Please Refrain from Eating while walking in Nishiki MarketIncrease in Tourists Leads to Littering in Kyoto
Nishiki Market in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, is known as "Kyoto's kitchen." Along with its increasing number of foreign tourists, "eating while walking" has also rapidly spread, prompting the promotion association of the market's shopping district, also located in Nakagyo Ward, to begin efforts from this autumn to ask visitors to refrain from such behavior. Their aim is to prevent collisions between customers and congestion along the narrow street, as well as to conserve the Kyoto-like atmosphere. The association has posted multilingual signs and appealed to stores to create eating spaces so that more tourists can feel at ease whether eating in at a store or taking out to eat at their lodgings.
According to the association, there has been a noticeable increase in people eating while strolling over the past two to three years, just as the number of foreign customers has increased rapidly. In response to the market's popularity among those visitors as a tourist spot where Kyoto's food culture can be easily experienced, each store began putting a lot of effort into selling deep-fried or grilled food on skewers and take-out food packages.
Although there have been no large problems yet, there have been cases of blocked traffic, a lot of litter and so on. The roughly 3.5-meter-wide street is suitable for carefully perusing various goods, but not for eating while strolling, so the association decided on a policy to suppress that last spring.
On the other hand, the association also wanted to respect the stores' desire to entertain tourists, so they decided not to "prohibit," but to ask customers to "refrain" from eating while they walk.
The association has requested each store make an eating space and also to raise customers' awareness of the issue. The association is also considering whether to establish an open place where customers can eat in the future.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)