Japan in The News: Tourists Harass Japan’s Geisha

A recent article in BBC News describes the harassment of Japan’s famous geisha by tourists in Gion, the Kyoto district, prompting local residents to patrol the area to protect them.  This follows a similar story about the closing of the very popular early morning auctions in the Tsukiji’s Fish Market in Tokyo due to tourists, as I wrote about in a recent blog post.

We had visited Kyoto recently (see my 2 part blog post – Part 1 and Part 2) and saw several geishas in Gion, but suspected were probably tourists made up and dressed up in kimonos.  According to the BBC article, geisha are an increasingly rare sight; where once there were more than 80,000 across Japan, there are now just 1,000.  Below is a picture I took with a number of photographers surrounding her.  Real or not?

Gion Maiko

Based on my experience living in Japan for the past year, most tourists are respectful and well behaved.  However, a few are not, and they are the ones in the news.  I am sure this is true in other countries as well.

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5 thoughts on “Japan in The News: Tourists Harass Japan’s Geisha

  1. > BTW, the photo in your blog’s header is of 六本木 (Roppongi) with the カフェ・アマンド (Almond Cafe)…isn’t it?

    Funny you should mention this because I was just changing my blog header. Anyway, you are right – it is Almond Cafe, with its distinctive pink and white awning. I had read your blog and told my wife as we were both unaware it was closing. Yes, Almond Cafe is definitely a Tokyo landmark.

  2. Different subject…but, do you hear on the news about the man with a knife at Roppongi Hills a couple of days ago? And the police fired a warning shot at him.

    He was upset about losing his job.

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