People, Travel

Japan Tourist Sites Wary of Pokemon Go Craze

Japan Tourist Sites Wary of Pokemon Go CrazeJapan Tourist Sites Wary of Pokemon Go Craze

On the first weekend after the release of the smash-hit Pokemon Go smartphone game, tourist site operators and summer festival organizers across Japan remained wary of safety issues involving people using the augmented reality app that encourages visits to real-life locations to hunt virtual monsters.

In Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, a warning sign was posted Saturday at two locations within the compound of Tomioka Silk Mill, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in Tomioka city, reported.

It explains off-limit areas at the site and cautions players against collisions with people around them.

The site is said to contain six spots where players can obtain Pokemon Go items.

An official said, “We haven’t so far seen any troubles but we hope people would not damage cultural properties by inadvertently bumping into them” while playing the game.

A 28-year-old man from Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, who came to the site with office colleagues, said, “I get distracted when concentrating too much on the game. I’d like to remain watchful.”

In Kyoto City, organizers of the month-long traditional Gion Matsuri festival warned app players with placards, as floats with elaborate ornaments were readied on a street.

A 26-year-old man from Tochigi City who was playing the game at a crossing somewhat away from one of the floats, said, “I’m playing here because it’s dangerous to be near where floats occupy much space on the street.”

Major Shinto shrine complexes such as Izumo Taisha in Shimane Prefecture and Kotohira-gu in Kagawa Prefecture have issued warnings on their websites that the game is banned around the shrines. Alert announcements were also made periodically within their compounds.

A 24-year-old man who visited Ise from Chiba Prefecture was playing on a pedestrian path leading to a “torii” entry gate to the shrine.

“Ise Taisha isn’t a playground in the first place. It’s good that (the game) is banned inside the premises,” the man said before entering the shrine compound after slipping the gadget into his pocket.