China tourist slammed for breaking rules at ancient Kyoto shrine

June 15, 2016 13:19
A Chinese tourist jumps into a pond at Kyoto's Kiyomizu shrine, ignoring the temple's rules. Photo: Facebook/Macau Concealers, baidu

Following a slew of reports about the "uncivilized behavior" of Chinese tourists abroad, mainland authorities have been urging their citizens to change their ways, warning that the nation's image is at stake.

But the pleas seem to be falling on deaf ears, going by the continuing bad press that the tourists are getting overseas.

Japan, which has become a favored destination for many mainland travelers, is among the places that have seen many complaints against the visitors.  

Now, we have one more case from the country -- this time pertaining to disorderly conduct at an ancient shrine in Kyoto city.        

Visitors at the 1200-year-old Kiyomizu shrine in Japan's former imperial capital got a shock last Friday as they saw a tourist break the temple's rules with gay abandon.  

An eyewitness told online publication Macau Concealers that he saw a Putonghua-speaking man jump into a pond at the main hall of the shrine to collect what is believed to be sacred water.

The water, which visitors can drink, comes from the Otowa-no-taki Waterfall and is said to have therapeutic and magical properties, helping the facility gain fame as "Pure Water Temple".

The water comes in three separate streams and falls into the pond.

According to local legend, each stream has a particular magical quality. One stream is said to bring longevity to a person who takes a sip, while the other two bring love and wisdom.

However, people should not drink from all three streams as such behavior is considered greedy and will bring bad luck.

Also, visitors are required to follow the temple's rules and use cups attached to long poles to select the water of their choice while standing outside the pond.

But ignoring the rules, and not bothering about the feelings of other visitors, the Chinese tourist jumped into the pond to fill up a plastic bottle with water from all the three streams, according to an Apple Daily report.

Bystanders were appalled at the man's behavior, denouncing him as greedy and slamming him for spoiling the hygiene at the shrine, which is a heritage structure that was first built in 778 AD.

The eyewitness, who is from Macau, said he felt ashamed by the incident as it only proved that Chinese tourists have a lot of learn about etiquette and manners.

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