Foreign visitors sightseeing in the Japanese city of Kyoto will now be reminded of etiquette, Via their smartphones. After local residents complained of badly behaved tourists.
A pilot project launched an app Monday that will send Foreign tourist information about local manners, in English and Chinese. The project, which will run until December 8, was launched by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. In cooperation with the Kyoto city government.
Foreign visitors have earned an unsavory reputation in recent years; buses around most popular sites have become too busy for local residents to use. While crowds outside famous attractions make it difficult to navigate parts of the city.
In a survey about tourists’ behavior circulated last year among local residents; bars and restaurants, members reported seeing visitors “sit and lie on the streets to take pictures.” Also seeing Chinese tourists chasing geisha and their maiko apprentices with cameras.
Tourists Unaware of Kyoto’s Local Customs
Visitors staying in the city are often unaware of local customs. There have also been complaints about noise and loud music at night in rental accommodations. Disrupting the city’s custom of a low-key atmosphere.
A page on the Kyoto city travel website urges visitors not to walk while staring at their mobile phones; to be careful of others when carrying bags; exercise caution when riding rental bicycles; follow road traffic rules; refrain from smoking on the street and to take precautions against heatstroke in summer.
Japan has become hugely popular as a tourist destination in the past decade, and Kyoto has become a must-see for many visitors. In 2017, there were 53.6 million domestic and foreign visitors to Kyoto, with 3.53 million foreigners spending at least one night in a Kyoto hotel.
According to the latest statistics from the Kyoto City Tourism Association, 4.5 million foreign visitors spent at least one night in a hotel in the city in 2018. Of that total, more than 1.17 million were Chinese.