It costs 700 yen no matter how many times you ride a bus that goes around sightseeing spots in the ancient capital of Kyoto.
The city of Kyoto will abolish the one-day bus ticket, which is popular with tourists, at the end of next fiscal year.
The aim is to alleviate congestion.
Kyoto used to have a large number of tourists, and "overtourism" became an issue.
to come, but don't ride the bus too late. "
(Kyoto Broadcasting Station reporter Megumi Ebitsuka)
Voices of regret from tourists
Due to the influence of the new corona, the number of tourists temporarily dropped in Kyoto.
Since the fall of last year, the number of tourists from Japan and abroad has become conspicuous due to the government's "National Travel Assistance" and the drastic relaxation of measures against the borders of the new corona.
Under such circumstances, Kyoto City's policy of abolishing "one-day bus tickets" was shown in February.
Around Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, tourists voiced their regret for the abolition.
A couple of high school students from Fukui Prefecture were sightseeing using a 1-day bus ticket.
It is said that buses connecting various places are indispensable for visiting sightseeing spots in Kyoto city.
It was said that the 1-day bus ticket would be cheaper, so I was planning to visit Kiyomizu Temple and Yasaka Shrine from Kyoto Station on this day as well.
A high school student from Fukui Prefecture
"I've used the 'One-Day Bus Pass' three times in my travels in Kyoto. I can easily go anywhere, and I think it's a good deal. I don't want you to abolish it." "
Tourists from overseas were also surprised by the abolition.
Female visitor from Turkey
: "I'm sorry. It's very convenient for tourists and I like it. I think it would be a waste to abolish it."
What is a "1-day bus ticket"?
In 1995, the 1-day bus pass was introduced.
At that time, the number of private cars of tourists increased on the roads in Kyoto city.
It was triggered by Kyoto City trying to guide people to buses in order to alleviate traffic congestion.
700 yen per adult.
In Kyoto City, in addition to the Kyoto City Bus operated by the city, you can ride the Kyoto Bus and West Japan JR Bus for one day as much as you want.
In Kyoto City, there are 74 bus routes for city buses alone, and they spread throughout the city like the mesh of a network.
There are only two subway lines, east-west and north-south, from the center of the city.
Each bus costs 230 yen in the center of the city.
If you simply calculate it, you can get your money back if you ride 4 times.
The 1-Day Bus Pass was popular with tourists who wanted to visit many tourist attractions in one day.
Why did Kyoto City quit?
The number of passengers on buses and subways operated by Kyoto City has decreased since the spread of the new corona infection.
Both financial statements for the previous fiscal year were in the red.
The city continues to consider raising bus fares in order to rebuild its management.
Why is Kyoto City discontinuing the "one-day bus ticket" this time?
One of the reasons given is to ease the congestion of tourist buses.
In Kyoto, the number of tourists surged before the spread of infection.
In fiscal 2017, the number of passengers on city buses will reach a record high of 134.2 million.
There was also a situation where many tourists boarded the bus and citizens could not get on the bus, and it was called "overtourism", and it became a big problem.
As a countermeasure at that time, in addition to increasing the number of routes popular with tourists, the city of Kyoto raised the fare of the "one-day bus ticket" from 500 yen to 600 yen in 2018.
However, in 2019, 12.45 million people used the "one-day bus ticket", although it decreased.
It accounted for about 10% of the number of bus users this fiscal year, and most of the users were tourists.
In the city's consideration this time, there was also a plan to raise the price of the "bus one-day ticket", but it was decided to abolish it because there was an opinion that raising the price alone would not be effective.
On the other hand, the 1,100 yen ticket that allows unlimited rides on the subway and buses for one day will continue.
There is also the aim of guiding tourists to the subway, where the number of passengers has not yet recovered.
Kyoto citizens with complicated feelings
Kyoto citizens have mixed feelings about using buses.
A woman in her 40s in Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City, said she was troubled by congestion before the spread of infection.
There was a long line of customers at the bus stop to go shopping, work, or wherever they wanted to go.
Even when it was finally my turn to get on, the bus that came was almost full.
When the bus finally arrived, it was so full that he would say, "I'll pass," over the speaker outside the bus, and then he would pass by.
: “I was late for more than 30 minutes to meet a friend because I couldn't get on the bus. I had no choice but to take a taxi. I think."
On the other hand, I have doubts about the abolition of the "one-day bus ticket."
: "I also use a '1-day bus pass' when I change buses on days when I'm taking lessons or going to an art museum.
Since it is convenient for citizens to use, will eliminating it help alleviate congestion, or will it be effective?”
Are Kyoto City's measures effective?
Professor Daisuke Abe of Ryukoku University's Faculty of Policy Studies, who studies tourism issues and policies, points out the following about the abolition of "one-day bus tickets."
``There are one-day tickets for transportation overseas, such as the water bus in Venice, Italy. Citizens cannot see how far Kyoto City has analyzed the degree of congestion, routes, impact of abolition, etc. Tourists will have fewer deals, and locals will not see clear benefits. Abolishment seems to be a half-hearted measure."
On top of that, I think that the idea of "dispersing congestion" itself is not an essential solution to overtourism.
: “If we want to prevent overtourism, we need drastic measures such as limiting the number of accommodation facilities and raising the accommodation tax. Kyoto City's measures may be a step-by-step response, but more fundamental measures are needed."
A person in charge of Kyoto City said about the abolition, "We took measures that we thought would be the most effective in a situation where there was no waiting for congestion countermeasures. We thought that we should never cause the congestion of that time before the corona disaster. I made a bold decision," he said.
In addition, we would like to continue to respond, such as considering increasing the number of flights on routes that are popular with tourists.