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Oideyasu. Welcome to Kyoto!

on . TPL_WARP_PUBLISH . Posted in Blog.

 

 

More than once, Travel and Leisure readers have voted Kyoto the best city in the world to visit.  Having lived there for over six years myself, I can attest to the beauty and splendor of its temples, shrines, gardens, and ancient arts.

As the imperial capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, it has a heritage to be proud of.  And, indeed, among the Japanese, Kyotoites have a reputation for being a proud (bordering on snobby) lot.

Kyoto City’s Official Travel Guide Website is replete with stunning pictures and helpful information, including an etiquette infographic designed to help you behave properly while you are there.

The etiquette guide, called Akimahen (meaning “Don’t do!” in Kyoto dialect), features a banner of five angry-looking Kyotoites and a list of 18 things you shouldn’t do with angry-faced emoji to show just how offensive the actions are in the world’s best city.  These include:

1. Don’t smoke outdoors (better to smoke indoors, right?).  3 very angry faces
2. Don’t stop maiko to have your picture taken with them – they have a job to do!  3 angry faces
3. Stand back while taxi driver uses his lever to open the door for you. And while you are at it, instead of tipping (you wouldn’t want them to get used to it), try saying ookini (thank you in Kyoto dialect).  2 angry faces
4. Don’t be a litter bug, that really bugs people.  3 very angry faces
5. Don’t walk on tatami mats with your shoes on. (But you knew this.) 3 very angry faces
6. Don’t take your own food or drinks into a restaurant – you go to a restaurant to buy theirs. 2 angry faces
7. Line up you disorderly people! 3 angry faces
8. If you make a reservation, for gosh sake, don’t cancel at the last minute. 3 angry faces
9. Don’t drink sake while riding a bike. 3 very angry faces
10. Keep toilets clean. (If it’s a squat toilet, don’t squat on the hood – squat facing it.) 3 angry faces
11. Don’t hog space. 3 angry faces
12. Give your seat to those who need it – the way the Japanese do... 3 angry faces
13. Whether you’re drunk or not, don’t leave your bike on the road. (Just because no one will steal it, that doesn’t give you license to inconvenience others.) 3 very angry faces
14. Don’t take pictures near train tracks.  If you get run over, that will really inconvenience others. 3 angry faces
15. Keep your fingers off those ancient buildings and objects! 3 angry faces
16. Temples and shrines are sacred places – please be quiet. 3 angry faces
17. And don’t take pictures where it’s prohibited! 3 angry faces
18. Last but not least, take your sunglasses and hats off while in a temple or shrine.  There's time to take moviestar selfies outside. 3 angry faces

And by the way, when you walk into a restaurant, they won’t call out irasshaimase (welcome). In Kyoto dialect it’s oideyasu.

Oideyasu to Kyoto!

by Diana K. Rowland

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