Guiding people around Japan Vol.3
Tourist information available in eight languages
TOMODACHI Automated Guide System
Translation / Kirsten McIvor
For those who want to see the sights of Tokyo as efficiently as possible, a Hato Bus tour is the way to go. On the popular “’O Sola mio” double-decker open-top bus tour, a “TOMODACHI” automated audio guide system is handed out to everyone who wants one. The system features a GPS-mounted palm-size receiver, which plays an audio track through an earphone as the bus approaches each sightseeing spot. Starting this autumn the system will cater for English, French, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, Thai and Indonesian speakers, and Vietnamese will be added next spring. Offering different language options allows visitors from several countries to board the same bus and enjoy the sights without any language problems. The audio guide is also designed to automatically adjust the length of the audio track when the bus is caught in traffic. Overseas visitors have already given the system excellent reviews, saying that a guide in their native language is much easier to understand than the English version. TOMODACHI is an outstanding information tool for those who want to learn more about the Japanese capital.