Kyoto Shimbun 2014.6.19 News

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Most Popular among Foreigners
Summary of Last Year on Travel Review Site

"Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine," in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, attained first place among Japanese sightseeing spots popular with foreign tourists in 2013, according to "TripAdvisor," a travel review website based in Tokyo. "Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama" in Nishikyo Ward and "Nishiki Market" in Nakagyo Ward were ranked in the top 30 for the first time, which suggests diversifying interests for "famous sights."

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine topped last year's number one, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Reviews such as "the torii gates are overwhelming," and "such a peaceful, beautiful and mysterious place" were posted on the website.

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama held 14th place. There were comments such as "the best place to observe wild monkeys" and others. Jigokudani Yaen-koen in Nagano Prefecture also came in 21st. Both parks seem to be attractive because of the close contact with Japanese monkeys.

Nishiki Market ranked 29th. Its appeal appears to lie in the vibrant atmosphere unique to the historic "kitchen of Kyoto," where both sides of its narrow street are densely lined with fish shops, greengrocers, and souvenir shops.

This time amusement facilities appeared in the rankings for the first time, for example, "Robot Restaurant" in Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, where huge robots and girls dance, in 16th place, and "Videogame Bar Space Station" in Americamura, Osaka, where old videogames can be played, in 27th. "Shibuya Center-Gai" in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo and "Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology" in Nagoya, were also ranked 24th and 28, respectively. This shows that tourists' interests are shifting from experiencing the history and traditional culture of Japan to entertainment, industrial technology, and everyday scenery in Japan.

As for Kyoto, the classic sightseeing spots were still popular, with "Kinkaku-ji," or the Golden Pavilion, in Kita Ward, in fourth place, followed by Kiyomizu-dera Temple in seventh and Sanjusangen-do in 13th, both located in Higashiyama Ward, and Nijo Castle in Nakagyo Ward in 17th.

The ranking was determined by TripAdvisor based on the number of reviews and opinions posted to the website in languages other than Japanese from April 2013 to March 2014.

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is popular with foreign tourists (Fushimi Ward, Kyoto)