TOKYO, Japan – Extremely popular game Pokémon Go was launched in Japan recently. Soon after the launch, Japanese authorities urged visitors to stop playing the reality smartphone game at popular tourist sites.
The most emphatic protest came from the Izumo-taisha shrine, considered the second most sacred in Japan, which banned the use of Pokémon Go within its premises on Friday after the game had launched, according to its website.
Officials argued that the ban is to preserve the “solemn” atmosphere of the sanctuary and ensure the safety of its six million annual visitors, EFE news reported. Himeji Castle, Japan’s most famous and best preserved feudal fortress, has placed signs inside and in surrounding areas urging the public not to play while walking through the complex.
Managers of the castle, which is also a World Heritage Site, explained to public broadcaster NHK that the complex is full of steps and areas — for example the moats surrounding Himeji — that are restricted as they are dangerous. Volunteers from the Hiroshima Peace Park also expressed their discontent to the media of the possibility that the park tinged with pain and dedicated to reflection could be filled with gamers.
The Tokyo Skytree tower, on the other hand, employed a more moderate stance and simply asked gamers to play with caution as its gigantic structure is a ‘gym’ where players can fight with Pokémons, attracting more footfall. The feverish excitement in Japan over the game has even forced the government to launch a campaign promoting safe use of the game, after multiple cases of users being injured were reported.