Tourists Banned from Entering Famous Japanese District Due to “Geisha Girls”

In a surprising decision, Japanese authorities intend to ban tourists from frequenting the private alleys of a district in the city of Kyoto, famous for its geisha performances.

Residents of Kyoto have long expressed their dissatisfaction with the behavior of some tourists, especially in the Gion area, which houses cafes where geisha girls work, locally known as “geiko”.

Last December, the local council of Gion requested the Kyoto city authorities to take necessary measures to combat the “undesirable” tourist behaviors, such as harassing the geisha girls, stating that “Gion is not an amusement park”.

The official Isokazu Ota told the “France Presse” agency that the council will request tourists, starting from April, not to frequent the private streets.

He added: “We would not have wanted to take similar measures, but we are desperate about the situation,” noting that signs will be put up to warn tourists.

Ota also emphasized that groups of tourists sometimes act “like intrusive photographers” when geisha girls come out of the narrow streets, which are one or two meters wide.

Japanese media reported incidents such as tourists tearing a geisha’s kimono and throwing a cigarette butt into one of their collars.

Contrary to common misconceptions, geisha girls are not prostitutes but entertainment artists who perform Japanese dances and musical shows.

Since the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, Japan has experienced a massive influx of tourists, prompting it at times to take measures to combat excessive tourism.

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