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Tourists deface iconic bamboo trees in Kyoto's Arashiyama

Graffiti is seen scratched into a bamboo tree along the famous bamboo forest walking path in the Arashiyama district of Kyoto's Ukyo Ward, on May 17, 2018. (Mainichi)

KYOTO (Kyodo) -- At least 100 bamboo trees in Kyoto's Arashiyama district have been vandalized by tourists, who apparently engraved their names and initials, a company managing the iconic groves of the popular tourist spot said Thursday.

    The engravings carved on tree surfaces are in foreign language letters, including alphabets and Hangul characters.

    According to the city of Kyoto which owns the trees, the number has increased rapidly since April.

    "The visitors might have carved their names to commemorate their trips, but we can't accept such behavior which could disappoint many other tourists who are looking forward to enjoying the scenery of the forests," a city official said.

    Taking a stroll through the bamboo forests in Arashiyama is among the most popular things for tourists to do while visiting the ancient Japanese capital.

    "It is deplorable that the scribbles are spoiling the precious bamboos," said Megumi Nakamura, a visitor from nearby Osaka Prefecture who came to the area with one of her South Korean friends.

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