Tourist Services

  • Language
    Travelling in a country where you don't speak the language can be both challenging and rewarding. But even if you don't speak any Japanese, finding your way around Japan needn't be difficult. English is widely spoken throughout the country, particularly in major cities and tourist centres. Announcements on public transportation are frequently made in both Japanese and English, and signs generally include decipherable roman characters or an English explanation. It is worth noting that many Japanese people lack confidence in their ability to speak English and may seem reserved when first approached. Remember to speak slowly and clearly and offer an encouraging smile. Carrying a notebook and pen is a good idea, as the Japanese often feel more comfortable dealing with written English. For those with a sense of fun, an impromptu game of charades can overcome almost any language barrier! Even though it is possible to enjoy a visit to Japan without speaking the language, it is always helpful to know a few words and phrases in Japanese. It's nice to be able to say a simple 'thank you' or 'hello' in the local language and the Japanese will appreciate your efforts.


    10th Floor  Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan Building
    2-10-1 Yurakucho
    Tokyo 100-0006
    Tel.(03) 3201 3331
    Opening Hours:
    Weekdays - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
    Saturdays - 9 a.m. to 12 noon
    - Sundays and national holidays.
    - December 29 to January 3.

    1st fl., Kyoto Tower Bldg.,
    Shichijo-Karasuma sagaru,
    Kyoto 600-8216
    Tel.(075) 371 5649
    Opening Hours:
    Weekdays - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m
    Saturdays - 9 a.m. to 12 noon
    - Sundays and national holidays.
    - December 29 to January 3.

    Narita Airport

    Main Office : Arrival fl.,
    Passenger Terminal 2 Bldg.,
    New Tokyo International Airport,
    Chiba 282-0004
    Tel.(0476) 34 6251
    Opening Hours:
    9 a.m. to 8 p.m daily
    Branch Office:
    Arrival fl.,
    Passenger Terminal 1 Bldg.,
    New Tokyo International Airport,
    Chiba 282-0044

    Kansai Airport

    Arrival fl.,
    Kansai International Airport
    Passenger Terminal Bldg.,
    Osaka 549-0011
    Tel. (0724) 56 6025*
    Opening Hours:
    9 a.m. to 9 p.m daily
    *Telephone service is available as follows:
    Weekdays - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m
    Saturdays - 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m
    Not available on Sundays and national holidays

*Please note that reservations cannot be made at TICs

  • 'i' Information Centres
    'i' Information Centres are a network of ninety-six local travel-related information centres across Japan. Contact your nearest JNTO office for a list of locations.

  • Guide Services
    Goodwill Guides
    The Goodwill Guide Group is a volunteer association with over 40,000 members across Japan. These volunteer Guides are available to share their knowledge of sites and attractions, provide guided walking tours and to assist with other travel-related queries. The service also offers foreign visitors a wonderful opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of one of the locals. The guides are available upon prior arrangement. In principle the service is free of charge, however participants are requested to meet the costs of their guide's transportation, meals and miscellaneous costs.

  • Contact your nearest JNTO office for a list of Goodwill Guide Groups in Japan
    Visit the
    JNTO Tokyo web site for more information.

  • Professional Guides
    English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese and Russian speaking guides/interpreters can be hired through travel agents, major hotels or the Japan Guide Association :

    Japan Guide Association
    9F Shin Kokusai Building
    3-4-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku
    Tokyo 100-0005
    Tel. + 81 (0)3 3213 2706
    Fax. + 81 (0)3 3213 2707

    Charges for guide/interpreter services depend on the level of expertise required and the length of the assignment. Average rates are in the range of 25,000-40,000 per day exclusive of the guide's transportation, meal and accommodation costs, which must also be met.

  • Japan Travel Phone
    Japan Travel Phone is a nation-wide telephone service providing English language assistance and travel information. The service is available on the following numbers :

Tokyo (03) 3201 3331 (9am-5pm, except for Saturday pm, Sunday & National holidays)
Kyoto (075) 371 5649 (9am-5pm daily)
Other areas 0088 22 4800
(Toll free except for Tokyo & Kyoto)
(9am-5pm daily)
  • Teletourist Service
    The Teletourist Service provides tape-recorded information on travel, entertainment and major annual events in and around Tokyo. The service is provided in English around the clock. Tel. (03) 3201 2911

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.


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