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The Kyoto Botanical Gardens are in danger! We need your help to keep this "Museum of Living Plants" alive!

A plan is underway to transform the Kyoto Botanical Gardens into an entertainment facility. Kyoto Prefecture has commissioned a Tokyo-based consulting firm to study a plan to redevelop prefectural land in the Kitayama area (south of Kitayama-dori, east of the Kamo River, north of Kitaoji-dori, and west of Shimogamo-naka-dori). The plan was proposed to the prefectural assembly in December 2020.

@ According to the plan, the prefectural university gymnasium will be converted into a 10,000-seat arena that could be used not only for student classes and club activities, but also by the private sector for music and sporting events. In addition, a theater complex would be built on the site of the former prefectural museum, along with another large structure to accommodate conventions, lodging, and dining.

Specific proposals for the Botanical Gardens:
(1) The fence of ubamegashi (Japanese apricot) trees on Kitayama-dori would be replaced by a commercial facility.
(2)The Gardens' "Back Yard" along the Kamo River, near the Conservatory Greenhouse and vital for all the Gardens' behind-the-scenes plant care and maintenance, would be reduced in order to create another public entrance.
(3) A new restaurant and cafe would be added at the main (north) gate entrance in order to provide more attractions for users of the Arena. Also, an outdoor events stage would be constructed on the site of the central lawn.
(5) The east-west and north-south entrances to the botanical garden would be eliminated to allow visitors to enter and leave freely.

This is not a botanical garden at all, but a park. A botanical garden is a place where plants take center stage, where plants are displayed, where people learn about nature from plants, and where people can quietly rest and relax, all within a certain boundary, shielded from the outside world. We cannot sacrifice our botanical gardens and plants, which have been protected and nurtured for nearly 100 years, for the sake of commerce, events, and profit. In major cities around the world, botanical gardens have survived for hundreds of years. One botanical garden in Italy has been in existence for 500 years. It should not be so easy for the policies of one administration to destroy such gardens.

We have started collecting signatures. Please consider lending your support so that the Kyoto Botanical Gardens may continue to exist as they are. We request Kyoto Prefecture to review the "Basic Plan for the Development of the Kitayama Area" (related to the Botanical Gardens):

Reconsider the installation of an outdoor events stage in the large lawn area.
Reconsider the construction of commercial facilities on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens along Kitayama-dori.
Reconsider the planned revisions to the Botanical Gardens along the Kamo River.

Sponsoring organization: Association for the Review of the Development Plan for the Kyoto Botanical Gardens.
E-mail: simogamoaoi@outlook.jp

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