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Home » FM Yokohama Michiaki Matsushima, editor-in-chief of “WIRED” Japan edition, foresees a “future after overtourism”

FM Yokohama Michiaki Matsushima, editor-in-chief of “WIRED” Japan edition, foresees a “future after overtourism”

[FM Yokohama] Michiaki Matsushima, editor-in-chief of “WIRED” Japan edition, foresees a “future after overtourism”

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Press release: May 14, 2024
“WIRED” Japan Editor-in-Chief Michiaki Matsushima foresees a “future after overtourism”
*The present and future of overtourism*
On May 10th (Friday), the radio program “Brand New! Friday” (FM Yokohama, every Friday from 6:00 to 9:00), with ZiNEZ as DJ, will be broadcast.

In this broadcast, the in-program corner “Life Style
Michiaki Matsushima, editor-in-chief of “WIRED” Japanese version, appears on “Labo”. We took up the topic of “overtourism,” which has become a problem worldwide in recent years, and explained it using Japanese tourist destinations as examples.

I’m sure many of you were traveling around the country during Golden Week, but the problem of overtourism, where tourist spots become overcrowded with tourists, is becoming a problem all over the world.

Jinji: Yeah, yeah.

I think this is particularly the case due to the weak yen, which has almost paralyzed the functions of tourist destinations. In Kamakura, it’s difficult to go shopping, and your car won’t be able to move. For example, I think Venice, Italy is famous as a tourist destination, and on the 25th of last month, they started a world-first system in which they say, “From now on, tourists will be charged 5 euros as an entrance fee.” Yes. From now on, the issue will be the balance between the lives of tourists and those living in tourist

Jinji: Yes, yes.

In Kamakura City, measures are being considered to keep cars out of the city, such as Park & ​​Ride, where everyone gets out of their cars before entering Kamakura City and uses public transportation from there. is. Kyoto City is actually doing this, but the area is notorious for overtourism, so I don’t know how effective it is.

Jinji: That’s right.

Kamakura City is surrounded by mountains and the sea, so there are probably only about seven roads into Kamakura. It might be possible to control this by implementing a park and ride, but it seems like it won’t block everything and it won’t be mandatory, so I wonder how effective it will be.

I feel that keeping overtourism by car as much as possible and keeping local people’s lives from becoming too difficult will go a long way towards maintaining public order. As a Japanese person, I feel that with the increase in the number of tourists, it is becoming more difficult for people to pass each other due to misconceptions such as “If the number of tourists increases, the public safety will deteriorate.” I think there are very few places that have come up with solutions for how locals and tourists can coexist.

Matsushima: A famous example is Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which is also a world-famous tourist destination.
We’re running a campaign asking everyone, please don’t come
sightseeing. So you’re saying that you want people to come and see more of everyday Amsterdam.

Jinji: That’s right.

Therefore, we have to think about how we can provide services to tourists who want to get acquainted with and experience Japanese culture. I think there is a growing need to have an experience where you can interact with other people. Tourist destinations have not been able to deal with this, so if there were more opportunities to experience and interact with places as part of real daily life, distrust towards foreigners would improve, and tourists would stop polluting the city. I think so. I think this is the key point in how to change tourism.

Mr. Matsushima talked about his thoughts on how to welcome tourists, using examples from various tourist destinations. In response, Jinji shared an anecdote related to tourism that impressed him, saying, “I think Japan can still do its best, so I want to keep thinking about it.”

You can also listen to this episode on radiko.

In addition, you can listen to the full version of the interview, including unreleased parts, on the podcast “Brand New! Friday EX”.

FM Yokohama is an FM radio station in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The frequency is 84.7MHz, and you can listen throughout the Kanto region. Listen on radiko (!/live/YFM) from your computer or smartphone.
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