On Monday, I was lost in the southern part of Kyoto city for a while. I was on a bus heading south, which was supposed to bring me to the new office of the organisation where I had been volunteering. Or so I thought.
I stay in the north ward and the new office is located in the south. It never occurred to me that I would have to take the bus on the other side of the road to go further north first before I could get to the south. So I took the bus heading directly south instead. Turned out to be the wrong bus. Anyway, that's Kyoto's amazing bus routes for you.
As I was lost in the streets, I came across a sign in a place which is a little off the usual tourist tracks. In Beautification Enforcement Areas, you will be fined up to 30 000 Yen for littering regardless of your nationality or status.
The way some of my new friends here asked me whether it is true that you get fined for littering in Singapore, I have somehow been made to imagine that my country is the only place in the world which impose fines for littering. So I was a little surprised at seeing that sign in Kyoto city.
Looking at the sign on a Kyoto street, I couldn't help but wonder where the "Beautification Enforcement Areas" in Kyoto are, and the rationale behind the regulation...Why should there be a difference between areas? Why should some areas be more "beautified" than others?