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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Dec 3, 2014.
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Bad Tourists Lead to Photography Ban at Japanese Temples
Thanks for the info.
Many temples in India don't even let the foreigners in, for the same reason. We tend to be very irreverent to other people's places of worship. Maybe a sensitivity training course before going to foreign lands is in order.
Spot on, sensitivity is something we should show when visiting this places, but on the other side of the coin tourists who travel to such "attractions" which in reality are places of worship want the obligatory "memory" too. There has to be a balance, as always, both sides must find "common" ground here. Overall, good behavior and respect go a long way IMHO. Photography is now part of life for many who travel to far-flung foreign places.
Not to defend bad behavior, but you'd never camera toting Japanese tourists in the great cathedrals of Europe, would you?
Cathedrals normally require a moderate dress code, silence and no flash photography for visiting them. Of course, they are free to discontinue using their places of worship as tourist attractions too. It all depends on how far they want to go in tolerating tourists. Different cultures have different requirements for visiting places that they consider to be sacred. And I agree with uggboy in finding a common ground to keep the cathedral/temple authorities and the tourists happy. I am sure both benefit from each other.
Indeed, I'm equally sure that both, temples / attractions and visitors benefit mutually from each other. Common ground, is a good ground to walk on IMHO.
If you wouldn't go into your own house of worship in shorts, tee shirt, sandals, talking loud and flashing everything why would you go into someone else's?
Because many people are inconsiderate?
By the way, do mormon tourists tour other religions' houses of worship?
I met a newlywed couple in Rome touring the Vatican. And yes they were properly attired and mannered.
By the way, what's wrong with sandals? (or rather, where are they not allowed?)
They are part of my I'm on "bleeping" holiday leave me alone attire (aloha shirt and shorts - sandals in public). By themselve nothing, when coupled with the shorts and teeshirt and a place of worship (outside of Key West), well . . .
But Jesus wore sandals... so in Christian houses of worship that should presumably be acceptable then? And in mosques you'll often find piles of sandals and other shoes... outside the doors.
Shorts... depending on the climate I wear zip-offs, so I just attach my 'legs' to accommodate dress code.
Actually the ones you most likely have seen might have actually been Chinese tourists (who have seem to have rapidly a nuisance reputation in recent years) ... the Japanese despite their cameras are well mannered and polite.
Fair enough but in most cases the restriction is on flash cameras ( whose intense lighting no matter how brief can damage works of art) The sophistication of most modern cameras
allow very good pictures to be taken in without the use of a flash.
That said there have been some Kyoto shrines which for a very long time have prohibited any photography.
The one that comes readily to mind is the Sanjusangendo ( the temple with 1031 life size carved wooden statues each one with 40 arms) Not being able to take pictures doesn't diminish the sheer power and awesome-ness of the place. If you need to prove to your relatives and friends that you were there ....buy a postcard in the gift shop.
Really? If you want to see badly-behaved Japanese tourists, head to Honolulu. We've walked out of restaurants where young loud obnoxious Japanese tourists clearly had too much to drink and nothing was said by the management to quiet these "valued customers". And if the truth be told, it's hard to find folks more obnoxious than loud brash American and British "boys" rooting for their favorite team in a pub or bar! There's no country borders for bad behavior!
Hoorah, hoorah, someone with a little sense of the truth
We were talking about tourists and cameras were we not?
Although I am not a religious person, when visiting a site that may be considered "Holy" to others, I will ask before taking photos. And I ALWAYS ask if I am appropriately dressed or if I need a skull cap or will a regular hat work if head covering is suggested. But I tend to visit only the historic Chapels and Cathedrals, the ones that are promoting themselves as "points of interest"
I think in many cases I can distinguish between Japanese and Chinese tourists, and yes, I agree with your assessment of the more recent developments, but there are still plenty of typically young Japanese tourists snapping photos of each other flashing V signs in front of altars and other artifacts.
Just recently I visited for the second time the National Palace Museum in Taipei and was once again very frustrated by the annoying behavior of many fellow visitors (many of them I believe from the mainland). I stand two feet away from an artifact to give others the opportunity to see it as well while I listen to the audio guide and it is almost guaranteed that someone will park him or herself right smack in front of me, often loudly chatting with someone else in their large group. I have had those flag-waiving tour guides with their entire group squeeze between me and the glass wall.
And the photography problem (it is prohibited) has gotten so bad that the museum has staffers walk around in every gallery with pictographic signs on sticks reminding people to shut up and not take pictures.
Whereas we do come across at least some people from every country who might be 'misbehaving', I feel like I must come to the defense of the Japanese people in general. In all my travels, I haven't found any people more well mannered or more polite than people in Japan. They never speak, they just whisper; no one uses a cell phone in the subway and if someone has to do it for emergency reasons, they cup their hand around it and talk ever so softly that you don't hear anything. I have had people go out of their way to help me with directions in spite of the language barrier. And many more experiences like that........
Anyway, we are digressing!
More to the point, it's about tourists with bad behavior. FWIW, I've seen postings of "No British Allowed" in certain clubs/pubs in Europe, after their establishment was torn up by "boys behaving badly". If you prefer, someone in the group must have taken a picture of this!
FWIW, I can speak/understand enough Chinese and Japanese to distinguish between tourists from these lands.
Invariably, last week I was an unfortunate witness to an incident. As the saying goes, you cannot teach manners to a tone deaf, culturally blind wo(man).
I just so happened to be around, when one of the monks, politely ask the two to leave. Well, I have a semiotic theory, as outlined by Roland Barthes, which fits very neatly into this aspect of tourism But for now, Hollywood Movie - Dumb Dumber would suffice. Semiotics shall have to wait for Single Malts and a damp rainy day !
Let's face it, bad tourists come in all shapes and sizes and colors and from
all nations. I will weigh in to say that I find the Japanese at worst kind of
oblivious; the Chinese can be more aggressively nasty (I'm Chinese).
Well, it did say "suggest" on the sign
(assuming this was in the site, the cigarette would have bothered me personally more than the shorts)
This sign "Suggest all the people no wear the short to the Pagoda" reminds me of a funny story. A few years ago, I travelled to Bangkok on DL (in steerage, of course ). I arrived at my hotel (the Peninsula, a great hotel BTW) very tired, and only got a few hours sleep before getting up and going on a walkabout. I was directed to the boats nearly to cross the river, where I found a place to stand on the crowded boat near a group of smiling orange-robed Buddhist monks. I was amazed at how friendly the monks were to me, and then when I got off the boat, I looked up and saw the sign near their group that said something to the effect of "Reserved for monks only"!