Kyoto. Culturally and symbolically still the capital of Japan after a thousand years and the world capital of Zen Buddhism and proper tea drinking.
It is still a loyal custodian of one of the greatest living cultures in the world and has a central place in not only Japanese harts, but also in the conscience of all literate people in the world.
History has not been kind to Kyoto. It was devastated in he battle of Uji 1180 in the Genpei war and with the burning of Hojuji palace as well as the Onin war, 1467-1477. By 1477, ten years after the fighting had begun, Kyoto was nothing more than a place to loot and mobs to move in taking what was left. While Kyoto was burning, Ashikaga Yoshimasa spent his time in poetry readings and other cultural activities, and in planning Ginkakuji, a rival to Kinkakuji that his grandfather, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu had built.
In spite of many dangers, fires and madmen, Kyoto was still standing in 1945 when the most dangerous moment in more than a thousand years arrived. July 25 1945 the order to atomic-bomb four Japanese cities was decided, but Kyoto, still untouched by the brutal Pacific War, was not on the list because: In April 1945 Colonel Marshall asked Lesley Groves, head of Manhattan project to make final target list and Kyoto was on top of that list, but against top secret rules Henry Stimson, minister of war, told his wife that Kyoto is going to vanish from the planet.
We can assume that it was on May 29 evening that his wife said no. Not the city of her honeymoon. On May 30, Stimson asked Groves to remove Kyoto from the target list due to its historical, religious and cultural significance, but Groves pointed to its military and industrial significance. Stimson then approached President Truman about the matter, Truman listened, laughed/understood, and Kyoto was temporarily removed from the target list. Groves attempted to restore Kyoto to the target list in July, but Stimson ( Mrs Stimson) remained adamant. On July 25, Nagasaki was put on the target list in place of Kyoto thanks to a nostalgic Stimson Fujin.
We plan to erect a memorial to Mrs Stimson in Kyoto. Please support her memorial.
After 1945, now Kyoto is again in grave danger.
Cheep, mass tourism.
Lets protect our ancient world heritage, and not repeat the mistakes of Amsterdam, Venice, Florence and other world heritages.
Keep Kyoto, Kyoto-rashiku.
1. Elimination of noise pollution
Announcements in buses, trains, all public transportation and - places, museums, and sights must be only in Japanese and English.
In historical Athens, Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, Barcelona, Bern, Madrid, Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen there are only English announcements for tourists.
Of course in Machu Picchu Cusco, Yucatan, Taj Mahal, Beijing, Lhasa, Dunhuang, Xi’an, Tai’an, Luxor and all other world heritage treasures there is only English guidance and announcements.
Additionally all guides and languages must call Kyoto Kyoto in all languages.
If Americans and Europeans starts calling Kyoto “Jingdu” we have a big problem.
2. No plastic in Kyoto
All new buildings, constructions and hotels over 3 F, in 100 m radius from holy temples and shrine areas must be approved by the local residents and religious authorities.
There are already too many Starbucks, McDonalds, Dunkin’s, Tully’s, not to mention konvini’s in central places and near centuries old temples and shrines all over Kyoto. Kyoto must pioneer coffee-and tee drinking with no plastics. Steps, limits and regulations must begin a.s.a.p. and materialize before the Tokyo Olympics.
Plastic-el Signs and ads in these and other establishments must be toned down and self-control of visual pollution all over Kyoto should be checked and regulated.
3. Visual pollution
All Kimono rentals must have a licence to properly dressing tourists for photos in and around temples.
No licence rentals-shops must be fined.
In shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses only signs and info only in Japanese and English should be promoted.
4. Except for Japanese middle-, HS- university-students
All visitors to Kyoto with JR-pass, and tourist-visas must somehow be charged an extra fee, when arriving at Kyoto station. Keitai calls and use, as well as all digital photo, video, in temples must somehow be discouraged and restrained.
5. Kyoto is the best bicycle town in the world
with straight streets and easy to navigate
The public bicycle-culture-infrastructure is much better than Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
Noiseless bicycle tourism should be promoted, encouraged and supported.
Gabor Niels Fabricius