Popular Kyoto temple bans photography during peak autumn season

Tourists crowd at Tōfuku-ji for the perfect shot of fall leaves. Pic: Patrick Foto/Shutterstock

IN a move that could jeopardize the number of visitors to its site, the renowned Tōfuku-ji temple in Kyoto is banning all photography in the autumnal season of November.

A statement on the temple website cited safety concerns due to large crowds as the reason of the ban.

The statement read: “There will be a lot of congestion during the fall foliage viewing period from 12–30 November. Photo-taking with mobile phones, smartphones, digital cameras and selfie sticks on the Tsutenkyo Bridge and the Gaunkyo Bridge will be prohibited as it is very dangerous.

Regarding the Honbo Garden, photography with mobile phones, smartphones, digital cameras and the like is possible, however, to avoid hazards, the use of selfie sticks will be prohibited. We ask for your cooperation and understanding.”

The Tōfuku-ji temple is one of Kyoto’s most stunning temple sites, and in the autumn, the lush maple tree leaves turn a stunning red-amber, making for good photo opportunities.

On TripAdvisor, travelers ranked the temple as the third most beautiful place in Japan to witness the fall leaves.

Rocketnews24 reported that tourism numbers in Kyoto have been rising steadily, with 55 million tourists having visited in 2015.

The report added that because of the popularity of temple sites, Tōfuku-ji’s move to ban photography may be echoed by other temples in the future.

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