Kyoto Aquarium Project

Ancient City Set to Lose its Charm

The Japanese City of Kyoto is at the centre of what has become a controversial national debate. Plans are afoot to construct an 118,000 square foot aquarium amongst the cities ancient Buddhist temples and historic buildings. Those who oppose the build are concerned that this new ultramodern complex will remove the ambience which the city has, home to many of the countries historic landmarks outlining its heritage.

As tourism is one of the world’s largest industries Japan feels as though it is missing out on some serious economic gain. Of late the Chinese have began making inroads when it comes to tourism having set up partnerships with companies in Europe allowing people to travel there for summer holidays. Figures show that currently Japan is making a tenth of what the USA makes from tourism per year, so if they manage to just make it an eighth that is a great improvement. The sky is the limit as far as the Japanese are concerned and the project which is being led by Orix Real Estate Corp., could alone attract 2 million extra tourists.

It appears whatever decision is made not everyone is going to be happy, head Priest of the Honen-in Buddhist temple said “We should not be building concrete boxes. We have the wrong idea of economic development, and it is destroying our city.” These concerns won’t go away and it will be a battle of wills to whether the economic growth and gains simply drown out the sound of the ancient ambience which the city of Kyoto is well known for.

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