WATCH: Why Japan banned tourists from certain areas

A geisha walking down a street on a wet day in Japan. Picture: Unsplash

A geisha walking down a street on a wet day in Japan. Picture: Unsplash

Published May 24, 2024


Following the announcement of Japan’s plans to ban tourists in certain areas as part of efforts to prevent over-tourism, social media users have also highlighted that the lack of decorum of some tourists may have had a role to play in the outcome.

This comes after a video of a tourist harassing a geisha walking down a street in Kyoto went viral on social media app, X.

In the video titled, “Don’t do this in Kyoto 🇯🇵”, a geisha tries to walk down the street with a tourist in full paparazzi mode trying to capture the moment.

The account on which the video is shared, @PicturesFoIder, has attributed the behaviour in the video to the island nation tightening its rules.

“One of the reasons why Japan has been banning tourism in certain places,” said the account.

Commenting on the video, X user @BlahBlahBllaahh, said: “Not only Kyoto. Don't do this anywhere to anyone!”

Another user, @pawanyadav8, said: “Respect their culture, at least when you are in their country! When you are going to any other country then you should learn about the rules and culture of that country first and you should follow them till you are in that country!”

— VisionaryVoid (@VisionaryVoid) May 23, 2024

Whilst @VisionaryVoid said: “Only thing i can think of is extreme ignorance and a total lack of intelligence which leads to a lack of empathy.

“To me it seems like she treats other countries like she is at the zoo, because wherever she comes from is an actual place with people who live their lives.

“She doesn't have the intellect to understand that exactly the same thing is true for every other place.”

Though social media users may be onto something, media reports clearly outline that the ban would be implemented as part of measures to prevent over-tourism in the region experiencing exponential tourism numbers.

According to, close to two years after Japan opened its borders to travel following Covid-19, the country received a substantial number of visitors with over 25 million travellers descending on Japan in 2023, and nearly 5.5 million people visiting in the first two months of 2024 alone, exceeding figures for the same period in 2019 by 7 percent.

The country’s plans to counter problems with bad visitor behaviour and over tourism, include banning tourists from select streets in a popular geisha district in Kyoto and limiting the number of trekkers who can climb Mount Fuji, the tallest peak in the country.