KYOTO, Japan– The bustle of tourists has disappeared from this ancient capital– just to be replaced by dissension over whether they should ever be invited back.
She said she doesnt want tourists around even after the pandemic relieves. Others in Kyoto, however, state their livelihood depends on restoring the pre-pandemic tourist trade.
Mimiko Takayasu, 80 years old, is proprietress of a century-old tea house where geisha amuse wealthy Japanese with conventional music and dance. Up until the coronavirus pandemic, the streets of Gion, Kyotos high-end home entertainment district, were packed with amateur paparazzi attempting to get pictures of apprentice geisha called maiko.
“All of Gion was turned into a visitor destination, like a theme park, and maiko were dealt with like Mickey Mouse,” Ms. Takayasu said.
The debate is playing out in some other cities, especially in Europe, where the existing quiet has actually sometimes influenced a desire to return to the days before cheap air tickets permitted the masses to flood the globes cultural.