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Kyoto introduces lodging tax on tourists

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I am of mixed mind on this, the tax is to promote tourism to Kyoto??? I don't think the city needs to spend very much on THAT! Just provide good current information!

If tourism ever drops off then they might have to lose the tax.

Seems to be a simple $$$ grab, rather unbecoming!

15 ( +23 / -8 )

the tax is meant to "ease congestion," but that is the exact opposite of what the government wants, which is to double the number of tourists to japan. and one way to "improve tourist services" is to make more affordable lodging available. this tax does neither. so that means it's going into some bureucrat's and his crony's pocket, like the company that printed the leaflet made by the city.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

You watch tourist numbers fall dramatically because of this cash grab.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Is this for everyone or just overseas tourists?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Gotta love the paradox of "improving tourism services" and "promoting tourism" by taxing tourists.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Kinda reminds me of my home town and Disneyland. Disney dodged taxation for decades but finally appears willing to pay their due share. The Disneylands of Kyoto - the temples - are untaxed (in fact, unlike Disneyland, their entrance "donations" are just that - you can simply stroll in), yet they benefit from the services the city provides.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You watch tourist numbers fall dramatically because of this cash grab.

I doubt it. This tax is only for people paying more than 10000 yen a night. If you can afford that, I doubt a few more extra yen will put a dent in your wallet.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Gotta love the paradox of "improving tourism services" and "promoting tourism" by taxing tourists.

Japan is full of paradoxes my friend. I remember when they launched their Yokoso Japan campaign in 2007, I think it was.. at the same time they introduced fingerprinting.. Go figure.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

You watch tourist numbers fall dramatically because of this cash grab.

If you can afford a trip to Japan, you can afford JPY 1000.

New York doesn't have problems attracting visitors despite hotel taxes running to many times that.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

This will really help the old stereotype that Kyoto folk do be stingy.

Still, it's not a massive imposition and if it does ease congestion etc, let's see how it goes.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A bit of a slap in the face for tourists spending good money on travel in Japan. The benefactors of Japan's boom in tourism - retail stores, restaurants, hotels - are laughing. They are taking the profits and not putting anything back to support local infrastructure being stretched by the tourists. As usual the government chickens out and taxes the tourists again instead of taxing profitable business. Why tax the tourists bringing good money into the economy, shouldn't it be the other way round?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Students and their chaperones on school trips will be exempted, according to the city.

These are the groups that cause the most "congestion," in my experience.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

nothing surprising and why not grab more cash out of tourists, but I certainly hope at lease 1% of it will be used for tourists and kyoto residents to improve public services and information facilities...

I believe , most likely it will be spent at kyaba and auto salons.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hope they exempt residence of Japan. We already pay enough in taxes!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's a cash grab pure and simple.

They know tourism is going to be huge cash cow due to the Rugby World Cup and Olympics, so why not put a new tax in place now so those who don't know any better won't realise they are being done out of money.

It'll be interesting to see if Hiroshima follows suit as that's a big tourist spot as well.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

What are the taxes to be used for?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hopefully some of the funds will be used to have more signs/info in more languages for visitors driving, taking buses or just walking around Kyoto.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If people can afford to travel to Japan then a few extra yen won’t make much difference. Atleast, it can increase the Governments income flow and this money can be utilized in safeguarding Japan’s future. Besides, resort hotels in Japan ( such as Hilton ) already charge a resort fee of 1,200yen per person/night on top of your room cost which includes a further 21% ( tax and service fee )!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Greedy government biting the hand the feeds it

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Besides, resort hotels in Japan ( such as Hilton ) already charge a resort fee of 1,200yen per person/night on top of your room cost which includes a further 21% ( tax and service fee )!

MikeH, this is my argument. Businesses such as the Hilton are making decent profits in Japan such as the example you have stated. So don't you think the argument should be that it is they who can afford a few extra yen tax?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Glad I got my fill of "Japan's ancient city of Kyoto" quite awhile back. Been there enough and have seen everything. Seems like a tourist trap now.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

While I admit that ¥200 is not a lot for accomadation that I usually stay in (under ¥20000) I still would not want to pay it out of principle.

I guess that I won't be staying in Kyoto again. As Mocheake says, it has just become a tourist trap.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I doubt it. This tax is only for people paying more than 10000 yen a night. If you can afford that, I doubt a few more extra yen will put a dent in your wallet.

The article's wording isn't entirely clear; it might be just Tokyo and Osaka that do that.

I remeber when this tax was in the proposal stage and it was mentioned here on JT. If Kyoto is really taking 200 yen minimum and 1000 maximum, that means people in 2000-yen-per-night hostels are paying 10% on top of the real lodging fee, and LDP bigwigs staying in 50,000-yen ryokan are only paying 2% extra. What a scam!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

My principal exactly ThonTaddeo.

Incidently in Kyoto the rate is :

Below ¥20000. ¥200 tax

¥20000 - ¥49999. ¥500 tax

Above ¥50000. ¥1000 tax.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

gogogo - What are the taxes to be used for?

To improbe the quality of tourism in Japan, of course. - Just kidding! It will be used to line the coffers of those who don’t need it. Just a way to milk the tourism cash cow.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm not against the idea of this, but to be honest, I think it would be far easier to stop letting tourists buy 5000 yen of stuff tax free. With 10% coming in next year, that is a 500 yen tax break compared to locals. To handle this, we will need more pen pushers doing admin for the accommodation tax to go with the pen pushers who do the admin for the tax refunds. All for a net gain that might be zero.

Big purchases say 20,000 yen or more can be tax free to stimulate demand, but 5000 is a trivial amount. If you don't think so, just wait till you have children....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

New York doesn't have problems attracting visitors despite hotel taxes running to many times that.

Kyoto is hardly New York.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kyoto is hardly New York

Irrelevant - it is a major visitor attraction for people all over Japan and the rest of the world. Visitors can afford a few yen to stay, just as they can afford the enormous NY taxes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks, @Ex_Res. As usual, it's expensive to be poor!

Japanese organizations sure love their step functions. Why not just make it a percentage?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

began levying taxes Monday on visitors staying at hotels, traditional inns and private lodgings to ease problems such as congestion and improve tourism services. The city expects to raise 4.56 billion yen annually through the tax and use the revenue for tourism promotion measures.

Sorry, can anyone else see the hypocrisy here? Kyoto has woeful public transport compared with every other major Japanese city. Even 10 years ago the hopeless bus service couldn't cope. The funds from this overtourism tax ought to be going to bringing trams back to Kyoto.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kyoto faces a chronic shortages of lodging facilities and illegal private lodgings have been filling the vacuum. 

I have had it thrust on me for years that Japanese people are all very law abiding.

Funny what money do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It will ease the Tokyo congestion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't help wondering, is this an accodation tax, or an Olympic tax? Just the timing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a universal thing. Here in Hawaii we have an accommodation tax on hotels that charges 10.25%. That is in addition to the general tax of 4.5%. Both taxes are paid by the residence of Hawaii.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@TigersTokyoDome... you’ve got a good point but the reality remains that these type of additional tax or fees will always be passed onto the customer rather than the businesses. It’s just the way our world works! That aside I still don’t know why people are so cheesed off about this 200-1000yen tax...nobody is putting a gun to anyone’s head to travel to Japan and stay in the hotels thus pay that lodging tax. If you don’t like it then simply don’t travel to Japan and don’t pay this tax...period!

@JapanFan...spot on! It’s a universal thing...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don’t know why people are comparing taxes to Hawaii and New York, let alone North America???

That is totally irrelevant, unless you’re implying Japan is aiming to model their hospitality industry & taxes on the American System.

Back to the important discussion. There should be a fixed % rate as this is targeting the very low levels of accommodation.

You pay;

¥200 on ¥2000=10%.

¥200 on ¥10000=2%

¥200 on ¥15000=1.34%

¥200 on ¥20000= 1%.

¥500 on ¥25000=2%.

¥1000 on ¥50000=2%.

You can see how this may discourage tourists to take super cheap accommodation and the types of tourists that might want to visit. But in my opinion is still very much affordable and won’t stop people visiting.

Where these pennies end up is a concern and needs transparency which govt’s find very hard to do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are enough taxes already, just lack of competency.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Students and their chaperones on school trips will be exempted, according to the city.

So the foreign, private-school kids and their wealthy teacher chaperones will be exempt, but the working class that come here to spend their hard earned cash have to bend over... ethics much?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should tax just the chinese.Problem solved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lol the majority of you must not live in or visit Kyoto very much. The city is in dire need of infrastructure upgrades due to the huge number of tourists that have inundated the city. I live here and before 2012 it would take me 24 minutes (exactly) to get across the city, now it takes over an hour mainly due the huge number of tour and city buses as well as taxis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the tax is meant to "ease congestion," but that is the exact opposite of what the government wants, which is to double the number of tourists to japan. and one way to "improve tourist services" is to make more affordable lodging available. this tax does neither. 

You must be confusing the LDP and the Kyoto city council. Kyoto city has been (for a long time) against an increase in tourism. You can see it even in the way Kyotoites vote in elections.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You watch tourist numbers fall dramatically because of this cash grab.

Yeah that $2 fee is gonna sting! Still cheaper than Osaka and Tokyo’s “cash grab”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The legislation is aimed at eliminating properties that do not meet the requirements and are unregistered with local authorities."

Aside from a quick cash grab to promote itself as the center of the world with Kyo-yasai, Kyo-scenery, and Kyo-gods (ie. the people who live there) so they can lift their noses higher in the air, Kyoto is doing this to snub out Air B&B places that they can't charge taxes for, which of course will cause people to give up on it since they would have to pay an arm and a leg to get the "hotel license" that's basically required, and which in turn will have the local government screaming about not having enough lodgings again.

That, and/or the tax will help the local governments in cahoots with construction companies to build new hotels they can be investors in.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gotta love the paradox of "improving tourism services" and "promoting tourism" by taxing tourists

Life is full of paradoxes, man. You pay income tax don't you? That income taxes props up the gov't and without a gov't chaos reins and you don't have a job anymore...

> This will really help the old stereotype that Kyoto folk do be stingy.

You've confused Kyoto with Osaka again.

> Why tax the tourists bringing good money into the economy, shouldn't it be the other way round?

What do you think the duty free shopping is???

> most likely it will be spent at kyaba and auto salons.

Or, unlike the federal gov't, there is a lot more scrutiny at the city level and without said money, the subway can't run...

> Hopefully some of the funds will be used to have more signs/info in more languages for visitors driving, taking buses or just walking around Kyoto.

That is EXACTLY what the airport departure tax will be used for. This $2 tax will help expand bus routes and the number of buses on the road, driver salaries and possibly subway expansion.

> What are the taxes to be used for?

This $2 tax will help expand bus routes and the number of buses on the road, driver salaries and possibly subway expansion.

> Greedy government biting the hand the feeds it

More accurately, Overworked mother asking her kid to carry their own dishes to the kitchen.

> While I admit that ¥200 is not a lot for accomadation that I usually stay in (under ¥20000) I still would not want to pay it out of principle.

I guess that I won't be staying in Kyoto again. As Mocheake says, it has just become a tourist trap.

Bye Felicia!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hawaii charges transient accommodation tax As of January 1, 2018, the TAT rate for short-term rentals in Hawaii is 10.25 percent. If your rental is located on Oahu, you may also have to collect an additional surcharge tax of 0.5 percent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder how they're going to implement this tax and check upon actual occupancy rates - particularly in the case of Love hotels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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