Tourists flock to Kyoto's autumn hotspots

KYOTO, Nov 23 (News On Japan) - As Kyoto's autumn foliage reaches its peak, swarms of tourists have converged on the ancient capital, captivated by stunning displays like Wednesday evening's illumination at Kiyomizu Temple.

At 5:30 PM, the lights were turned on, eliciting cheers from the crowd as they began to take pictures of Kiyomizu Temple, rising against a dark night, and a thousand maple trees in full bloom vividly lit under Kiyomizu's stage, creating a fantastical scene.

Foreign tourists have also been flocking to Pontocho, Kyoto's entertainment district, buoyed by the weak yen.

"Kei Moriyama, proprietress of Kyoto Chanko Nabe Gyakubiki, commented, "Since the beginning of the year, perhaps due to the weak yen, there seems to be more tourists. It's like being in another country with 70-80% foreigners. Foreigners are really supporting Kyoto now."

The Sagano Romantic Train, renown for its spectacular views of the river and colorful autumn leaves, was sold out by the afternoon.

In Kyoto's Arashiyama, more foreign than Japanese tourists crowded the streets and bus stops.

At Togetsukyo Bridge over the Katsura River, pedestrians filled the walkway. Despite the red light, tourists overflowed onto the roadway, creating some dangerous situations, as reported on the Shinichi Hatori Morning Show.