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This Japanese Island Is About to Starting Charging Visitors a Tourist Tax

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Traveling isn't cheap. You've gotta cover flights, hotels, those overpriced in-flight mimosas and, if you're heading to Miyajim, additional taxes too. Much like Amsterdam, Venice, and Cabo San Lucas, the Japanese island -- famed for its bright orange torii gate -- is introducing a small fee for tourists passing through. 

Now before you panic and promise the airline your first born child for a refund, I should clarify. The tax is actually really cheap. Like, one single dollar, cheap. According to CNN, the 100 yen (aka $1) cost, which will go into affect come 2021, will be tacked on to ferry rides and at popular tourism destinations. 

And while a dollar might seem like chump change to us, if you multiply it by the number of Miyajima tourists, that's quite a bonus for locals. 4.31 million visitors traveled to the island last year alone, Travel & Leisure reports. 

"The island needs maintenance and repair work, including placing power lines underground and repairing roads," Hatsukaichi city Mayor Taro Matsumoto, who initiated the tax, said at a press conference last month. "I'm focused on introducing the tax as a stable source of income." 

The money collected will be used for improvements on the ferry, environment preservation, and waste disposal. It's also not the country's only tax action driven by soaring tourism rates. The Japanese government implemented a similar nationwide "sayonara" tax earlier this year. Now those traveling with round-trip tickets are required to cough up an additional $9 per person. I think you can afford it, though. 

h/t Travel & Leisure


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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @MegSchaltegger.