Tottori is a prefecture on the coast of Japan and it's famous for its sand dunes. Foreign tourists come in large numbers to enjoy the pristine beauty but many of them go in for sand graffiti that spoils the scenery. The prefecture imposed a ban on the defacement of the sand dunes. That was nearly a decade back. However, the local government notified about a dramatic rise in such activities because of the influx of more visitors from overseas. Over the years Japan has become a favorite Travel destination but the cases of sand graffiti have not gone down well with the local authorities.

Their problem is to make outsiders aware of the feelings of the locals

The Guardian reports that one action proposed by the prefectural government is to install more foreign-language signboards urging tourists and visitors to desist from vandalizing the sand dunes. These stretch across nearly 10 miles (16-km) along the coast. Their uniqueness is that they constantly change shape and were created over thousands of years.

Problem for the administration

The local administration has a tough task to balance the inflow of tourists with local sentiments.

Arriving visitors last year was beyond the 30 million mark for the first time. The government expects this to reach the 40 million mark in 2020. That will be when Tokyo will play host to the summer Olympics. The number of visitors could cross the 60 million mark within a decade. Therefore, the administration starts thinking out of the box.

The Guardian goes on to add that the last decade saw more than 3,300 incidents of sand graffiti.

The figure for last year was 200 as revealed by a media outlet. A couple from overseas had made a graffiti that was nearly 25 meters long. It was just to wish a happy birthday. The authorities ordered them to erase it while local officials and volunteers removed the others. One action on the anvil is to increase the number of warning signs in English, Chinese, and Korean. Incidentally, shop owners in Kyoto’s popular market are displaying multilingual signs requesting people not to eat while walking. That is impolite in the country and adds to the litter. In the city of Kamakura, authorities have already declared eating while walking a “public nuisance.”

An ordinance already exists

According to the Japan Times, the Tottori Prefectural Assembly enacted an ordinance that prohibits drawing of patterns on the sand, better known as sand graffiti.

This is because such acts rob the surroundings of their natural beauty. Some of these so-called artworks are messages, while others are just simple pictures. The ordinance became effective from April 1, 2008. It prohibited drawing large size letters and was punishable by a fine. It also banned littering and fireworks.