At least 100 bamboo plants 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 the stems of the plants are in foreign languages.

According to the city of Kyoto, which owns the plants, 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 grove in Arashiyama is among the most popular things for tourists to do while visiting the former capital.

"It is deplorable that the scribbles are spoiling the precious bamboos," said Megumi Nakamura, a visitor from Osaka Prefecture.