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Think Local

Think Local

While it is important that tourists fully enjoy the charms of Kyoto, it is also important that tourism contributes to the local community and enrichens the lives of the residents while respecting local culture.
The Code of Conduct for Sustainable Tourism in Kyoto has therefore been formulated as a list of things we wish for the tourism industry and its workers, tourists, and residents—thus, all who are involved in Kyoto tourism—to keep in mind in order to do each of their part with mutual respect in sustaining this invaluable city into the future.
We request your understanding and cooperation to keep Kyoto the wonderful and amazing city that it is.

Message from Kyoto City

Requests to Ensure a Comfortable Kyoto Sightseeing Experience for Both Locals and Tourists

We look forward to welcoming visitors to Kyoto with our uniquely Japanese hospitality. 
We have however several requests for tourists visiting Kyoto. 
To improve satisfaction for locals, tourists, tourism businesses, and tourism workers, we are aiming to achieve sustainable tourism practices to ensure benefits for all parties. We ask that all visitors enjoy their time in Kyoto while taking note of our tourism objectives. 
1. Instead of coming by car, we recommend that visitors to Kyoto use public transport.
Search for Park and Ride services (Website available only in Japanese):
2. We recommend combining the use of the subway, train, and bus services when sightseeing around Kyoto (One convenient option for sightseeing in Kyoto is the  Subway & Bus 1-Day Pass ).

Access information for major sightseeing spots in Kyoto:
3. To ensure that bus rides are comfortable for all, when carrying large bags please consider using taxis or trains instead. Alternatively, consider using hands-free travel services and have your bags looked after or delivered to your destination.  

Hands-free sightseeing in Kyoto:
4. The best way to enjoy the full depths of this city’s charms is by staying overnight. We ask that you enjoy sightseeing in the city while avoiding congested time and places. 

Morning and nighttime sightseeing in Kyoto:

Kyoto’s most interesting spots (Website available only in Japanese):

Kyoto sightseeing congestion map:
5. Local citizens continue to go about their daily lives. Please maintain good manners and be considerate of local lifestyles and areas when sightseeing.  
We ask for your cooperation in making Kyoto a wonderful place to live, visit, and work. Thank you. 

Kyoto Travel Congestion Forecast

We provide useful information for avoiding congestion, by forecasting comfort levels around popular spots, real-time information from live cameras, and attractive sightseeing spots that are relatively empty even during the daytime. 
Please enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto comfortably while skillfully avoiding crowded times and places. 

Kyoto Travel Congestion Forecast

The Kyoto City Tourism Association shares live camera feed of popular tourist areas with predictions of how pleasant each place would be to visit at each time of the day.
Kyoto City Tourism Association YouTube channel


 These are rules and tips that we hope visitors to Kyoto will keep in mind during their visits.Please show your consideration to local communities and take responsible actions to help keep Kyoto's environmental and cultural heritages remaining sustainable for the future.


Message from Southern Gionmachi

Kyoto Sustainable Tourism

To maximize your appreciation and enjoyment of Kyoto:
(Contributing to the local culture and community while promoting harmony between residential life and tourism)
1. Support the transmission and development of the history, culture, and traditions of Kyoto while respecting the daily life of the residents by behaving in accordance with local rules and customs.
(Preserving the natural environment and scenic landscape)
2. Protect the beautiful, natural landscape and townscape of Kyoto as well as the global environment: Show consideration for the local natural environment and scenic landscape while engaging in environmentally friendly tourism.
(Mutual understanding and cultural exchange)
3. Make your visit to Kyoto a valuable experience of learning about another region’s community and engaging in mutual cultural appreciation: Actively interact with the people and community of Kyoto and inform others of the charms of Kyoto.
(Establishing resilient tourism against crises such as disasters and infectious diseases)
4. Enable everyone to live in peace and safety by exercising precautions towards disasters, infectious diseases, or accidents, and take appropriate actions at the time of a crisis.

Etiquette in Kyoto

Etiquette depending on place and situation


  • You will find priority seating on all buses. Yield these seats to seniors, people with disabilities, and people with infants, etc.
  • Refrain from talking loudly or making phone calls on the bus.
  • It is recommended that tourists use the luggage delivery service, so as to enjoy riding the bus unburdened. 
Hands Free Travel in Kyoto


  • Taxi doors open and close on their own.
  • Catching taxis at intersections is prohibited. When possible, use taxis at stations and hotels, or catch one at an official taxi stand.
Taxi Etiquette

Residential areas

  • Refrain from talking loudly in the residential areas.
  • Walk in a single file while on the road.
  • Do not eat while walking.


  • Refrain from touching old buildings and objects.
  • Do not take pictures where it is prohibited in the museum.
  • Do not eat and drink where it is prohibited in the museum.
  • Refrain from touching the exhibits.

Temples & Shrines

  • Try to be quiet and respectful in shrines and temples.
  • Refrain from touching old buildings and objects.
  • Do not take pictures where it is prohibited in shrines and temples.
  • Take your shoes off before stepping onto tatami floors.
  • Bring a bag to carry your own shoes in when necessary.
  • Check in/store your luggage or carry it in front of your body when visiting temples and shrines, in order to prevent accidentally damaging valuable cultural properties.


  • Don’t bring your own drinks and foods to a restaurant.
  • Don’t cancel reservations at the last minute.
  • Please line up in an orderly way.


  • Do not eat while walking.
  • When possible, bring your own reusable shopping bag and drinking bottle.
  • When possible, support local businesses and buy locally made goods.
  • Please make sure to leave the store before closing time when you go shopping.


  • Please sit down to use the toilet.(European style)
  • Please squat down to use the toilet.(Japanese style)
  • Do not throw the toilet paper into the trash bin. Please flush the toilet paper down the toilet. 

How to use the toilet

(European style)
(Japanese style)


  • Don’t take the photos where it is prohibited.
  • Be polite when asking maiko and geisha for pictures.

Trash disposal

  • The number of garbage cans in tourist areas is limited, so the only available ones might be overflowing. Please always carry your own trash bag in order to be able to take your trash back with you in such cases.
  • When buying take-out, do so at restaurants or stalls that have their own garbage disposal containers so as to not bring the empty containers elsewhere.
  • Littering is prohibited in Japan.
  • Please be aware that if you litter within a Beautification Enforcement Area, you will be fined up to 30,000 JPY.
How to sort and dispose of garbage


  • Smoking on streets and sidewalks is very dangerous and prohibited. Please smoke only in designated smoking areas.
Smoking on the Street

Enjoy Bicycling life in Kyoto

  • Please follow traffic rules when riding a bicycle.
  • If you park your bicycle outside a designated bicycle parking area it will be removed and you will be charged ¥2,300 for its removal. If a rental bicycle is removed, you will also be charged for the cost to return it to the rental company and to keep it until it can be returned.
  • Do not ride bicycles under the influence of alcohol.
Bicycle Parking
Enjoy Bicycling life in Kyoto

Minpaku (Residence Rental) Accommodations

  • For guests staying in Kyoto, for your safety, peace of mind, and for genuine hospitality, please stay at a licensed accommodation.
Concerning the Use and Operation of Minpaku (Residence Rental) Accommodations

Public Bath(Onsen / Sento)

  • Do not take a bath when drunk.
  • Do not jump into the bathtub! Additionally, refrain from swimming in the tub.
  • Do not put your towel in the bathwater. Leave it folded on the edge of the tub, etc. 
  • Do not let long hair soak in the bathtub. Tie it up, etc.
  • Sit rather than stand when taking a shower, and do not splash water on other people.
  • Do not use more than one space in the washing area or one locker in the dressing room. Be considerate of others.
Guide to Bathing in Japan(JNTO)


  • There have been a variety of problems concerning the use of fireworks, including individuals lighting fireworks late at night, fireworks producing loud noise, and bottle rockets flying into nearby neighborhoods.
  • Make sure that the type of firework you plan to use is allowed in the place where you intend to use it; some types of fireworks are restricted, and there are areas where fireworks are prohibited altogether.

Safety Rules on Unmanned Aircraft (UA) / Drone

  • An amendment to the Aeronautical Act was issued on Sep. 11, 2015 to introduce safety rules  on Unmanned Aircraft (UA)/Drones.
Japan’s safety rules on Unmanned Aircraft (UA)/Drones
Safety Rules on Unmanned Aircraft (UA) / Drone


  • In order to enjoy your trip with peace of mind, please avoid going to places at times when they are crowded as much as possible. Please also check the live camera feed of popular tourist areas with predictions of how pleasant each place would be to visit at each time of the day.

Covid-19 Information

Airing of live camera feed to check congestion levels around tourist destinations
(Kyoto City Tourism Association YouTube Channel)

Understanding by infographic tools

  ”Enjoy Respect Kyoto Stickers“
In order to further public awareness regarding manners amongst foreign visitors to Kyoto who may have different customs and cultural backgrounds, “Enjoy Respect Kyoto” stickers have been created for distribution. If you spot one of these stickers during your travels in Kyoto, please act in accordance with the rules.


Read more

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