Last week in travel: Japanese city asks visitors not to eat while walking

Travel news

Last week in travel: Japanese city asks visitors not to eat while walking

By
20 May 2019

By | 20 May 2019

US government gives tentative approval to 12 new routes to Tokyo, while Uber lets passengers avoid small talk with drivers using quiet mode, and Luxembourg has the best tram driver in Europe

Getting a quick snack during a visit to a Japanese city of Kamakura can be rather tricky these days. With a new measure, the city, which is home to the world’s biggest Buddha statue, has decided to ask tourists not to eat while walking.

Kamakura is home to the world’s largest Buddha statue — Shutterstock Last week in travel: Japanese city asks visitors not to eat while walking Group Created with Sketch. Kamakura is home to the world’s largest Buddha statue — Shutterstock

The authorities state that their major concern is trash from packaging and leftover food, which can attract animals. It also contributes to the mess that locals have to clean up.

According to Japan Today, the main emphasis has been put on the city’s busiest street Komachi-dori. The relatively tiny area welcomes up to 60,000 visitors per day.

However, the new rule is not there to penalise the visitors, it serves more to simply build awareness. The city doesn’t plan to fine offenders in any way.

Kamakura is not the first city to limit eating habits of tourists. In September last year, the Italian city of Florence introduced a ban for eating in the historic areas during peak lunch and dinner times, from 12–15 in the afternoon and 18–22 in the evening.

The city informed its visitors via a bilingual poster stating that tourists should respect residents, traders and workers.

“It is forbidden to eat any kind of food just stopping and staying on sidewalks, on doorsteps and houses and on roadways,” the poster says.

“It’s not a punitive measure but a concrete deterrent,” said mayor Dario Nardella in a Facebook post announcing the ordinance. “If tourists behave themselves as they would at home they’ll always be our welcome guests, especially if they want to sample our gastronomic specialities.”

Anyone caught snacking in the area during the restricted time periods faces a fine of between €150 and €500.

US government gives tentative approval to 12 new routes to Tokyo Haneda

Americans might soon have it easier to witness the unusual Kamakura’s rule themselves. The Department of Transportation has tentatively approved the launch of 12 new flights between various US cities and Tokyo Haneda airport.  

Tokyo Haneda might soon see 12 new US routes — Shutterstock Last week in travel: Japanese city asks visitors not to eat while walking Group Created with Sketch. Tokyo Haneda might soon see 12 new US routes — Shutterstock

United, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines are contesting 12 new daytime slot pairs between the US and Japan. The routes are up for grabs by US airlines following a recently signed agreement between the two countries. The service should kick off in the summer of 2020, coinciding with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Delta has received tentative approval for services connecting Tokyo Haneda with Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Portland and Honolulu.

Through the United’s joint-venture partner — All Nippon Airways — United’s passengers would have access to connecting flights to 37 domestic destinations in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Meanwhile, American Airlines has been offered tentative approval for two daily services — a second daily flight to Los Angeles as well as a new route to Dallas-Fort Worth. The carrier launched its existing daily Los Angeles–Haneda service in 2016.

Hawaiian Airlines will most likely take the last of the 12 slots with a new route to Honolulu.

Luxembourg and Brussels have the best tram drivers in Europe

Being electric-powered, trams are often considered some of the most environment-friendly and efficient means of transport. But driving such vehicles requires skill and experience.

To check who is the best out of the best, the Tram-EM European Tramdriver Championship took place in Brussels. 25 teams took part in the competition, representing 21 European countries in total.

Drivers had five minutes each to complete a course with six challenges. It included precision stopping, speed and distance estimation, and “tram bowling”.

Tiago Ferreira from Luxembourg proved himself to be the most skilful male driver and received the gold medal in the “best European tram driver” category, Luxtram said in a press release on Monday. The second place belongs to Anton Medvedev from Moscow, while Damir Osmanovic from Vienna ranked the third.

The women’s category was dominated by Laurence Meert from Brussels, followed by Linda Brandon from Rotterdam and Nikol Pravdová from Prague.

Uber lets passengers avoid small talk with drivers using the quiet mode

While Uber drivers can sometimes be the best company you can get on your travels, some people simply hate small talk with anyone. That is why Uber has launched a new mode for quiet-seeking travellers.

Uber black riders can now set how much talking they prefer — Shutterstock Last week in travel: Japanese city asks visitors not to eat while walking Group Created with Sketch. Uber black riders can now set how much talking they prefer — Shutterstock

The new Quiet Mode feature is available for premium rides in the Uber Black SUV, according to a release from the company. It gives the riders the option to choose between “Quiet Preferred”, “Happy to Chat” or “No preference”.

For the Black SUV rides, the company is also introducing help with luggage, temperature control, extended pickup period, premium support, and consistent vehicle quality.

“We know that when riders choose Uber Black and Uber Black SUV, they want a consistent, high-quality experience every time they ride. With these new features and more to come, we’re excited to ensure that our riders can arrive relaxed and refreshed, wherever they’re headed,” Uber said in a press release.

The new feature is available across 35 cities in the US and Canada.