UK tourists in 'world's friendliest country' face £49 fine if they make simple mistake

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-Credit: (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

British tourists travelling to Japan have been issued a warning as some locals protest the surge in visitors. It comes as the country expects to see 33 million foreigners visit its shores in 2024 - 33 per cent more than last year.

The country ranks among the most friendly in the world, but many living in popular tourist areas have grown frustrated with the impact of tourism in their communities, and authorities across the country have brought in various measures to curb the crowding.

People wishing to climb Mount Fuji have been met with new restrictions. And in Kyoto, screens have even been installed to prevent tourists from taking photos of certain monuments from specific angles to amid fears of overcrowding and collisions, The Express reports.

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On social media it has been reported that some locals have sought out and slammed into foreigners in train stations as a form of protest. Authorities are working to ensure that visitors and locals can enjoy the country without incident.

Kyoto has established a tourists-only bus service to alleviate the strain on local buses. The bus set to have stops in popular tourist areas such as the Kiyomizu-dera, the Ginkaku-ji temples and the Gion area.

New restrictions are also set to be enforced in Gion this spring, to protect the neighbourhood's traditional geisha entertainers and their teenage apprentices known as maiko. Over the years there have been reports of tourists harassing the women and trespassing on private property, despite signs warning people to treat the performers with respect and not to photograph them without consent.

A local district official told AP: "We are going to put up signs in April that tell tourists to stay out of our private streets." The signs will warn in both Japanese and English that those who walk on private roads will face a 10,000 yen-fine which is around £49 at current rates. Restrictions on drinking have also been introduced the capital Tokyo, in the city’s Shibuya district.

From October it will be forbidden to consume alcohol in public places or on the streets between 6pm and 5am. Mayor Ken Hasebe, who is introducing the new rule, said they were not banning drinking but would prefer to see people consume alcohol inside.

He said: "By establishing the rule, we would like to convey the district’s intentions, including during patrols — we would prefer people to enjoy their drinks inside restaurants."