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Kyoto Passes Ordinance to Introduce Accommodation Tax (News)

Kyoto, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)—The Kyoto city assembly on Thursday passed an ordinance to levy an accommodation tax on people who stay at hotels and other accommodations in the western Japan city. The Kyoto government hopes to introduce the tax of ¥200 to ¥1,000 per night in October 2018 after obtaining approval from the internal affairs ministry. The revenue from the tax, estimated at ¥4.6 bill…

Bubble Era Disco Maharaja Reopens in Kyoto (News)

Kyoto, Sept. 21 (Jiji Press)—Maharaja, a popular disco during Japan's bubble economy era in the 1980s, reopened in Kyoto's Gion district this month. The nightclub aims to attract people who enjoyed the asset-inflated bubble economy, as well as foreign tourists, by making use of Gion's position as the site of a number of sightseeing spots. In the 1980s and 1990s, there were some 60 Maharaja d…

Starbucks Blends into Kyoto Surroundings (News)

Kyoto, June 27 (Jiji Press)—Starbucks is dropping its standard design for a new outlet in Kyoto to harmonize with the atmosphere of Japan’s former capital. Opening on June 30, 2017, the shop is based in a traditional two-story Japanese building over a century old. It is located just a short walk from the temple Kiyomizudera, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Push through the noren curtain …

Huge Crowd Gathers to Perform Yoga at Kyoto Shrine (Japan in Photos)

A crowd of 1,300 people performing yoga in front of a large torii gate at Heian Shrine in Kyoto. The June 18 gathering of aficionados, planned by a local organization and the Indian consulate for Osaka and Kobe, came three days ahead of International Yoga Day. “It gave me a feeling of peace to spend this period of calm together with so many other people,” said Takashima Misa, a Kyoto resident …

Gion Festival Organizer Raises over ¥10 Million via Crowdfunding (News)

Kyoto (Jiji Press)—The Gion Festival organizer in Kyoto has raised over ¥10 million through crowdfunding to cover patrolling and other costs for the festival which boasts a history of more than 1,100 years. A giant yamahoko float parades through the streets of central Kyoto on July 17, 2016, during the yamahoko junkō (float parade) event of the annual Gion Festival. Twenty-three floats took pa…

“Maiko” Theater Gaining Popularity in Kyoto (News)

Kyoto (Jiji Press)—A recently opened theater in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward featuring maiko, young female entertainers, is becoming a popular tourist attraction for visitors from abroad. A maiko posed to welcome guests. (© Coco/Pixta) At the Maiko Theater, launched in late 2016, audiences can enjoy dance performances by maiko and eat and drink with the apprentice female entertainers, who are i…

Researchers Back Record of Red Aurora in Thirteenth-Century Kyoto (News)

Tokyo, April 4 (Jiji Press)—To see an aurora is almost impossible in Kyoto in the present day, but it was possible in the low-latitude Japanese city in the early thirteenth century, as recorded by poet Fujiwara no Sadaie (1162–1241), according to a recent study by a Japanese research team. In his diary titled Meigetsuki (Record of the Brilliant Moon), the poet, also known as Teika, wrote that h…

Utility Poles Removal to Revive Old Townscape in Kyoto (News)

Kyoto, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)—The city government of Kyoto, western Japan, and local residents are stepping up their efforts to remove utility poles from a main street in the Pontochō traditional entertainment district in a bid to re-create an old townscape. Utility poles and wires detract from the historic atmosphere in Pontochō, Kyoto. January 30, 2017. (© Jiji) The city government started w…

Japan to Cultivate “Second Kyoto” Tourism Destinations (New)

Tokyo, Dec. 31 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government plans to pick 10 municipalities across the county to carry out intensive landscape development, aiming to create "Second Kyoto" tourism destinations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Through the initiative, the government hopes to attract tourists from abroad to not just major cities including Tokyo and Osaka but also provincia…


Geisha have been a Japanese icon around the world for over a century. Skilled in traditional arts, the female entertainers continue to perform in Kyoto, Tokyo, and other regional centers.

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