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Kyoto wants to add extra charges for tourists to use city buses

107 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Compared to other large Japanese cities, Kyoto’s city center has remarkably little rail service. With no train lines running through the downtown area, and only two subway lines, if you want to get somewhere in Kyoto using public transportation, oftentimes buses are your only option.

That option might be getting more expensive for a lot of people, though, as Kyoto’s municipal government is seeking permission to start charging tourists higher prices than locals for using city buses.

There seem to be two somewhat contradictory purposes for the plan. In an interview with Japan’s Kansai TV, Kyoto mayor Daisaku Kadokawa said that the primary objective of the proposal is to reduce crowding on city-operated buses in Kyoto. “We want to improve the level of comfort in both residents’ lifestyles and sightseeing,” Kadokawa said. “Raising the price [for tourists] is not itself the goal, but rather how to address overcrowding, and this is one way to do so.” When asked “Is the goal to obtain more money from tourists?” Kadokawa replied “Not at all.”

However, in its documents outlining the proposal, the Kyoto City Transportation Bureau cites a 14.2-percent drop in Kyoto city bus ridership since the start of the pandemic, as well as having been operating in the red for the past three years, among the justifications for introducing higher bus fares for tourists, as shown in the video below.

Taken by itself, raising rates would decrease ridership even more, but ostensibly the Kyoto City Transportation Bureau feels that will be offset, revenue-wise, by overall increases in the number of travelers as Japan continues to move towards a post-pandemic environment and higher fares are collected from those tourists who are riding the buses. The proposal follows an announcement in March that Kyoto will be stopping sales of its one-day unlimited-ride bus passes, which have been popular with tourists for years.

It’s worth noting that the revised system would not only charge higher prices for travelers visiting Japan from abroad, but also Japanese citizens/residents visiting from other parts of the country. Even people living in other parts of Kyoto Prefecture would be subject to the higher rates, as the proposal divides riders into two groups, Kyoto City residents and tourists.

As to how the new pricing system would be implemented, one idea the bureau is discussing is special cashless payment IC cards for residents, linked to government-issued My Number ID cards tied into the holder’s home address, which would charge the lower of the two fares. Another is designating certain vehicles in the fleet as “tourist buses,” which would ostensibly charge the higher rate to all passengers, though it’s unclear how/if that would prevent tourists from riding non-tourist buses and paying the lower rate.

The biggest potential roadblock for the plan, though, is that under current laws the bus network is prohibited from “unreasonable or unfair fare discrepancies.” It’s unclear whether a tourist surcharge for public transportation would fall under that category, and so the Kyoto government has submitted its proposal to the national government’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism seeking clarification as to whether or not the two-tier pricing system would be legally allowed.

Source: Kansai TVYouTube/関西テレビNEWSTele Asa News

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107 Comments
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How can they tell which one is tourist which foreigners who reside in Japan? Is it based on their look?

-9 ( +30 / -39 )

Idiots

16 ( +51 / -35 )

It will do nothing to solve the problem of overcrowded buses. This could cause more problems. Tourists would have to mean all non-Kyoto residents.

More tourist buses from the train station to the sightseeing locations.

25 ( +34 / -9 )

one idea the bureau is discussing is special cashless payment IC cards for residents, linked to government-issued My Number ID cards tied into the holder’s home address, which would charge the lower of the two fares.

And provide another sneaky way to get Kyoto people to sign up for the My Number cards. I think this might be the option in the driving seat.

7 ( +33 / -26 )

Seems like they’re doing everything they can to scare off tourists.

20 ( +35 / -15 )

I only read the word tourists. Does this mean all tourists? Does this mean tourists from all parts of Japan that includes me a foreigner who has made home for many years? Is Kyoto going to be biased to one set of tourists over another group based on skin color and race?

-14 ( +17 / -31 )

Kyoto has many immature and regressive rules, I find the place tiresome.

-1 ( +30 / -31 )

Does this mean all tourists?

How can they tell which one is tourist which foreigners who reside in Japan?

From the article:

It’s worth noting that the revised system would not only charge higher prices for travelers visiting Japan from abroad, but also Japanese citizens/residents visiting from other parts of the country. Even people living in other parts of Kyoto Prefecture would be subject to the higher rates, as the proposal divides riders into two groups, Kyoto City residents and tourists.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

"Kyoto has many immature and regressive rules, I find the place tiresome."

Indeed. Lived their for eight years and learned that the Kyoto government is known for its abstruse decisions. Kyoto, like Hiroshima for example, had a tram, the Kyoto city Tram (Kyoto shiden). It had a loop route, East-West and north-south lines. They abolished the tram in 1978 because of increasing congestion and replaced the tram with buses which added to congestion.Personally I think that Kyoto has had some of the worst city managers in Japan, who had some really ludicrous ideas like building an imitation of the Pont Neuf Bridge over the Kamogawa river (which was prevented) and that aquarium to attract more Chinese tourists, which was actually built. It is these days, thanks to its city rulers, just a pretentious shadow of its former self.

1 ( +22 / -21 )

Whi is a tourist? how do distingish a "tourist" from a business traveler? The answer is invariably if you LOOK like a GAIJIN. You maybe on business but still get stiffed for more bus money because you look like a GAIJIN.

Frankly, my only reason go to Kyoto is to check out the laster Leica cameras and the print exhibitions. I've seen the shrines and temples, thank you, many times. What should I have pay extra when I am NOT a tourist?

Of course if you look like a GAIJIN you are going to nailed as tourist no matter when you get on one Kyoto's overcrowded public buses,

-26 ( +7 / -33 )

Will this apply to Japanese tourist from other parts of Japan? It is not hard to guess the answer to that one.

-32 ( +5 / -37 )

There are already some prints on Kyoto buses asking tourists to not to bring bulky suitcases in, requesting them to use taxis and trains instead. I may agree that suitcases are an annoyance but school kids with their bulky sports backpacks also are.

You cannot have it both ways Kyoto, you want tourists money without having the tourists trooping the city.

19 ( +29 / -10 )

Will this apply to Japanese tourist from other parts of Japan? It is not hard to guess the answer to that one.

jeez, do people actually read articles or just headlines??

41 ( +44 / -3 )

Kyoto could always introduce a loop bus system for tourists..

You could have a Western Route and an Eastern Route that covers all of the major sites across Kyoto. This would help to take pressure off of the subway network and city buses.

Other Japanese cities, such as Hiroshima, Kagoshima & Sendai already have such loop bus systems in place. But I suppose that such an idea would go against Kyoto's policy of showing complete disdain for tourists. They want your money, but not you!

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Yeah....so this right here is exactly how to lose all tourism revenue. First you take away the 1 day passes, then raise the JR passes to the point where not many would buy it, now raise the bus fares for the tourists? Then what's to stop the local shops from raising the prices of their merchandise because there are too many tourists in their stores and the locals can't get in to buy anything?

Here's an easier idea : Why not set specific bus times to accomodate the tourists that runs 2 buses twice a day to prevent over crowding and regular commuters?

eg. 9:10am Bus A & B going to __

3:10pm Bus A & B leaving for (original pick up destination)

These times are out of rush hour times.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

If the goal isnt to gouge tourists, which I think it clearly is, why dont they just introduce a bus service that caters to tourists with stops at all the most popular spots and stations.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

As this will cost a heap of cash to implement, increase complexity and reduce bus usage, it ticks most of the boxes for a bad idea.

Pro tip. Trains are fine as the default for most other Japanese cities, but in Kyoto, use taxis for most sightseeing. OK, it costs more, but you are on holiday and it saves you lots of time. You are driven directly to where you want to be. No steps, no waiting, no crush.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

First, JR does not simply increase the price for the rail pass but almost doubles it. Now Kyoto city wants to discriminate against non residents by charging them more money for public transportation within the municipality.

Nothing screams more than "we hate tourist but love their money."

8 ( +22 / -14 )

When demand outpaces supply, you increase supply.

If their buses are so overcrowded then add a lot more buses to these routes and make more profits.

Riders, both local and visitors, and the city will come out on top and be happy.

Does the Kyoto govt. have any intelligent leaders?

19 ( +24 / -5 )

No way it will work.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I'm personally happy that JR raised the train pass fee. Maybe they raised it too much, but the situation has flipped from Japan being an expensive country to travel in to being a cheap one (by first world standards). Many people coming to Japan have more money than locals. Millions of Japanese cannot afford to jump on the Shinkansen and travel by highway bus instead.

The above video contradicts itself in that it says the bus companies are deep in the red due to Covid and post-Covid low ridership that is "continuing" (tsuzukete ori) but then shows what must be a tourist route that has long queues and the inside a crowded bus. The usual solution to this is more buses on the crowded routes and fewer ones on the ones with low ridership. Train companies charge more for expresses than have fewer stops on the same route, so I'm sure buses could do the same. The Kyoto mayor says putting up fares is a measure to ease ("kanwa") congestion, but I don't see how that works.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The ineptitude of Kyoto City is astounding. So they are going to plaster the walls with posters in multiple languages demanding tourists pay more? I am sure such urges would work in for Japanese people who are conditioned to follow the "rules", but there is no way foreigners will do adhere to such nonsense. They just have no idea how the foreign mind works.

Unless they force foreigners to show their passports when getting off (since you pay when getting off).... Good luck solving the problem of crowds this way too.

It's just nonsense.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

A tourism based city. Why wouldn’t you just set up a ‘trolley’ netwoek, specifically for tourists, like the ones in Honolulu?

Surely that’s better for everyone as opposed to racial profiling and endless arguements?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

How can they tell which one is tourist which foreigners who reside in Japan? Is it based on their look?

Idiots

one idea the bureau is discussing is special cashless payment IC cards for residents, linked to government-issued My Number ID cards tied into the holder’s home address,

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Will this apply to Japanese tourist from other parts of Japan? It is not hard to guess the answer to that one.

Only if you did not read the article.

It’s worth noting that the revised system would not only charge higher prices for travelers visiting Japan from abroad, but also Japanese citizens/residents visiting from other parts of the country. Even people living in other parts of Kyoto Prefecture would be subject to the higher rates,

 

9 ( +11 / -2 )

A tourism based city. Why wouldn’t you just set up a ‘trolley’ netwoek, specifically for tourists, like the ones in Honolulu?

Surely that’s better for everyone as opposed to racial profiling and endless arguements?

Another idea is designating certain vehicles in the fleet as “tourist buses,”

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just add a hotel tax or increase it a bit like a normal city.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@proxyToday 10:14 am JST

Just add a hotel tax or increase it a bit like a normal city.

A hotel tax makes more obvious when a locality is trying to charge an out-of-towner tax and so people can avoid going there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What? Is Kyoto planning to drive tourists away from Kyoto?

I live in Montreal Canada. Our Montreal Transport offers Cheap One Day Tickets to Tourists so they can take as many rides as they wish in the Metro or Buses. And even Cheaper tickets if they stay one week in the city. If I am planning to visit Japan I would avoid Kyoto no matter how historical or beautiful it is.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

This seems like a badly planned measure as likely to work against the supposed purpose as help, maybe even more likely to have a negative effect.

In a way this feels like the city is willing to sacrifice the bus companies (since they will get even lower revenues with the measure) being the real purpose to reduce the number of tourists that would want to visit the city. That is going to be the result as soon as the measure is implemented and it is reported.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

O - MO - TE - NA - SHI at its finest. /s

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Can people please read the article before shouting at racism?

The system would target ALL tourists, including Japanese coming from other prefectures. They are thinking of implementing it by using a special cashless IC card for residents that would allow them to pay a lower fare.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

With no train lines running through the downtown area,

This is Sora News making stuff up. If you want to go to Arashiyama, you would go by JR or Hankyu on a train that runs through the downtown area. You would go in the same direction to go to the Katsuura tea house (you have to book). If you wanted to go from Gion/Shijo to Fushimi Inari, you would head south on the Keihan, a train that runs through the downtown area. If you wanted to go to Kurama, again you would get on the Keihan, this time heading north.

The above are all major tourist sites. There are only certain other ones where you need to get on a bus, most notably Ryoanji/Kinkaji. Several big sites like Heian Jingu and Kiyomizudera are best approached on foot. I went many times to Kizomizu/Nanzenji/Heian Jingu many times when I lived in Kansai, but walked every time.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How can they tell which one is tourist which foreigners who reside in Japan? Is it based on their look?

And

Will this apply to Japanese tourist from other parts of Japan? It is not hard to guess the answer to that one.

The answers are in the article:

It’s worth noting that the revised system would not only charge higher prices for travelers visiting Japan from abroad, but also Japanese citizens/residents visiting from other parts of the country. Even people living in other parts of Kyoto Prefecture would be subject to the higher rates,

As to how the new pricing system would be implemented, one idea the bureau is discussing is special cashless payment IC cards for residents, linked to government-issued My Number ID cards tied into the holder’s home address,

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Now we recently had a farcical article about highway tolls and in that article's comments I pointed out going from Tokyo to Kyoto was cheaper by car than by train if more than one person was traveling together.

By increasing the local bus fees, this will incentivize more people to use their cars, if your train trip for a family, then the bus travel in the city is more expensive and always less comfortable and less convenient ( especially if there are children with you) then people are going to go by car.

Results will be more pollution and more congestion.

Sounds like a brilliant plan! (Sarcasm for those that didn't get it)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

If they really want to reduce the problem.

Look up Bixi rental bikes Montreal.

The city put aside city owned property with a very large number of parking spaces, drop off stations are at nearly every kilometre in any direction.

The ease of use is incredible.

Not the mess we see here in Tokyo with no central organization.

Most people I know if given the same level of bike rental and simplicity as Bixi in Kyoto would jump at the option.

But again the app would need to be simple and Multi lingual with a minimum of proper simple English as it is the most common second language in the world.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The biggest potential roadblock for the plan, though, is that under current laws the bus network is prohibited from “unreasonable or unfair fare discrepancies.” It’s unclear whether a tourist surcharge for public transportation would fall under that category,

Well let's see!

If we take the following

As to how the new pricing system would be implemented, one idea the bureau is discussing is special cashless payment IC cards for residents, linked to government-issued My Number ID cards tied into the holder’s home address,

Then in theory someone living just outside the Kyoto city limits but works in Kyoto would have to pay the "tourist" price because their My Number Card wouldn't have a Kyoto city address.

This would be like someone living in Kawaguchi Saitama but works in Ueno having to pay a surcharge that the guy living one stop over in Adachi-ku Tokyo going to the same job location.

Not sure that is legal!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Just stop going there if this is their answer to getting tourists back.

Go somewhere else

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I've been there many times but never used public transportation. Glad I got my fill of Kyoto many years ago. They seem to think they are more special and tourists should be honored to come there. I have no such feeling.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Time to start a "Tourist Bus" company.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Taito-ku Tokyo got the right idea years ago Taito-ku Circulation Bus Megurin

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1066461-d8491845-Reviews-Taito_ku_Circulation_Bus_Megurin-Taito_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

A simple effective popular solution and they look so cute.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Kyoto City wants to get the tourists out of city buses. Residents want to stop at a myriad of stops. Tourists basically only want to stop at a number of easily identified tourists destinations. Create a city loop bus routes specifically for tourists. It's not rocket science.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

deanzaZZR

Today 11:53 am JST

Kyoto City wants to get the tourists out of city buses. Residents want to stop at a myriad of stops. Tourists basically only want to stop at a number of easily identified tourists destinations. Create a city loop bus routes specifically for tourists. It's not rocket science.

You mean like Taito-ku Tokyo Circulation Bus Megurin!

Strange that someone didn't like that idea when I pointed it out.

Go figure!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Raising the price won't do anything, as there is no viable alternative and most people on vacation won't worry about such a small fee. Hopefully they will eventually realize that they have to increase the number of buses, but I won't have my fingers crossed waiting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Create a city loop bus routes specifically for tourists. It's not rocket science.

Yes, and since these will be "express" buses, in a way, they can charge more if they want without resorting to discrimination. Let's face it, even Japanese already feel they are on the receiving end of discrimination from Kyoto residents. No need to make it even worse.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When asked “Is the goal to obtain more money from tourists?” Kadokawa replied “Not at all.”

Being a little passive-aggressive towards foreigners again?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

They charge tourists extra fees in Hawaii and use for improving Hawaii and for wasteful politicians to get their hands on more money. They have something there called the ‘local rate or discount” show your ID get discounts on hotels, rent a cars, etc. Not buses though…

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Will this apply to Japanese tourist from other parts of Japan? It is not hard to guess the answer to that one.

You don’t need to guess anything.

The article clearly states all tourists, including Japanese will have to pay more.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

80% of the tourists visiting Kyoto are Japanese. Domestic tourism is the problem. 80% 0f 50 million visitors every year. (40 million).

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The buses finish at 10 pm and the trains at 11 pm. Too early.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's also pretty insulting for the people that works in Kyoto but live outside the city.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A great blog on Kyoto is the excellent Inside Kyoto written by Chris Rowthorn.

https://www.insidekyoto.com/kyoto-buses

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One of the charms of Japan is its sense of welcoming and ometenashi to visitors. This two-tiered price system throws that under the bus ( pun intended ) for the sake of short-termed fixes and greed. It's like they are deliberately regressing to the practice of overcharging and ripping off the 'other'. Milking it big time. Always a bad aftertaste when you are forced to pay more, just because you are not from around here. Not exactly Omotenashi is it Kyoto? If you are fine with the message it sends though, then run with it I guess. Personally think it's a bad decision. Cycling lanes?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One might argue that imposing extra charges on tourists could discourage them from using public transportation, leading to an increase in private vehicles on the roads, which could contribute to traffic congestion and environmental concerns. They may also express concerns about the potential negative impact on tourism and the overall visitor experience. Total bias, if you will.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can people please read the article before shouting at racism?

Thank you, Elfinou.

Seriously, do people come across these articles looking for an excuse to scream 'Racism against all foreigners' all the time??? Seems like it!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Foreign tourists often get the short end of the stick because they can be seen to be different but domestic Japanese tourists cannot be distinguished from others and make up 80% of the visitors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Two tiered system not needed of course.

More designated tourist bus lines, tram, cycling limited routes are expected ina modern world.

There are also plenty of places to visit on foot but the absence of pavement, again, is a failure.

An old city does not mean a fossilised one but I think it is because of ageing society everywhere, with less and less new ideas expected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Double-decker buses on main routes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Excellent point. How many meetings did take for these civil service geniuses to come up with this plan?

It's also pretty insulting for the people that works in Kyoto but live outside the city.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Electric and gas buses. Ban private cars from main centers between 10 am to 4 pm or introduce a congestion charge to improve public transport.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

First the JR Pass and now this. At least they’re not trying to hide their intentions.

Over the past 2 years Japan got used to living life without the nuisance of foreigners. Now that they’re back, Japan is trying to make it too expensive to cover too much ground in the country.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

As I had mentioned before in different articles Kyoto is one of the best cities to walk around and explore. Even as a former Kyoto city resident and I still travel to Kyoto at least once a month for my business. I have not once used the bus system in the city because its so accessible by walking, Keihan, Kintetsu, Hankyu, JR lines, Ran den, and Subway. If you are a resident and enjoy Motor bike touring which I really enjoy. I have used my Super Cub a number of times to go from Ishikawa prefecture to Kyoto and I find driving a motor bike through Kyoto a great way to see the city.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bleeding tourists dry. If the city is over crowded then limit the number if tourists to the city centre, other cities do this with timed tickets to tourist sites, limiting tourist coaches etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Luddite

Bleeding tourists dry. If the city is over crowded then limit the number if tourists to the city centre, other cities do this with timed tickets to tourist sites, limiting tourist coaches etc.

It would be unconstitutional to stop Japanese people who have freedom of movement and makeup 80% of the visitors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hmm, when I used the bus from Emmachi station to Kamishiciken, there were mostly three to five senior citizens on it, regardless of the time of day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So when people from Kyoto come to the capital, we can charge them extra for clogging up our subways, right?

This is beyond stupid. Especially from a city almost wholly dependent upon tourism for its tax revenues. It's not like the Temples are big tax payers....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kyoto’s city center has remarkably little rail service. With no train lines running through the downtown area, and only two subway lines

I've never lived in Kyoto but have visited quite a few times and this seems incorrect. Its true that there are only two city subway lines, but there are a ton of train lines that go through central Kyoto - JR, Hankyu, Keihan, etc.

These don't necessarily connect to all of the places that tourists want to visit and for some a bus ride is necessary, but at the same time I don't think its accurate to say that Kyoto has little rail service compared to other Japanese cities of similar size.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many countries already do this for transportation, or places like national parks and museums. Certain cities are already doing it in Japan for zoos, events, museums and whatnot. Residents, seniors, local high school students, members of a certain fanclub or whatever get discounts with proof of some card.

If your residence card says you're a local I'm sure you'll have no problem. Nothing to complain about.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The article splits thing between residents and tourists, but it seems it is a split between residents and non-residents. As Antiquesaving points out, it would affect non-resident commuters. It would also affect people who travel to Kyoto for non-tourist purposes. I used to travel occasionally from Osaka to Kyoto for work. (Although I rarely used buses.)

Generally, I'm not against giving certain benefits to residents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s OK, but then each city should introduce reciprocal measures for Kyoto residents visiting other places :)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kyoto really doesn't like tourists, it appears... they preserve the place like some kind of living museum, but they want to discourage the great unwashed from actually visiting and enjoying their time there.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

How about we remind Kyoto that because of their mishandling of funds and building the Tozai subway line that they are massively in debt and were literally BEGGING the government to allow tourists in when the doors here were closed at the end of Covid? How about all funding to save Kyoto from itself stops now. Then maybe they'll stop punishing tourists and being xenophobic and actually WELCOME them.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I've always walked around Kyoto. Who needs the bus?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They should never have got rid of the trams

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Kniknaknokkaer

Today 12:27 pm JST

To everyone saying Kyoto should start a tourist loop bus service, it already has one, the Sky-hop-bus.

Now go see The Taito-ku Megurin bus and see the difference.

You don't seem to be taking about the same service at all.

Those double-decker buses are like the tourist buses in Tokyo.

https://authentic-tokyo.com/news/detail?news_id=715

Megurin are also meant and used by locals to get around.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Is it that hard to find a picture of a Kyoto bus that you had to use a Tokyo Toei bus for the article?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is terribly Ill-advised and it would only make commuting more complicated

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bofington

Today 03:39 pm JST

Many countries already do this for transportation, or places like national parks and museums. Certain cities are already doing it in Japan for zoos, events, museums and whatnot. Residents, seniors, local high school students, members of a certain fanclub or whatever get discounts with proof of some card.

> If your residence card says you're a local I'm sure you'll have no problem. Nothing to complain about

I think you may be confused!

In Tokyo no one get charged more for not being a local visitor.

What you are describing are discounted packages for organizations, large tour groups regardless of origin, which is very common, they are not changing non residents more, they are giving discounts.

When my children were young we had Ueno museum club discount it cost nothing to join and did not require proof of Tokyo residency anyone could get it.

A group of students over X number of people could get a discount regardless if they were from a Tokyo school or a Niigata school.

Senior discounts apply to all seniors in Kyoto I got that in certain places I am not a resident of Kyoto or even a citizen of Japan.

What this proposal would do is charge more not less.

So the senior visiting Kyoto would have to pay more to use the public transportation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TrevorPeace

Today 05:46 pm JST

I've always walked around Kyoto. Who needs the bus?

Now several have said the same thing other point out that the majority of visitors are from other parts of Japan.

Now who are these Japanese visitors?

Well we have the numerous school trips, they often use private rental tour buses, you will see them all over population attraction places block traffic.

The next biggest group are seniors, retired people with time on their hands.

If you have ever been to Kyoto in the summer, it is one very hot place to be walking around for anyone but especially seniors.

Seniors in Japan are also more likely not to drive.

The next group are the Chinese tourists who like the schools arrive by organized tour buses and will go from place to place in those buses.

So the people that will end up paying or using public transportation are elderly non Kyoto residents, non tour foreign, Japanese tourists, families visiting especially with young children.

The winters in Kyoto for me are nothing and enjoyable but for the majority of Japanese not something they are used to so they will require transportation and not be walking.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hello Kitty 321

Today 06:09 pm JST

They should never have got rid of the trams

This is something that dozens of wester and Japanese major cities are now saying and realizing.

My own city in Canada now realised it was a mistake it made decades ago a practical, non petroleum powered rarely bothered by snow ice or traffic, why did so many places like Kyoto make the same mistake.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

KevinMcgueToday said (at 08:25 am JST):

Will this apply to Japanese tourist from other parts of Japan? It is not hard to guess the answer to that one.

No, it's not hard to guess that one. It's actually explained in the article:

It’s worth noting that the revised system would not only charge higher prices for travelers visiting Japan from abroad, but also Japanese citizens/residents visiting from other parts of the country. Even people living in other parts of Kyoto Prefecture would be subject to the higher rates, as the proposal divides riders into two groups, Kyoto City residents and tourists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kyoto's logic is they want to improve the level of comfort in both residents’ lifestyles and sightseeing. Does this mean every resident when they are out and about the are sightseeing. Take an 89 year that has lived in Kyoto all their lives they are riding a bus for sightseeing. WTF “Raising the price [for tourists] is not itself the goal, but rather how to address overcrowding, and this is one way to do so. Blaming tourist for over crowding when a year ago the city was going broke because they had no tourist, in other words bring your money have a seat and but it will cost you. If Kyoto's logic is charging tourist for over crowding I wonder if their thoughts are just the opposite, when there are no tourist do they lower the prices for not having tourist to raise the comfort of the residents who are trying to make ends meet?

“We want to improve the level of comfort in both residents’ lifestyles and sightseeing,” Kadokawa said. “Raising the price [for tourists] is not itself the goal, but rather how to address overcrowding, and this is one way to do so.” When asked “Is the goal to obtain more money from tourists?” Kadokawa replied “Not at all

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just start a tourist tax per night at hotels and air bnb in kyoto city limits.

The tax adds more buses per route each day, and probably a lot more other stuff it can help to subsidize. Japanese residents including foreigners with visas or PR are exempt of this tax.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

just start a tourist tax per night at hotels and air bnb in kyoto city limits.

Or how about no?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Improve lifestyles of locals? Well, put restrictions on foreign real estate investing cause they are making real estate prices rise and amiss rising prices across the board, it puts a great burden on locals.

japan is led by old people with outdated thinking. To solve the problem of shrinking population ( which started in the 80s) they want to attract foreigners. That worked for a country like Germany back then because of our similar culture and work ethics, but Japan is nowhere near ready to work with foreigners. Raising wages to attract foreigners? Why a nonsense and little too late when other Asian countries offer double the salary. No way a Japanese company is gonna raise wages double. They are so greedy that you have to beg for a raise and still rejected. Higher prices for tourists is such a immoral solution. On one side, THEY WANT TOURISM , then they complain about crowds. Hypocrisy at its best!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A tourism based city. Why wouldn’t you just set up a ‘trolley’ network, specifically for tourists, like the ones in Honolulu?

Because that would take innovation and thinking outside the box or at least looking at what other cities do.

The powers that be just don't have any of those skills.

"How do we solve it? Raise prices! I agree!"

More buses, routes, alternative modes of transportation, spreading out stores and sites to make things more convenient, nope........

If it takes any effort, the GOV in Kyoto or Japan is not having any of it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There is a need for a city bus that starts at the train station and goes directly to the most popular tourist attractions. This will take the tourists off the city bus at stops at every bus stop leaving more space for locals.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Kyoto is a city in decline with much needed repairs to city roads and infrastructure very apparent -there isn’t the money for it

Taxing visitors more won’t encourage visits nor will it gain funds needed to keep the city running properly

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Go to Kamakura! It’s great!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An ice-free September in the 2030s "is a decade faster than in recent projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)", the UN's science advisory body, said Min.

> In its landmark 2021 report, the IPCC forecast with "high confidence" that the Arctic Ocean would become virtually ice-free at least once by mid-century, and even then only under more extreme greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

> The new study -- which draws from observational data covering the period 1979-2019 to adjust the IPCC models -- finds that threshold will most likely be crossed in the 2040s.

Lol.

So this study is more reliable than the ipcc consensus?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kyoto has many immature and regressive rules, I find the place tiresome.

to add that thought, I can see suggestions of bike rentals. In most places, it's a viable option, but currently, in Kyoto, it s definitely not, the "Bike Confiscators," a.k.a the Bike "four letter n-words," are the most aggressive and nasty in Japan. You leave a bike outside a shop - totally out of the way for just a second, and one of these knuckle-dragging vultures will come swooping in, greedily hunting bikes for their quotas. Kyoto City HATES bikes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Im old enough to remember the street car system in Kyoto. Kyoto ripped it out just before other cities in the U.S. started spending millions to put streetcars back in. Kyoto is proud of its heritage but also wants to be a “modern city” with little understanding of how to do that in a balanced and thoughtful way. Results are Kyoto Tower, ripping out the streetcar tracks, Kyoto station.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What a truly awful idea!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Buses are 230 yen now, prob raise to 250 soon.

Maybe what… 100 yen more for non-Kansai people?

I just don’t see how this makes more space on the buses. Do you?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Overcrowded busses should signal more busses. I've met so many people from Kyoto that have left a bad taste in my mouth and this knucklehead mayor seems like he'd be another one. Tourists should boycott Kyoto and see how they like that?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've read some "Chicken Little" type articles about Kyoto going broke. This is an opportunity for those enamored with Kyoto to kick in and help out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The PURPOSE is to reduce tourism in Kyoto.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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