Kyoto’s Gion neighbourhood bans photographs

Posted on 29 October 2019

After continuous complaints about bad tourist behaviour, Kyoto has instituted a ban on photography in the quaint Gion neighbourhood.

According to Time Out, the neighbourhood, known for its well-preserved roads, wooden teahouses and geishas (women highly skilled in art, dance and singing), has tourists flocking to see these Edo-period charms. But local residents have had enough as tourists have taken their interest in the neighbourhood too far.  They have reported visitors entering peoples private homes and taking pictures of people without permission. This is specifically true for the geishas and maikos (apprentice geishas) who have been harassed and chased by tourists wanting to get their picture.

As a result, an association of local residents and shop owners have forbidden photography on private roads. Anyone caught breaking this rule will be fined ¥10,000 (around R1,340).

Tourists can still take photos on the main roads but must just maintain respect for their surroundings and those they are photographing.

This is not the first time Kyoto has had to deal with unruly tourists and released etiquette guide in 2017 for those visiting the city.

Image: @Tokyofashion/Twitter

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