Field notes

Crowded Kyoto plans detours for tourists

Japan's ancient capital struggles to deal with effects of overtourism

Winter time is the only lull in the rush of tourists who descend on Kyoto. When spring flowers start to bloom, followed by summer festivals, and then leaves blushing bright red in autumn, the city centre is packed face-in-elbow like a Tokyo rush-hour train.

Since 2013, the number of tourists - both foreign and local - thronging the ancient capital has exceeded 50 million a year. That's a massive influx for Kyoto's population of 1.5 million.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2019, with the headline 'Crowded Kyoto plans detours for tourists'. Print Edition | Subscribe