Kyoto aiming to disperse crowds to ease 'overtourism'
Japan Today -- Nov 09
Kyoto, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, is aiming to attract travelers to lesser-known spots to ease "overtourism" that has increased complaints among visitors and local people.

Having been rated highly in foreign travel magazine polls, the number of visitors to Kyoto has topped the 50 million mark for five consecutive years since 2013.

Foreign tourists flock to famous destinations such as the districts of Arashiyama and Gion, and Kiyomizu temple.

But a city survey in 2017 found that 46 percent of domestic travelers had negative experiences during their stay, with congestion cited as the biggest reason.

During the sightseeing season, people sometimes find it difficult to get on overcrowded buses and congestion in many parts of the city has started affecting the lives of local residents.

Among the popular sights is Fushimi Inari Taisha located in southern Kyoto. The Shinto shrine known for its around 10,000 vermillion torii gateways is almost always crowded with travelers hoping to shoot scenic photos.

In the Fushimi district, where the shrine is located, tourists can also find a host of sake breweries in an old area preserving a historic townscape from the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), though it is less known.

The site is near Fushimi Momoyama Station, five stops in the direction of Osaka from Fushimi Inari Station, the nearest station to the shrine, on the Keihan main line. The Fushimi district boasts natural springs and more than 20 breweries are concentrated there.

Visitors can listen to master sake brewers explain the history and the manufacturing process of sake at events held at dining bar Fushimi Sakagura Koji, which regularly keeps more than 100 kinds of sake brewed in the district.

News source: Japan Today
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