Coronavirus Chased Off Tourists—Locals Don’t Want Them Ever Flocking Back

Coronavirus Chased Off Tourists—Locals Don’t Want Them Ever Flocking Back

KYOTO, Japan—The bustle of tourists has disappeared from this ancient capital—only to be replaced by dissension over whether they should ever be welcomed back.

Mimiko Takayasu, 80 years old, is proprietress of a century-old tea house where geisha entertain wealthy Japanese with traditional music and dance. Until the coronavirus pandemic, the streets of Gion, Kyoto’s high-end entertainment district, were packed with amateur paparazzi trying to get snapshots of apprentice geisha called maiko.

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