The Japanese city of Kamakura tells tourists not to eat and walk in crowded areas

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Japanese city tells tourists not to eat and walk in crowded areas to prevent spillages ruining other visitors’ clothes

  • Kamakura has issued official ordinance politely asking tourists to sit when eating
  • It describes eating while walking as a ‘public nuisance’ due to potential for spills
  • Despite the signs, there won’t be any fines or penalties for those flouting request 

Tourists in a Japanese city are being told not to eat food while walking in crowded areas to prevent the staining of other people’s clothes.

Kamakura, in the east of the country and famous for its Great Buddha statue, has issued official ordinance politely asking people to sit down while they eat in public areas.

The ordinance describes eating while walking as a ‘public nuisance’ due to the potential for food to be spilled and comes amid tourist numbers of 60,000 a day in one area of the city – the Kamakura Komachi Dori Shopping Area.

Tourist gather around the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura, Japan. The city has issued official ordinance politely asking people to sit down while they eat in public areas

Tourist gather around the Great Buddha statue in Kamakura, Japan. The city has issued official ordinance politely asking people to sit down while they eat in public areas

According to CNN, the signs have been posted to build awareness. There are no fines for anybody who flouts the request. 

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Norikazu Takahashi, president of the store association of Kamakura, told the Japan Times: ‘We can’t ban the act of eating while walking.

‘We want to make the street a place where both travellers and residents can feel good.’

For many, the signs may seem a little overbearing, but for the Japanese, they are just reinforcing normal etiquette in their country, which is to sit down to eat so that food can be properly appreciated.  

Eating in the street is a no-no in other countries, too.

Ordinance in Kamakura, pictured, describes eating while walking as a 'public nuisance' due to the potential for food to be spilled

Ordinance in Kamakura, pictured, describes eating while walking as a ‘public nuisance’ due to the potential for food to be spilled

Last year, tourists in Florence were warned they could face fines of up to £450 for eating in the street.

Laws now ban snacking in four streets in the Italian city’s historic centre between the hours of 12 to 3pm and 6 to 10pm.

Meanwhile in Venice each summer, a group of wardens, named the ‘angels of decorum’, tackle tourist behaviour they find uncouth.

This includes eating in the street, being drunk and dipping toes or swimming in the city’s famous canals. 



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