Kyoto wants you back — but it has some polite suggestions.

Source: NyTimesTravrl – The city, one of Japan’s most-visited before the pandemic, desperately needs tourism’s money. But since the start of 2021, fewer than 800,000 foreign visitors have set foot in the country. Only a small number of tourists on organized tours have been allowed to enter Japan, but Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said last week that the country would further ease border controls in October, eliminating a cap on daily entries and allowing tourists to travel independently.

As tourism slowly returns, Kyoto, like other famous tourist destinations worldwide, is grappling with how to accommodate the crowds without sacrificing quality of life for those who call the cultural capital home. Tourists come from across the world to see places like the Kiyomizu Temple, the bamboo groves of Arashiyama, the orange gates winding up the mountain behind Fushimi Inari shrine and the golden pavilion at Kinkauji Temple. But in recent years, Instagram-driven itineraries have clogged up local treasures and irritated residents.

In the absence of a clear solution, Kyoto’s government is betting on a change of perspective: After years of promoting “omotenashi” — a Japanese word for meticulous hospitality — it’s trying to take more time for self-care.

Some Images of Kyoto, Japan

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