|Above, Nakamise Street in Asakusa. Since the expansion of tax-free items, Japan has seen|
a sharp rise in foreign tourists in the country for shopping. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
With the 2020 Olympic Games coming to Tokyo in a little over five years from now, new methods in welcoming and assisting foreign visitors are being developed. Some have already been employed.
According to The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun):
In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, there is a growing movement to welcome foreign tourists in various languages at commercial facilities and sightseeing spots. Since foreign tourists are key to raising the nation’s consumption, public and private sectors are making efforts to extend “omotenashi” Japanese-style hospitality by, for example, using interpretation software that handles 27 languages.
At the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, an independent administrative institution based in Tokyo, an employee spoke into a tablet computer in Chinese saying, “I forgot my suitcase,” which was interpreted into fluent Japanese audio.To read more, go here.