"Please Flush Out Toilet Paper": Hints from Cartoon Manners GuideRapid Increase in Foreign Visitors at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine20 October 2015 - Sightseeing/Events
A student at Kyoto University of Art and Design in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, has produced a guide map titled "Fushimi Inari Shrine Etiquette Leaflet" for Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, which has seen an increasing numbers of foreign visitors. It explains etiquette simply, including not only how to visit and pray at the shrine, but also how to use Japanese toilets and throw away rubbish, using four-panel cartoons.
Mizuki Ikegawa, a junior in the Department of Information Design at Kyoto University of Art and Design, designed the booklet as part of a class titled "Machi×Design," or Town×Design, which considers how to promote attractions and solve challenges in the region.
As Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine has been featured on the travel review website "TripAdvisor" and others, many tourists visit there. Ikegawa visited the shrine for the first time through her class and felt that "the religious site is becoming a tourist site," so she explored the problems she repeatedly heard of after talking with local shop owners.
The guide map is available in three languages: English, Chinese and Spanish. Using four-panel cartoons to catch the eyes of tourists, it explains the way to worship at the shrine and the prohibition against strolling in the precincts while eating. She incorporated cautions she herself felt when she visited the shrine such as, "It is OK to flush toilet paper down the toilet," and "Please look around carefully when taking pictures with a smartphone mounted on a selfie stick."
Ikegawa said, "It's not that foreign tourists have bad manners, rather they just don't know Japanese manners. I hope it will be a pleasant help for them when visiting the shrine."
Sixty thousand copies each have been printed in English and Chinese, and ten thousand copies in Spanish. Reflecting a desire for foreign tourists to study manners before visiting the shrine, the guide map is being distributed at JR Inari Station, shops along the approach to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine and other places.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)