"Overtourism" is a problem in various parts of Japan Is there a solutionOctober 10 at 23:17

"Local residents can't take buses at all," "I entered the fields without permission,"

"2000,40 people visit a town with a population of <>,<> a year, and they are confused," and "Overtourism" is a rush of domestic and foreign tourists, including foreigners,

that interfere with the lives of local residents. It is now a problem in many places.

How can we balance the acceptance of tourists and the lives of local residents? Countermeasures are urgently needed.

(Economic Affairs Department reporter Akira Taruno / Kyoto bureau reporter Shimizu Akiko, Sakurai Ryo, Haruguchi Ryuichi)

I can't get on the bus at all...

The center of Kyoto is crowded with many tourists every day.

At the bus stop near Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a World Heritage Site, tourists line up to get on the bus, and sometimes not everyone can get on at once.

Not only tourists but also local residents who usually use buses are affected.

A resident
who uses it to go to the hospital: "I can't get on the bus at all.

According to Kyoto City, this situation became particularly noticeable after May, when the new coronavirus moved to Class 5.

Many citizens have commented that they could not get on because it was crowded, and that it was difficult to get off because of the large luggage of tourists.

In order to somehow alleviate congestion, Kyoto City has started new measures.

Sales of "one-day bus tickets" that run in the city as many times as you like in one day ended at the end of September.

Instead, we started selling "one-day subway and bus tickets" on buses that can be used both by bus and municipal subway.

The aim is to disperse the means of transportation from buses to the subway, but it is unknown how effective it will be.

Masanori Kitao, Sales Promotion Division
Manager, Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau: "I think it will be effective, but this alone will not solve everything, so I would like to combine other measures to combat congestion."

It's not a tourist destination!

The problem of overtourism is also occurring outside of central Kyoto.

130 kilometers north of Kyoto City, Ine Town is famous for "Funaya".

There are about 1 houses that store small fishing boats on the first floor of the houses facing the sea.

With the spread of SNS, many people from Japan and abroad have been visiting since about 10 years ago.

It is estimated that 2000,40 people will visit the town with a population of about <>,<> this year.

The road around the funaya is narrow, so people and large buses may collide.

There have also been cases where tourists mistakenly enter the premises of boathouses in search of photo spots.

Among the inhabitants, bewilderment prevails.

: "I avoid going shopping on Saturdays and Sundays" Another resident
said, "

It was a quiet town, but it was difficult to walk because tourists walk in the middle of the road like a pedestrian mall."

Since it is a small town, it is not easy to establish a system for acceptance.

The Ine Town Tourism Association shows the manners that tourists should observe in pamphlets.

Among them is a statement that "Funaya in Ine is not a tourist destination."

When tourists visit, there are benefits such as economic benefits and interaction with residents.

However, as a premise, I would like you to understand and respect that this is a place of life.

It means that they are intentionally sending a message in strong terms to convey a serious situation.

Kazue Hashimoto of the Ine Town Tourism Association
said, "We want to protect the peaceful lives of residents while satisfying tourists.

Impact across the country

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, overtourism is already occurring in various places.

For example, Biei Town, Hokkaido.

It is famous for its beautiful scenery of vast farmland, but there are many cases where people enter farmland without permission in order to take pictures.

There have also been reports of illegal parking of cars on roads used by locals for long periods of time.

In Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, tourists flood the area around the railroad crossing, which is said to be a place related to popular manga.

It has become a problem if it protrudes into the roadway and obstructs local traffic.

In the background is the rapid recovery of tourists who were depressed by the corona disaster.

From January to September, 1.9 million foreign tourists visited Japan.

That's 1737 times more than at the same time last year.

Of course Japan people are also traveling domestically.

On the other hand, in the tourism industry, there are many places where people working due to the Corona disaster have left their jobs and reduced their services.

The concentration of tourists in places where the acceptance system is not sufficient seems to have had an effect.

Against this backdrop, the government compiled an emergency response on October 17.

One of them is an initiative to change the fare setting of railways according to congestion conditions.

The current system, which allows fares to be changed depending on the time of day, etc., will be applied even when it is crowded with tourists.

Railway companies will be notified this fall.

In addition, since there are some areas where both tourists and local residents are dissatisfied due to the shortage of taxis, we will spread a system that allows people to receive support from vehicles and drivers from other areas during the busy season.

In addition, we will guide you from the standard tourist routes, which tend to be crowded, to open routes, and support the installation of security cameras as a measure against entering private land.

The government has designated about 1 model regions nationwide and plans to intensively promote countermeasures.

Can overtourism be eliminated?

Will these measures eliminate overtourism?

Experts say it won't be easy.

Professor Takehiro Sataki, Faculty of Tourism, Josai International University,
said, "I would like to commend the government for taking measures against overtourism, but the effects of overtourism have been observed in tourist destinations around the world for about 10 years, and none of them have completely solved it. There is no silver bullet, so we have no choice but to steadily proceed by combining effective measures that can be considered, and how to balance the local economy and capacity and make tourism sustainable."

In addition, he points out that it is essential to respond not only to "visible issues" but also to "issues that are difficult to see."

Takehiro Sataki: "For example, in areas with famous tourist spots, only hotels are built on vacant lots, land for housing is limited, and prices are soaring, making it impossible for new people to live and the population is flowing out. In parallel with efforts to attract tourists, the government needs to listen carefully to the voices of ordinary citizens."

Aiming for 6000 million people a year

In interviews about "overtourism," we often hear the phrase "there is no silver bullet" that has been mentioned by experts.

Since the situation differs depending on the region, there is no choice but to find measures according to it.

On the other hand, if we look around the world, various attempts have begun.

Some notable tourist destinations, such as Spain's Sagrada Familia, limit the number of visitors at one time by introducing advance reservations.

Venice, Italy, plans to start collecting 1 yen per day at 5 euros or Japan yen per day for day-trippers from next year during peak tourist seasons.

The Japan government has set a target of 790 million foreign tourists per year by 2030.

This is nearly double the record high of 6000.2019 million in 3188.

As further congestion is expected in the future, how can we balance the acceptance of tourists and the lives of local residents?

It is necessary to consider it as soon as possible, referring to various measures in Japan and overseas.

(Broadcast on "News 10 Kyoichi Nichi" on October 3 and 17, and "News LIVE!

of the Ministry of Economic Affairs Akira
Taruno joined the Fukushima Bureau
in 2012 and covered the Ministry of
Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

Kyoto Broadcasting Station reporter
ShimizuJoined Sapporo Bureau in 2011After working in the Network News Department of the Sapporo Bureau, she is currently in

charge of Kyoto City Administration.

Kyoto Broadcasting Station reporter
Sakurai joined Utsunomiya Bureau
Economic Department in 2012 and is in charge of covering the Kyoto Prefectural Government and economic field to which he currently belongs

Kyoto Broadcasting Station reporter
HaruguchiAfter joining the Kyoto Prefectural Police in 2021, he is currently in charge of covering the northern part of Kyoto Prefecture of the
Tango Maizuru Branch