Tourism

Japanese attractions ban foreign tourists for “bad manners”

Christian Fleetwood

Some popular tourist sites in Japan are refusing entry to foreign tourists.

Caretakers at the sites have said this is because of the “bad manners” and “abhorrent actions” of visitors from abroad, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Asahi Shimbun also reported that Nanzoin temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka Prefecture, has posted signs in more than 10 languages at its precincts and the nearby station, describing Nanzoin as an important place of prayer, and telling non-Japanese group travelers that they are not welcome.

Fukuoka, Japan - November 19, 2018: Tourists are visiting Nanzoin Reclining Buddha, Fukuoka, Japan
Foreign tourists are no longer welcome at Nanzoin temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka Prefecture. The temple is famed for its huge lying Buddha called Nebotoke-san

In 2017, Yatsushiro-gu shrine in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, temporarily stopped accepting worshippers after the number of cruise ships arriving at a nearby port increased six-fold.

With further reports claiming the no-foreigners policy is spreading throughout Japan, tourist sites risk the wrath of the country’s anti-discrimination laws and the United Nations’ International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Japan remains a member of the Convention.

In 2005, an onsen facility in Otaru, Hokkaido, was ordered to pay compensation for refusing to allow a naturalised Japanese citizen who was born in the United States to take a bath because of his appearance.

But according to a Justice Ministry official, non-Japanese people who are denied entry to a place would have to report to the ministry to determine if the policy constitutes a human rights violation.

“It would be difficult for visiting tourists to file complaints,” the official said.

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