The historic Gion neighborhood in Kyoto has enacted a photography ban near one of the area’s most photographed streets. The law comes in response to rude tourists and street photographers who have been flocking to the neighborhood to capture photos of its narrow alleyways, picturesque tea houses, and the geishas who call Gion home.
According to NHK, the local resident group in Gion voted to institute the photography ban earlier this month in response to reports of tourists chasing down geishas, entering private property without permission, and otherwise harassing local residents. Some tourists/photographers have even reportedly gone so far as to pull on the kimonos of geishas and their apprentices.
The law, which went into effect last Friday, makes it illegal to take pictures in the privately-owned alleys near Hanamikoji street, one of the most photographed spots in the city, and comes with a ¥10,000 ($92) fine for anybody caught ignoring the ban.
According to CNN, authorities are relying on both local reports and security cameras to catch photographers who choose to flout the law. You will still be able to use these alleyways for photography, but must seek permission from the owners first.
Image credits: Gion by a.canvas.of.light, CC BY 2.0.
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