. No place is perfect. However, you are using a couple of experiences to justify that all Japanese people as a whole are rude.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Toasted Heretic

Hmmm. That sort of outlook doesn't usually have a positive outcome. See history for examples. I believe we can educate ourselves and not just get along but live and love with our brothers and sisters in other countries and cultures.

Well said! I totally agree, but unfortunately the locals don't share the same thinking, and sad to say their opinion and demands should matter more than what we think. They don't want tourism in their land so what can we do about it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

seanwd20

Where are you from, if I may ask? So just because you've never been robbed in Thailand, but I have, you think its a better place? But I'm 'careless' if I get robbed but if you were to get robbed in Japan, you'd blame the locals. You're a hypocrite.

I live in Japan. I am not saying that Thailand is a better place, but they welcome tourism more than Kyoto. Yes of course Japan is way more better and safer than Thailand, but the whole point is they don't want tourists, so why would we force ourselves to push and overcrowd Kyoto while the locals don't want it? So I am suggesting an alternative, go to a place where they embrace tourism more (Thailand). And if you like and respect Japanese people then you should agree with what they want. Kyoto is not for tourists , Kyoto natives don't want tourists so we foreigners should respect and understand that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I live in Japan. I am not saying that Thailand is a better place, but they welcome tourism more than Kyoto. Yes of course Japan is way more better and safer than Thailand, but the whole point is they don't want tourists, so why would we force ourselves to push and overcrowd Kyoto while the locals don't want it? So I am suggesting an alternative, go to a place where they embrace tourism more (Thailand). And if you like and respect Japanese people then you should agree with what they want. Kyoto is not for tourists , Kyoto natives don't want tourists so we foreigners should respect and understand that.

Uhm, have you not been keeping up to date with the Japanese government's targets. If they didn't want tourists, the country would not be setting a target of 40 million tourists by 2020, which was changed from 20 million in a few years ago.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

So I guess if foreign tourists are seen as "overall wrecking the atmosphere" of Kyoto, then the unspoken desire here is to have NO tourists at all other than Japanese?  Good luck with that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tourism to Kyoto, domestic and foreign generates more than ¥1 trillion a year. They definitely want it and could survive without it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Uhm, have you not been keeping up to date with the Japanese government's targets. If they didn't want tourists, the country would not be setting a target of 40 million tourists by 2020, which was changed from 20 million in a few years ago.

The Japanese government don't represent the people. Government and politicians' decisions are mostly not what the people really want. Come on, it's not me who wants to ban a simple photo remembrance in a supposedly popular tourist attraction, it's the people of Kyoto. So if you support and respect the natives in Kyoto, then you should agree with what they want.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tourists are attracted to Kyoto because of the history and culture and the city was spared by the American bombing while every other city was bombed and destroyed. Parts of the city remain as it was before.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Too many young Japanese using selfie sticks in busy streets.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think I have just stumbled on a new beer money venture. Off to Ueno station at 2AM, hire a dozen men, put them in uniform and equip them with a penalty receipt book, then off to Kyoto for the day issueing fines. They get to keep 50%, cash on the spot get 30% discount. LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Look, noypikantoku

I've read lots of blogs of travellers prasing Kyoto as a beautiful city and full of nice people. Are you going to say they were brainwashed or what? Your claim can be applied to Italy and Spain, whose governments want tourists, but the ordinary citizens do not.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Zichi

Tourists are attracted to Kyoto because of the history and culture and the city was spared by the American bombing while every other city was bombed and destroyed. Parts of the city remain as it was before.

Indeed it's beautiful, but sadly the locals don't want tourists. It's like Venezia in Italy. When we traveled there, I was so in love with the city's beauty. But while we are claiming for our tax refund one local resident told us how they don't want tourists in their town. She is a nice person and helped us with the access to the tax refund office which is inside the same old building she is living, but she honestly told us how she hates tourism there. I have to apologize to her for visiting the place and I cannot blame her as everyday it's hard for them to go to local stores and move around as their narrow alleyways are congested by tourists. It's a beautiful city but unfortunately the locals don't really want us there, and they have their own reasons. So I feel the same for Kyoto, It's beautiful but tourists are not really welcome.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I've read lots of blogs of travellers prasing Kyoto as a beautiful city and full of nice people. Are you going to say they were brainwashed or what? Your claim can be applied to Italy and Spain, whose governments want tourists, but the ordinary citizens do not.

And now who banned taking simple pictures for remembrance? If Kyoto locals understand and embrace tourism this simple act should be given to the tourists after spending so much money on their overpriced commodities. Again you keep on pushing about what the tourists and travel bloggers say, the whole point of the article is what the people and government of Kyoto want and not what the travelers say, as these travelers are the problems of Kyoto locals. It is indeed a beautiful city but it is not for tourists.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@JeffLeeToday 09:28 am JST

I hope a lawyer challenges the constitutionality of this, assuming the "private roads" are actually public roads. 

I've been to hard-core authoritarian countries, and I've never seen this.

Oh, and which article are you going to claim they are violating? If we grant that they are private roads, by which we presumably mean roads owned by private citizens, regardless of their appearance, then the right to set restrictions is actually a property right guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution, and the district-level restriction an act of regional autonomy.

You can't even claim an Article 19 violation, because "taking photos" by random private citizens or tourists can hardly be called "expression" - if they interfere with a reporter's photography as part of the material for a news report, that might be different...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've read lots of blogs of travellers prasing Kyoto as a beautiful city and full of nice people. 

Obviously this prohibition changes things going forward. Yup they are nice people, as Japanese are never rude! But are tourists welcome? Not really. I've been to Venice before, and like Kyoto its a very beautiful place and the locals are so kind and helpful to us, but they told us how they hate tourism in their town. Yes they can be kind and nice to you , but wanting you to stay there is a different story.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh quit freaking out. Unbridled tourism just ends up in a situation like Thailand, where the people in the industry hate the tourists, but are dependent upon them, ending up in a volatile situation.

Responsible tourism finds a balance between respecting the home and rights of the locals, with both the pride of being a place people want to visit, as well as the money the tourism brings.

People are acting like Kyoto put out a press release stating tourists are scum.

Take a deep breath.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Obviously this prohibition changes things going forward. Yup they are nice people, as Japanese are never rude! But are tourists welcome? Not really. I've been to Venice before, and like Kyoto its a very beautiful place and the locals are so kind and helpful to us, but they told us how they hate tourism in their town. Yes they can be kind and nice to you , but wanting you to stay there is a different story.

When did I say 'Japanese are never rude'? You're twisting my words. Are you brave enough to say that all Italians hate tourists? Or are people in Japan judged differently?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Oh quit freaking out. Unbridled tourism just ends up in a situation like Thailand, where the people in the industry hate the tourists, but are dependent upon them, ending up in a volatile situation.

Can you please prove that the locals hate tourists? At least they never ban taking simple pictures of the things they promote on their travel books.

Responsible tourism finds a balance between respecting the home and rights of the locals, with both the pride of being a place people want to visit, as well as the money the tourism brings.

Perhaps you should tell the Japanese tourism ministry to be more responsible on what they promote than asking tourists to be responsible. Taking a simple pictures is a normal tourist activity. You put these places and things (Geishas) on your travel books, brochures etc. and then you prohibit people to take pictures after spending so much money, isn't that a scam? Tourists went there to take remembrance, so prohibiting them with these activities that they paid for is not good.

People are acting like Kyoto put out a press release stating tourists are scum.

Obviously, they will not do exactly like that . But these prohibitions on simple tourists activities is a way of saying the same in a professional way.

Take a deep breath.

Yes take a deep breath when people spent thousands of dollars , fly all the way for several hours just to get to Kyoto just to find out that they are not allowed to take photos. What's the point?

So I think the best and beneficial to everyone is to just stop promoting the tourism in Kyoto.In that way you are giving the locals their right to preserve their culture, "Privacy" to Geishas and at the same time you are saving the tourists from not spending so much money and spend it somewhere else better where they can enjoy more.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

noypikantoku

Well if you saw the signs Kyoto put up, it is also written in Japanese. There you go, this new rule is not only limited to tourists.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

seandw20

When did I say 'Japanese are never rude'? You're twisting my words. Are you brave enough to say that all Italians hate tourists? Or are people in Japan judged differently?

I am talking about the travel bloggers you mentioned who say that Japanese people are nice, and my point is, yes they will act and be nice to you because Japanese people are not RUDE and they will not show that they hate you compare to other countries. But that doesn't mean that they embrace and welcome tourists!

I didn't say ALL ITALIANS, I am particular to VENEZIAN LOCALS. And same with Kyoto, of course not all Japanese hate tourists but Kyoto local residents don't embrace them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If a foreigner grab a geisha, learn to kick him.

If a foreigner trespasse ils, shout at him and put higher/stronger obstacles.

You can't have your cake (make profit out of a situation line thousands of tourists visiting you that you can make pay for some, a donation pot is enough) and eat it (have peace).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

seandw20

Well if you saw the signs Kyoto put up, it is also written in Japanese. There you go, this new rule is not only limited to tourists.

ridiculous! Of course everyone is obliged to follow that law, but this law now exists to prohibit tourists. And why would a local resident who lives there his/her entire life would need to take a picture of their neighborhood?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I haven't been to Kyoto for a decade. It was mad enough then, I can only imagine how bonkers it must be now.

Kyoto needs to create a Geisha Squad of women that aren't real geisha. They spend their days scuttling between tea houses, playing it all mysterious and coy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We have been to Kyoto more than 50 times and never experienced any problem from the Kyoto people or the service in the restaurants. Crowds and getting on buses, bust tourists places in the spring/autumn. We have never regretted visiting and always enjoyed our visits.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan should just stop misleading tourists about GEISHAS , you see Geisha and Maiko photos on their tourism ads and videos making foreigners believe that it is okay to take photos of them only to find out later that these women hate it and it's forbidden. And for me why do these Geishas walk outside, why not just stay inside their shops and dress up there. OF COURSE they will get noticed and attention from foreign tourists when they see them. Grabbing them of course should not be allowed, but taking photos? Come on! This is why I think Japan should just stop promoting the tourism in Kyoto.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This rule applies to all people and what they mean by private roads are the little alley ways off the main streets.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have been to Kyoto more than 50 times and never experienced any problem from the Kyoto people or the service in the restaurants. Crowds and getting on buses, bust tourists places in the spring/autumn. We have never regretted visiting and always enjoyed our visits.

Again that's what we all thought, until these prohibitions now. :) It reveals the reality of what the locals really think. I am bringing back the Venice argument. I thought Venice embraces tourism, we were served nicely at restuarants, we never got scammed , we enjoyed until a local chatted with us and told us what they truly think.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

noypikantoku

There's always going to be locals who are dissatisfied with tourists, but some of them depend on tourism for a living in Japan. As for Geishas and Maikos, they don't mind being in photos from what I've seen as long as they don't get assaulted.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The people of Kyoto can’t have their cake and eat it at the same time...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well it is unfortunate, but entering a person's private property and taking photos of them is illegal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You put these places and things (Geishas) on your travel books, brochures etc. and then you prohibit people to take pictures after spending so much money, isn't that a scam?

No it's not. Spending your hard earned $ doesn't mean you get a free pass to act ignorant & rude i.e climb uluru, take a selfie/touch Buckingham palace guards etc.

Nothing wrong with 'look but don't touch' sometimes.

Entitled much?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

noypikantoku

Again that's what we all thought, until these prohibitions now. :) 

We never enter private property anyway. But you do realise that Kyoto is much bigger than just Gion, yes!

And when I lived in Italy I avoided visiting Venice. When visiting Japan there are many great locations to visit besides Kyoto.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They should really just pull a Disney and pay actors to stand around looking cool. Teach them some local stories and have them act like they live there. They get to make money. Tourists get wrangled away from people's actual homes. Nobody has to worry about pictures being taken. If you don't want anybody around them stop advertising trips there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The people of Kyoto can’t have their cake and eat it at the same time...

It isn't the people of Kyoto deciding the tourist quotas, now is it? Tourist overcrowding is a direct consequence of Abe's policy of opening Japan to East Asia, and, entirely predictably, these tourists don't spread themselves evenly over the country but congregate in Kanto/Kansai.

It's all too easy to forget that Kyoto is very much a city with a diverse economy and where people live and work. If anything, tripping up over hordes of tourists on a daily basis is going to drive people and businesses out of the CBD making Kyoto even more dependent on tourism.

Abe and chums cooked up their "policy" on tourism in smoke-filled committee rooms filled with teeth-sucking, dozing oyajis from the cartels without any consideration of the logistics of managing tides of tourists trampling over Japan's traditional towns. Nah, that's someone else's problem.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

noypikantoku

I'm curious. How many did you visit Kyoto?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It just seems to me like Kyoto wants the money from the tourists, but they don’t want the tourists. The stipulations they are putting on tourists gives a whole new meaning to, the Kyoto protocol.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

sighs . . . here we go again . . . ( Kyoto - special . . . tourists - annoying . . . yeah, yeah, we got it )

personally, i don,t feel like Kyoto is that much of a big deal. the city is all about history. take that, and there ,s not going to be much left. already been in Kyoto and i don,t intend to come back. sure, it must be exciting for tourists to go there for the first time but . . . meh. how ,bout that, you proud locals.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Selfie sticks and tripods have been banned from shrines and temples for some time now. Some temple have introduced a total no photography because too many visitors forgetting they are places f religion.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

what the going to do now sue Google for showing all the streets for free!?

https://www.google.co.jp/maps/@35.0033936,135.7750518,3a,75y,188.95h,67.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slJFwJGL67gUh8EL41YJC7A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Someone can walk around a crowded area, blowing cigarette smoke at everyone, or oyaji vomit all over the place after enkais, but they don’t want people taking photos and enjoying their time in a place the government has asked them to come visit

well said.

What if you’re standing on public road taking a picture of private streets and houses?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

seandw20

As for Geishas and Maikos, they don't mind being in photos 

Uhm how about this?

They are also passing out leaflets reminding them not to take unsolicited photos of geisha and maiko.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I lived in Kyoto for two years. Here's a tip: if you want to visit a main site such as Kioyomizudera or Kinkakuji, do it at dawn. The only people there will be the locals, and you'll get a better feeling for how the local people live (e.g., they come out early to fill containers with the Kiyomizudera waters). During the day, visit lesser-known locations such as Kuramayama. So few tourists get off the beaten track that you'll scarecly see any and will be genuinely welcome.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

goldorock

No it's not. Spending your hard earned $ doesn't mean you get a free pass to act ignorant & rude i.e climb uluru, take a selfie/touch Buckingham palace guards etc.

Well I am talking about simple picture taking of a passing Geisha (without grabbing or stopping them) which is also forbidden. It's common sense that grabbing anyone is not a good idea. But taking a photo of a place and people for remembrance? Jeez!

That's why if these things are prohibited then stop putting them on tourism brochures! And if they don't want tourists to flock to Kyoto, then stop promoting it. I totally agree with what the local residents want. If they don't want their properties and face on tourists photos then stop the tourists from coming.

Nothing wrong with 'look but don't touch' sometimes.

Who says to touch? We are talking about simple photographs!? And yes indeed nothing is wrong with it that's why I suggest to just stop promoting Kyoto's tourism, have tourists go somewhere where they can take photos and keep memories of their once in a lifetime tour and keep Kyoto to the people of Kyoto. Save the tourists to spend their money somewhere else where they are more appreciate and embraced. And obviously that is not Kyoto.

Entitled much?

If they paid for it especially when it's overpriced, yes they should at least get some of what they paid for.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The government needs to manage tourism better, it didn't have to end up in the mess we're in now. Yes, the government has set a huge numerical target, but then they've done nothing else to work out what to do with the people that come. I'm not surprised a lot of people have come to despise tourists with the way that some intentionally and unintentionally behave. It's bad now and it's only going to get worse, the Olympics will pale in comparison to 40mln people...

Even Beat Takeshi has weighed in on this remember https://kotaku.com/tourists-are-causing-headaches-for-japan-1835043188

I've never heard or seen a Japanese person say "We need tourists!" This is all a government strategy that somehow happened to work for once (maybe too well)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think most of you guys are missing the point about this news. The point is that the prohibited area is Gion district. It’s not about the whole city of Kyoto, nor this whole country.

Gion district is a very special area in Kyoto. The restaurants and Ochaya teahouses which are the main part of this district are only for VIPs and celebrities. You will never be able to be served at these authentic places without being invited from a regular customer (馴染み najimi) who already has a connection with the important people in the community. Geishas are the professionals who entertain these people in the Ochaya teahouses. Most of the locals in Japan, including myself, would never ever have a chance to visit these places in Gion. It’s a nice place to look around, but it’s originally not a place for ordinary people and tourists who are not invited (we call these people who just stop by and have no invitation: 一見さん ichi-gen san).

Seeing that some of the tourists are behaving like this area is a “Japanese Theme Park” or something, I think this ban is understandable to protect the traditions and original customers of this community. The main businesses don’t get any profit from tourists that just take pictures and pass by. If they think the tourists’ behaviors are annoying their own customers, they should have the right to set restrictions to avoid it.

Again, this is especially a problem about Gion, and most of the other areas in Japan are happy to have tourists! Please just keep in mind that the locals are having their own everyday lives and minding their own businesses wherever you go.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why even fight the inevitable?

People are going to do what they are going to do. Just see it as free promotion in the area. I never understood the "no picture" rules outside of a museum.

You want tourists and their money, adapt to them. You don't want tourists or their money, get the police to come down and enforce laws.

Otherwise, this is 2019. Everyone and their grandmama are taking pictures and videos to post on social media for the all mighty LIKE. Just go with the flow Kyoto.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Glaon333

The point is that the prohibited area is Gion district. It’s not about the whole city of Kyoto, nor this whole country.

Yes we are aware of it and we are talking about Gion District because it is what the tourists visit and not some small suburbs in Kyoto. The solution is just simple, stop promoting the tourism in Kyoto so tourists won't flock there. It's lame to sell the place for tourism and then prohibit the tourists to take pictures, so if the locals don't want tourists? Then stop promoting Kyoto!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What Giaon says is mostly right. What isn't mentioned is that geisha are dying out due to lack of custom and some of them can now be hired for "geisha-lite" type banquets and events, some of which have interpreters for foreign tourists. They are not exclusive any more. Only the top ones will be.

While geisha may represent "Japanese culture", as a taxpayer in 2019, do you really want government officials and construction company bosses having 400,000 yen-a-night little get-togethers with geisha when a new public toilet is to be built? That cost of geisha is being passed onto the customer or the taxpayer. If there are not the patrons they had in the old days, I see them doing the drinking games and answering the same questions every night to paying tourists as progress. They are entertainers going where the money is.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The government needs to manage tourism better, it didn't have to end up in the mess we're in now. Yes, the government has set a huge numerical target, but then they've done nothing else to work out what to do with the people that come. I'm not surprised a lot of people have come to despise tourists with the way that some intentionally and unintentionally behave. It's bad now and it's only going to get worse, the Olympics will pale in comparison to 40mln people...

Even Beat Takeshi has weighed in on this remember https://kotaku.com/tourists-are-causing-headaches-for-japan-1835043188

I've never heard or seen a Japanese person say "We need tourists!" This is all a government strategy that somehow happened to work for once (maybe too well)

I agree! The government is the one who wants to boost up the tourism and not the Japanese people. I once saw an ENGLISH LESSON TV show where they are discussing how troublesome tourists are in Japan. It is an English lesson program right? They should be promoting tourism as this is where they can enhance their english skilss, but instead it's the inconvenience of having foreign tourists is what they concern more! I wish I can paste in this thread that photo I took using my mobile phone of that show.

Kyoto is indeed a beautiful place but it is not for tourism and locals don't embrace tourists. So they have to choose, save the pureness of this sacred city or make it a popular tourist spot? If they choose the first one then stop promoting it as the way they do now. Promote Tokyo Disneyland and other places in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Here we go again - the world famous spirit of omotenashi.

Nothing is too much trouble for our honoured guests, just so long as you do exactly as you're told and don't expect us to accommodate your enjoying your holiday.

Japan has to make its mind up: You can either base your every hope for economic recovery on increased tourism, or you can be hostile and unwelcoming to tourists. You can't have it both ways.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Here we go again - the world famous spirit of omotenashi.

Nothing is too much trouble for our honoured guests, just so long as you do exactly as you're told and don't expect us to accommodate your enjoying your holiday.

Japan has to make its mind up: You can either base your every hope for economic recovery on increased tourism, or you can be hostile and unwelcoming to tourists. You can't have it both ways.

Well said!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@noypikantoku and a couple more: all your comments are based on whether tourists should be allowed to go to Kyoto. and at some point, you even say that people should just stop going there and "problem solved because the locals don,t want us there anyway". well, you,re dead wrong, i mean, your whole narrative, the way you,re thinking. people have the right to go anywhere and whenever they want (i mean, duh) - that,s nr one. nr two - the problem here is the fact that many Japanese people are not globally minded, hence the inability to naturally accept foreigners in their "sacred" land (whether they,re tourists or not). like i previously said, i don,t intend to go back to Kyoto anytime soon, it,s just some historical city in the middle of many other (great and more exciting) cities, so as for me, i couldn,t care less, but we should care about the thousands of excited tourists that for some reason want to go to Kyoto (people interested in history, photography, etc.); i,ll say this: it,d be extremely unfair if they couldn,t go, don,t you think? so instead of just giving up and making anti-foreigner (racist) Japanese happy, we should move on and focus on how to help both Japanese and foreigners in Japan. btw you said that they needed to choose between saving the pureness of the city (a bit too dramatic) or making it a popular tourist spot, well, why not both? but let me say that the "pureness of the city/sacred" bit looks like something we ,d hear from some far-right patriotic Japanese. i will say this though, some tourists are indeed very disrespectful, some Chinese being an example.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

noypikantokuToday  09:35 am JST

Just ban tourism , problem solved. Culture preservation is more important than tourists who do nothing but destroy things, they are also the culprits who take pictures of Geishas, they don't understand that these Geishas are not for tourism. Tourists are Jama! Keep it the way it was before, when Japan let all the tourists out. Japan is a very wealthy country they don't need tourism to survive.

Thank you for making me so welcome in Japan... Seriously, I'm glad not all Japanese are so anti-tourist.

I've only been to Kyoto once and it was nice... and no, I didn't grab a Geisha/Maiko, I never wandered into private roads and went snap-happy... I respect Japanese culture, I know a fair number of people in Japan... Hell, my partner is from Japan...

Don't be so isolationist... that's a HUGE leap backwards. Or is it that you just don't like foreigners?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can either base your every hope for economic recovery on increased tourism, or you can be hostile and unwelcoming to tourists. You can't have it both ways.

It’s not a binary issue.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Thunderbird2

Thank you for making me so welcome in Japan... Seriously, I'm glad not all Japanese are so anti-tourist.

I've only been to Kyoto once and it was nice... and no, I didn't grab a Geisha/Maiko, I never wandered into private roads and went snap-happy... I respect Japanese culture, I know a fair number of people in Japan... Hell, my partner is from Japan...

Don't be so isolationist... that's a HUGE leap backwards. Or is it that you just don't like foreigners?

Uhm it's not us who decide for this prohibition but it's the city and people of Kyoto. It's not just the grabbing of Geisha that they prohibit but even just normal picture taking and if tourists are not allowed to take pictures for remembrance? Then what is the point of going there? Perhaps the solution is to make compromises but NO they are prohibiting these at all. So I think the best solution is to stop promoting Kyoto's tourism, of course people can come because you cannot really stop that, but they should stop promoting it like the way the government promote it now. With that foreign tourist will stop flocking and coming, take out Geisha and Maikos out of these ads and brochures, so atleast the very determined tourists know what to expect if they still push to go there.

Unfortunately Japanese don't think like you do and you cannot change them at all. Remember the Sarin Gas terrorist attack during the 90s in Tokyo? Their solution is to get rid of all trash bins, Japan is really not the best problem solvers. Their solution is always too extreme. So they are doing the same thing in Kyoto. They don't care if majority of tourists still behave and follow the ettiquete , the 1% messed up so let everyone suffer from it and save the pureness of this great city and get the tourists out. Their city, their rights! Unfortunately no matter how you admire the beauty of this city, it is not for you and the locals don't really want you there. If they do at least there will be some protests and pushbacks from many of them but there was NONE, it seems like this was a landslide decision.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It’s not a binary issue.

Unfortunately it is. The leniency of Japan to tourism is actually part of this current government's plan to raise profits. Few years back coming to Japan is not so easy compare to today and the locals like it that way.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Apparently video surveillance is also being used, so even if violators are not caught right away, they could still be tracked down later."

good luck with that idea! how on earth can they carry out facial recognition on millions of tourists ? so ok they find a few, but after 3-4 weeks trying to recognise some one, they have gone back home to X, Y, C! so what are they going to do? send a fine in the post? and IF they send it out to the middle of nowhere in China, how are they going to enforce the fine? the fine will be thrown on to the fire, never to be seen again. the only way your going to enforce this is to have police men, or some sort of officials standing there and catch them in the act, and fine them on the spot, I can see this leading to a lot of confrontation because someone who is being fined, will be surrounded by people taking photos, "why are you not fining them" will be there remarks, the police will be told to ( expletive) off, its a good idea, but I can't see how this will be implemented,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are no laws of taking photos in public places including Geisha and Maiko but there are laws about how you use them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Unfortunately it is.

Someone didn't read the article.

The leniency of Japan to tourism is actually part of this current government's plan to raise profits. Few years back coming to Japan is not so easy compare to today and the locals like it that way.

They also like the tourist money. So the government is trying to find a balance between tourism, and respecting the locals. Leading to this article, and clear proof that it's not a binary 'tourism or not' decision, but rather one of sustainable tourism.

So no, it's not binary. It's a scale, and Japan is trying to find the right place to slot into it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Japanese government don't represent the people

Actually it does. That is the point of government. Elected officials to represent the people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kyoto popular tourists spots

Nijo Castle

Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine

Kinkaku-ju: The Golden Pavilion

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Sanjusangen-do Temple

Kyoto Imperial Palace

Nishi Honganji Temple

The Kyoto National Museum and Municipal Museum of Art

Gion Geishas and Temples

Katsura Imperial Villa

Daitoku-ji Temple

The Byodo-in Temple

Aso take a train out to Biwa Lake or visit Hikone Castle.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Are the warnings written in both standard Chinese and simplified Chinese?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So much moaning and complaining. stop whining over a city's right to not be disturbed by your dirty and unwelcome presence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Only 25% of incoming tourists visit Kyoto.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They also like the tourist money.

That's why it is binary, the only reason why the locals are still allowing tourists to come is just because of the the profit and they've been there eversince, but do they want these tourists there? Not at all. So I agree , you cannot have both as if you promote tourism in that place it will be congested and people will flock, even if these people don't grab Geishas or walk to designated paths, if the streets become crowded some will end up passing or blocking "Private" driveways because the streets are congested. So if residents don't want that? Move to a non tourist area OR stop promoting tourism in that city. It wasn't like that before , it was more tolerable but since the government boosts up the tourism in Kyoto these problems started. So if the residents are not open to that then stop promoting Kyoto.

So the government is trying to find a balance between tourism, and respecting the locals.

Deciding a designated spot to take photos or allowing but with limitation is balancing, total prohibition to take pictures is not a compromise.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nippori Nick

Actually it does. That is the point of government. Elected officials to represent the people.

You think so? Please give me a data of how many percent of Japanese citizen voted this pass election?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

o much moaning and complaining. stop whining over a city's right to not be disturbed by your dirty and unwelcome presence.

Exactly! So Japan should give Kyoto a favor by stop promoting tourism in this city. Let it be available to well mannered Japanese Citizen and Japanese apologists only. Of course it can be open for everyone, but if the promotion is less, then tourists will not go there and can find better city or place to visit where they can be welcome and appreciated more.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I avoid Kyoto..it , to me, is no fun at all.

Me too! Waste of time and money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Me too! Waste of time and money

I agree, I visited other places in Japan where people are much more friendlier to tourists and offer better activities than looking at old temples and streets. The Northern part of Japan and Okinawa are way much better to visit. Twice is enough for me in Kyoto, the second time I went there was just because I had to guide my visiting friends and we witnessed how cold Geishas are. They didn't even grab or stop her they just took a photo while she was passing but that geisha looked at them very angrily and my friends felt bad. To make tourists feel guilty or bad for just taking a picture is just so terrible. After that I said to myself no more Kyoto , these place is not for tourists.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's why it is binary, the only reason why the locals are still allowing tourists to come is just because of the the profit

This sentence is indicating to me that you don't know what binary means. Binary means only two options, with no possibility in between. A binary option is either A or B, with no possibility of anything in between.

You claimed those options are:

A: base your every hope for economic recovery on increased tourism

B: be hostile and unwelcoming to tourists

This is just silly to think there can be no combination of the two. They certainly can enjoy increased tourism, if it's done in a manner that is respectful of the fact that there are people who live in this tourist area. And the people who live there can then find it easier to be more friendly and welcoming to the respectful tourists.

Trying to pigeonhole it into one extreme or the other is essentially saying 'if you want tourism, you have to accept everything and anything without complaint'. Which is about as ridiculous a stance as you can get.

Kyoto is looking at ways to enjoy the economic benefits of tourism, while tempering the negative effects of that tourism on their populace. If you think there is something wrong with that, there is something wrong with your thought process. That's called sustainable tourism.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These apologists don't get it, the people of Kyoto will like it more if there were lesser tourists visiting their town. I don't really understand why would you dislike or contradict our points. So if you respect Kyoto residents you should also support not allowing tourists to visit there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

These apologists don't get it, the people of Kyoto will like it more if there were lesser tourists visiting their town. I don't really understand why would you dislike or contradict our points. So if you respect Kyoto residents you should also support not allowing tourists to visit there.

This is true. Kyoto really didn’t have a time period when they were struggling for lack of tourists.

Due to over tourism, there is an exponential increase in Air BnB as opposed to conventional lodging facilities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are thousands of photo's online of Gion Geisha smiling and showing pleasant facial expressions.

These apologists don't get it, the people of Kyoto will like it more if there were lesser tourists visiting their town. I don't really understand why would you dislike or contradict our points. So if you respect Kyoto residents you should also support not allowing tourists to visit there.

That is 100% incorrect having visited the city at least 50 times. You are the one not getting it. 75% of the visitors are domestic not foreigners.They could not even prevent Japanese people visiting since it would be against the constitution.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This sentence is indicating to me that you don't know what binary means. Binary means only two options, with no possibility in between. A binary option is either A or B, with no possibility of anything in between.

I know what binary means but you are just trying to contradict my point so refuse to understand. In Kyoto's case it is binary because of the way the current government is over promoting the tourism there . So they have 2 options A. Over promote it and people will flock and cause over tourism B. Stop promoting it so tourists will be less and controllable. So if you want sustainable tourism don't over promote it. The situation was not like that before until these past 5 years when Japan became lenient with tourists and you see Kyoto on every Japanese Travel brochures and books while there are way more better places to visit in Japan. But Kyoto is over promoted! Do Okinawa, Hokkaido and Nagazaki get the same problem? No! Because it is not being promoted much like Kyoto! So choose A. or B. ?

That's called sustainable tourism.

Really? Not allowing to take Photos is not too extreme for you ? Taking pictures is the most basic activity that tourists want and you prohibit it? Who is being extreme then?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Geisha are private individuals and not employed by the tourist authorities. They are going about their business like many others.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Really? Not allowing to take Photos is not too extreme for you ? Taking pictures is the most basic activity that tourists want and you prohibit it? Who is being extreme then?

But you are not being prevented from taking photo's. The rule is to prevent people entering private properties to take photo's. Applies to everyone.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There are thousands of photo's online of Gion Geisha smiling and showing pleasant facial expressions.

Some photos are staged and I am speaking from experience and check out the article again where locals are warning to stop taking Geisha's photos .

That is 100% incorrect having visited the city at least 50 times. You are the one not getting it. 75% of the visitors are domestic not foreigners.They could not even prevent Japanese people visiting since it would be against the constitution.

Yes indeed, Kyoto embraces Japanese people more for tourism . So stop OVER PROMOTING it to FOREIGN tourists. live it the way it was before where majority of the visitors are Japanese people and school tours. In that way the serenity and pureness of the city was kept.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But you are not being prevented from taking photo's. The rule is to prevent people entering private properties to take photo's. Applies to everyone.

Please read the article again. Yes applies to everyone but the law is made for tourists because why would the locals take pictures of Geishas when they see them every single day since they were born?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Geisha are private individuals and not employed by the tourist authorities. They are going about their business like many others.

Then stop putting them on travel brochures and keep them inside their establishments. They can do that with prostitutes in Kabukicho, how come they can't do the same with Geishas? If they don't want the tourists and public to see, then stop wandering around the city in that outfit.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

noypikantoku

There are thousands of photo's online of Gion Geisha smiling and showing pleasant facial expressions.

Some photos are staged and I am speaking from experience and check out the article again where locals are warning to stop taking Geisha's photos .

But the majority of phot's are not. I just spent some time looking at them. Your experience by your own admission is you have only visited Kyoto twice, and probably both times to Gion but you speak like you even know the city like some kind of expert, which you certainly are not.

No one has never tried to prevent me from taking photo's but then I don't try to take selfies or get in front of the Geisha to grab a photo unless she is some distance away. I also respect when photo's are not allowed at some of the shrines and temples. But on the street photography is lawful.

But since you have such a huge dislike for Kyoto and its people, even with your very limited experience, then just stay away and let the rest of us enjoy our visits. I think its a great pity you didn't even try to visit all the great areas of the city other than Gion. Or even visit in the winter when the visitor numbers are less.

In Gion the Geisha usually don't come out until about 5-6 pm.

In my numerous visit I have never experienced a single problem from the Kyoto people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But the majority of phot's are not. I just spent some time looking at them. Your experience by your own admission is you have only visited Kyoto twice, and probably both times to Gion but you speak like you even know the city like some kind of expert, which you certainly are not.

Dude, I am not saying this out of my expertise, I am just supporting what the locals want! It's the locals who don't want tourists to flock and I support their sentiments. What you are trying to force feed me is Kyoto is the best city for tourists but that is not my argument. I agree that Kyoto is the most beautiful city, I agree that Geishas are private people but my point is stop over promoting this to foreign tourists as despite of it's beauty it is not meant for TOURISM especially for foreigners. So stop tourists for flocking this city as the locals don't want that! Instead let the tourists go to other places where they can be accommodated the way they want without limitations and let Kyoto become the way it was before.

No one has never tried to prevent me from taking photo's but then I don't try to take selfies or get in front of the Geisha to grab a photo unless she is some distance away.

Yeah but that was before the prohibition dude, now this new law is being implemented so it will change things going forward. You are talking about your past experience, well things will change from now on and this decisions came from the local residents!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

noypikantoku

Then stop putting them on travel brochures and keep them inside their establishments. They can do that with prostitutes in Kabukicho, how come they can't do the same with Geishas? If they don't want the tourists and public to see, then stop wandering around the city in that outfit.

They are entitled to freedom of movement just like all citizens. You just need to be respectful and not try to get into their face. You can still take photo's form the other side of the road but you know in Kyoto there is so much nature and beauty to photograph why do you obsess over Geisha?

I personally have taken more than 10,000 photo's around Kyoto. Never once was I prevented from doing so.

Are you saying the Geisha are also prostitutes? You seem to have an obsession with Geisha so go and hire one for about ¥100,000.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They are entitled to freedom of movement just like all citizens. You just need to be respectful and not try to get into their face. You can still take photo's form the other side of the road but you know in Kyoto there is so much nature and beauty to photograph why do you obsess over Geisha?

I am not obsess with them, I just thought of it as a false advertising. You see all Geishas all over travel brochures hooking the interests of tourists to visit and see them only to find out later on that it's prohibited and "Disrespectful" to take their pictures. So I think it's false advertisement.

Are you saying the Geisha are also prostitutes? 

NO, I said if Japan can hide the prostitutes in red light districts not being seen out in public why can't they do the same with Geishas? Dress them up and keep them inside their establishment and don't allow them to wander around because obviously foreign tourists will be curious of them. So being annoyed when their pictures are taken on public areas in that outfit and make up is silly. But I am not implying that they are prostitutes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In Kyoto's case it is binary because of the way the current government is over promoting the tourism there . So they have 2 options A. Over promote it and people will flock and cause over tourism B. Stop promoting it so tourists will be less and controllable.

Or, option C - encourage respectful tourism

Option D - put measures in place to enforce it.

Or option E - one I haven't thought of, but surely exists. Or option F, G, H and so on.

You can try to pigeonhole it into two extremes all you want, but that's silly, there are clearly other options, which is shown by the very article you are commenting on. It's not a binary option.

if you respect Kyoto residents you should also support not allowing tourists to visit there.

This is ridiculous. "Don't like tourists? Then the extreme option of removing them altogether is the only other option."

Only in a simplistic world. The rest of us live in the real world which is nuanced, and sometimes requires creative solutions, some of which are more effective than others.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NO, I said if Japan can hide the prostitutes in red light districts not being seen out in public why can't they do the same with Geishas? Dress them up and keep them inside their establishment and don't allow them to wander around because obviously foreign tourists will be curious of them. So being annoyed when their pictures are taken on public areas in that outfit and make up is silly. But I am not implying that they are prostitutes.

Citizens under the constitution have the right of freedom of movement. The business of the Geisha also involves visiting different place for training or for business. They are not slaves and prisoners who need to be locked away.

You are very obsessed from the numerous comments you have made on the post. Something like 44 posts of one third of those posted.

Geisha may appear in the tourists adverts but not exclusively because the majority of the popular tourists sites don't have Geisha. Visit Nijo Castle or the Imperial Palace, which is free. Or what about a matsuri when everyone is in costume?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

noypikantoku

Dude, I am not saying this out of my expertise, I am just supporting what the locals want! It's the locals who don't want tourists to flock and I support their sentiments. 

And you know that from your two short visits which only was to Gion? You were able to discover what the locals want from that? Everytime we walk into a restaurant we receive a warm greeting. But have also chatted with local people on the streets or in the parks and asked for directions sometimes.

I guess you will give your support by not visiting again, dude.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Or, option C - encourage respectful tourism

But how can you have an option C if the prohibition is already decided and going to be implemented already? Because like I said compromise can be made and indeed we can encourage tourists to be extra more respectful without totally prohibiting them to take pictures, or put a designated spot where they can still take pictures of these popular sites. But again in Kyoto's current case, it was already decided to take the extreme action to prohibit tourists to take pictures so all options you added above are pointless.

This is ridiculous. "Don't like tourists? Then the extreme option of removing them altogether is the only other option."

Of course it is impossible to get rid of them completely as Kyoto is still a city and still part of the country. But if there is an option for that , I bet they will agree! Same as the people in Venice who are not really embracing the tourists but at the same time they don't have control to stop them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

noypikantoku

Oct. 28  10:33 am JST

but unfortunately the locals don't share the same thinking, and sad to say their opinion and demands should matter more than what we think. They don't want tourism in their land so what can we do about it?

It seems as if bureaucrats, elected officials and business federation are the only ones who want large scale tourism (and now or later - immigration), local peoples concerns be damned.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And you know that from your two short visits which only was to Gion? You were able to discover what the locals want from that?

Nope I know this because of these prohibitions are implemented. The locals from Kyoto decided to take the EXTREME action of prohibiting picture taking at all despite that we all know this is what the tourists want? Without even making compromise or alternatives first. So I don't base my argument from my short visits, I base it on this decision that the locals imposed.

Everytime we walk into a restaurant we receive a warm greeting. But have also chatted with local people on the streets or in the parks and asked for directions sometimes.

Uhm everywhere in Japan is like that especially to customers, no matter how they hate you they will still show you kindness and good service, it's called omotenashi. Japanese are known for not expressing what they truly think, it's all sales. Again people in Venice did the same thing to us, As I said above one lady was so nice to us she showed and guide us the way to the tax refund office but also expresses calmly how they hate tourism in their town .

I guess you will give your support by not visiting again, dude.

Yes, I like other places in Japan than Kyoto anyway so the feeling will be mutual I guess. I am fine leaving Kyoto people alone and let it become a place only for themselves and I recommend other foreign tourists as well. There are other better places in Japan that they can discover and experience. Kyoto is too standard and boring. It's like wanting to see time square in NY or Eiffel Tower in Paris.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Citizens under the constitution have the right of freedom of movement. The business of the Geisha also involves visiting different place for training or for business. They are not slaves and prisoners who need to be locked away.

We are in 2019, there are always a way to hide them when they need to move around, but they want to complicate things like the way ramen shops would prefer their customers to wait outside and suffer for long time than expanding their shops. I think it's silly to walk around in Geisha outfit and expect not to get attention from tourists in an over promoted city for tourism. Really!? Taking their pictures while they are passing is already an act of slavery for you?

You are very obsessed from the numerous comments you have made on the post. Something like 44 posts of one third of those posted.

It's you who keep bringing Geisha up to me dude. I already moved on but you keep dragging me to it.

Geisha may appear in the tourists adverts but not exclusively because the majority of the popular tourists sites don't have Geisha.

That is why these Japanese tourism ads are advertising falsely to foreign tourists. Stop putting it on brochures and ads as if they are one of the main attractions as tourists will expect.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There have been photography restrictions for decades. First the ban on using tripods in crowded locations in temples and shrines. Mostly because of Japanese photographers blocking the walkways and paths.

That is why stop over promoting Kyoto for tourism as tourists want to take remembrance and pictures especially of Gion. Restricting tripods and selfie sticks is totally different from prohibiting taking pictures at all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

noypikantoku

I guess you didn't read the post which said

"And now one district in Kyoto, the Gion District, is putting their geta-sandal foot down. Starting on the 25th of this month, an association made up of local residents and shop owners has forbidden photography on private roads."

Local residents and shop owners in Gion. Not all Kyoto people. So it's wrong of you to claim

"the locals from Kyoto"

when in fact it is not those.

Again the ban only applies to "private roads" you do understand that and applies to everyone.

Uhm everywhere in Japan is like that especially to customers, no matter how they hate you they will still show you kindness and good service, it's called omotenashi. 

I am 70 years old and have travelled the world many times to many different countries and have lived here in Japan for the last 25 years. I know when the service isn't real and then we probably won't return on our next visit.

There are other better places in Japan that they can discover and experience. Kyoto is too standard and boring.

And you know that from two short visits to Gion?

Until we moved at the end of last we lived in Kobe for 16 years. Good city to visit and mostly like foreigners. Before that we lived high up in the Japan Alps, 1000 meters above sea level. Another great place to visit.

You seem to judge a city/location by a single place. Kyoto/Gion. New York/Time Square. Paris/Eiffel Tower. Italy/Venice. They are all so much more than that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi and noypikantoku, you are just going around in circles. No further posts from either of you on this thread please.

noypikantoku

Yeah but that was before the prohibition dude, now this new law is being implemented so it will change things going forward. You are talking about your past experience, well things will change from now on and this decisions came from the local residents!

There have been photography restrictions for decades. First the ban on using tripods in crowded locations in temples and shrines. Mostly because of Japanese photographers blocking the walkways and paths.

Then along came the selfie stick and that was banned too. And certain shrines and temples have banned photography altogether.

But the bans apply to all people not just visitors and tourists.

If you want to visit a popular site go very early because it will be free of people.

You are making false claims about taking photographs. It's not against any laws to take photographs on public streets. The post is about banning people, all people, from entering private property to take photographs.

The reason for the ban came from the owners of those private properties. How would you like it if you had a house and garden and when you came out it was full of people on your property?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But how can you have an option C if the prohibition is already decided and going to be implemented already?

Um, your "prohibition" IS option C. See below. Your options are A and B. And there is clearly an option C.

A) Over promote tourism in Kyoto

B) Refuse all toursism

C) Take measures so that there can be sustainable long-term tourism, such as stopping pictures from being taken from private property

As I said, it's not a binary choice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just speak to some of the local ojiisan. I'm sure they could give you a few hints about taking photos without permission...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Someone has to compose front nice place in the Temple 20 places to sitdown

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 grabbing geisha and maiko

What? Who does this? These are the folks that should be prosecuted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That place is highly overrated. A postcard will show it as some picturesque scene, crowd free but in reality all those kyoto spots are full of people, there is nothing really worth seeing. I thought it was a miserable experience. The Kansai area is not worth it IMO

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

KYOTO had lost its beauty. All tourist should avoid it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Proper manners" are a cultural things.

How can you enforce Japanese proper manners to tourists?

Japan has manners considered very improper elsewhere, e.g. sniffing instead of using a tissue. Of course this cannot be fined.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You think so? Please give me a data of how many percent of Japanese citizen voted this pass election?

Red Herring. If you don't bother to vote and officials are elected, no use crying about it later saying they don't represent you. People have to get off their chairs and vote if they want democratically elected officials.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The 2020 Olympics in Japan may be chaotic for many Japanese with big flood of tourists. I think I am going to avoid going to Japan at that time. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Odd that Japan, of all countries, would ban photos and in particular selfies since the Japanese are the worst selfie offenders when they themselves are tourists. The Japanese in places like DC and NY are notorious for their indifference to personal space of others and their constant photographing of EVERY LITTLE THING! They'll stick that selfie stick in front of anyone and anything, often violating the privacy of those around them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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