A not-do list can be just as helpful as a to-do list when visiting a new scene. Kyoto prides itself on being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Once the capital of Japan, it’s known for being the home to thousands of Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, gardens, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. If you’re planning to recharge at Kyoto, remember not to these ten things.
#1 Smoke Outdoors
Well, it’s not be the best idea to even do it indoors, but when you step outside for a puff you could just get a fined 1,000 Yen. The streets of Kyoto are busy with people and no one likes a cloud of smoke in their faces.
#2 Insist on A Picture with a Maiko
Maiko perform songs, dances and play traditional Japanese instruments like the shamisen or the koto for feasts. When they’re dressed in kimonos they’re on the job, so ask nicely if they’d like to take a picture with you.
#3 Stand too Near a Taxi
The taxi doors open and close automatically. Yup — right where it hurts. Keep a safe distance, people.
#4 Tip a Waiter
Japan has a no-tipping custom. A little thank you really does go a long way in Japan, so instead flash a big smile and go “Okini!”.
#5 Litter Like it’s No Big Deal
Because it is. 30,000 Yen in fine is a very, very big deal.
#6 Cycle Around When Drunk
Anti-drunk bicycling regulations have recently been strengthened, imposing either a fine of 1 million Yen or five years in prison. Yelp.
#7 Leave Your Bicycle Where You Please
You want to ride your bicycle, you want to ride your bike… but you can’t park it where you like. Unless it’s one of the designated bicycle parking spots. If you do, someone call the bicycle police! You can get slapped with a 2,300 Yen fine.
#8 Take a YOLO Shot Near a Train
No amount of likes can justify the danger of taking a picture too close to the tracks, especially at the Fushimi Inari Station on the Keihan Line.
#9 Touch Old Buildings
Most buildings and objects found in Kyoto are dated, made of wood and considered national treasures. Be very careful where you choose to lean against!
#10 Wear Sunnies at the Shrines
Remove your hat and sunglasses when visiting holy sites as a sign of respect. In some areas, taking pictures are prohibited too. Be mindful of warning signs if you’re not sure.