Friday, 26 August 2011


Shibuya, world famous via its crossing, an icon of Tokyo and tourist attraction, now has a tourist information centre in front of the station where you can ask for information. That face-to-face information is probably available in English. But in one of those quirks of the Japanese tourist industry, the website – where it is proudly announced that people from over 50 countries have been served at the information desk – is only in Japanese. Why do they not go that extra step and translate the simple site for people checking from abroad before they arrive? Is translation going to happen in the future? When Japan is in need of tourists, a little information for the non-Japanese speaker (almost by definition, everybody who lives outside of Japan) in English would be something of a benefit. Odd.

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