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Japanese city bans eating while walking

Japanese city bans eating while walking

Kamakura, a seaside city south of Tokyo, Japan, has placed a ban on people eating while on the move, with the aim of preventing tourists from littering.

The city, which received 20 million visitors in 2018, enacted the policy this year to try and prevent the increasing build-up of litter like leftover food and food packaging in and around hotspots, as tourists chow down on street food and snacks as they explore.

Although the ordinance isn’t being backed up by fines or legal consequences, signs in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese reading ‘No eating while walking’ are being placed throughout the city as a way of raising awareness of this cultural norm.

Eating whilst walking on the street is frowned upon in Japanese etiquette: it is considered more polite to eat or drink standing near the vending machine, stall or convenience store you purchased from, or waiting until you reach your location in order to reduce littering.

These polite, concise reminders are much more relaxed form of enforcement than found in Florence, Italy, where a section of the city centre has banned eating on sidewalks, roadways and even shop and house doorways. The consequences for chowing down in one of these protected spots? A rather steep €500 fine.

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