Overtourism in Kyoto reaches breaking point, with ‘half-naked hikers, trespassing travellers’ making life a misery for residents


In Kyoto, it is still possible to glimpse a geisha gliding past Gion’s wooden machiyabuildings, her scarlet-stained lips and enigmatic air typifying traditions kept alive since Japan’s imperial era. The accompanying crush of tourists thrusting telephoto lenses and swinging selfie sticks in her direction, however, is a rude reminder that this is 2018.

When not harassing women on their way to or from work, the more than 50 million visitors (domestic and international) who visit Kyoto annually are busy misbehaving in other ways. According to an October 20 article in The Asahi Shimbun, the daily lives of the city’s residents are “marred by half-naked hikers, trespassing travellers and prolonged photo shoots”.

A recent report in The Sydney Morning Herald added dive-bombing into onsen, wearing shoes in tatami rooms and carving names into the bamboo groves of Arashiyama, a popular spot on the outskirts of Kyoto, to the growing list of terrible tourist comportment…

Read more : SCMP, 24.10.2018