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- Efforts of Tokyo City i Torist Infomation Center
Efforts of Tokyo City i Torist Infomation Center B1F KITTE JP Tower, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Initiatives of Tokyo City i TOURIST & BUSINESS INFORMATION CENTER
We wish to help make traveling safe and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of nationality or disability.
Tokyo City i Torist Infomation Center is located on the first basement floor of the JP Tower KITTE at the Marunouchi South Exit of Tokyo Station. It is a one-stop-shop that offers a wide range of information provision and arrangement services for all domestic and international tourists. These include transportation, food and beverage, accommodation, and events.
We spoke with director MR. Masahiro Yamamoto, manager of Information Section MS. Wu Chunyu, and leader of Information Section MS. Asami Komada, who have associated with many customers and have a vague awareness of the need to promote accessible tourism.
Focus on the collection and dissemination of information
The center was opened in March 2013 as part of the JP Tower KITTE tourism information complex. The center is divided into three zones: an information zone, an event zone, and a cafe. Tourist information to domestic and foreign tourists are provided by staff who can speak four languages including Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Since the opening of the center, the staff has also participated in various seminars for information gathering and disseminated information actively. For example, the staff created an original map by walking around the area to gather information. We also have other popular brochures and pamphlets covering all 47 prefectures, allowing us to respond to the questions that tourists may have.
Business opportunities surrounding The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Accessible Tourism Project
With the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we asked ourselves, "What else can we do?". In 2019, we applied for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Accessible Tourism Counselor Dispatch Project and had our facilities checked by their advisor. During this time, we were instructed to consider the locations for pamphlets, the appearance of POP, the ease of access to information, as well as ensuring flow lines for wheelchair users. Previously, we had been trying to figure out how to do this on our own, while the advisor gave us helpful advice on how to disseminate information. Based on the hints we received, we not only secured the store's traffic flow and improved the position of displays, but we also prepared boards and notebooks for written consultations, and changed the colors and fonts of displays in the store to universal design specifications. Furthermore, reading glasses, magnifying glasses, and cane storage areas were also prepared to make the facility more easily accessible.
In addition, all staff members attended seminars on simulated experiences in order to be able to consider various conditions. Through the simulated experience, the staff learned firsthand about the demands for the line of sight, line of flow, and means of communication. This seminar further motivated all staff members to voluntarily conduct sign language study sessions. Eight staff members were able to pass the sign language proficiency test from level 3 to level 6. The sign language study group is still going on, and the staff members are brainstorming together for further improvements.
Keep in mind the perspective of the people involved
In 2020, we applied for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Accessible Tourism Promotion Seminar as a group. All staff members participated in the activity of walking around Tokyo in wheelchairs to collect barrier-free information. We realized there is a lot of information that is important to disabled people but cannot be found on the internet or paper records. For example, wheelchair users must use elevators far away at train stations. Some of the wheelchair-accessible toilets are out of order. We used to believe that there were only a few people with disabilities visiting the store, but now we are changing our perspective and thinking that the reason lies in the fact that there is not enough information that we can provide to them.
Now, we keep our eyes open to check for various barriers on the roads and share what we notice with the staff to enhance our knowledge.
Barrier-free maps and other related pamphlets for each ward in Tokyo are also available. We will continue to make various efforts to become a tourist information center that can provide a variety of information to any visitors and make them happy and satisfied.
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Tokyo, a city that is accessible everywhere to anyone.
Sightseeing where you wish, as you wish.
This ability to travel anywhere you please makes life that much richer.
Tokyo welcomes your visit.
Here you can encounter tradition,
history, culture, nature, technology,
and, best of all, smiling faces.
Making tourism closer and more
enjoyable through accessible tourism.