Kyoto Survey: 90% of Respondents ‘Annoyed’ by Overcrowding on Public Transport due to Tourists

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Many tourists, including foreigners, are seen at Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto in April 2023.

KYOTO — In a survey of Kyoto residents on their attitudes toward tourism, 90% of respondents pointed out the negative effects of overtourism, such as overcrowded city buses and the bad manners of tourists.

The survey was conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 27 last year during the first autumn tourism season after the novel coronavirus had been downgraded under the Infectious Diseases Control Law and when the number of visitors to Japan had been rapidly recovering. The survey was conducted on 5,500 randomly selected citizens aged 18 or older, and received 2,465, or 44.8%, valid responses.

When asked about whether they think people are annoyed by the impact of tourists on the overcrowding of buses and trains, 38.5% said “very much agree,” 33.6% said “agree,” and 18.1% said “somewhat agree,” making the majority of responses negative.

Regarding whether tourism plays an important role in the city’s development, 29.1% responded “very much agree” and 43.6% responded “agree,” indicating that more than 70% of the respondents had a positive perception.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Many tourists are seen on a street in Kyoto during the Gion Matsuri Festival in July 2023.