Abe, Inose discuss how to make Tokyo more visitor-friendly
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo Gov Naoki Inose held their first meeting on Wednesday following the awarding of the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo. The two leaders discussed ways to make Tokyo a more visitor-friendly city in the lead-up to the Olympics, officials said.
One suggestion is to encourage restaurants and retail outlets to use multilingual menus, signs and so forth, Sankei Shimbun reported.
Inose said the Tokyo metropolitan government will get to work immediately to prepare the city for the Games.
In December, a trial 24-hour bus service will begin between Roppongi and Shibuya. It will operate hourly from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. on Saturdays onlyd. The fare will be 400 yen. A metropolitan government official said a decision on whether to expand the service will depend on how many people use the buses, but Inose said he believes a 24-hour transportation service will be essential during the Olympics.
He also expressed hope that Tokyo might one day have a 24-hour subway system, but conceded it won’t come anytime soon.
Subway operators say they need the time between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to perform maintenance on trains, tracks and tunnels.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism plans to change street signs from “romaji” to English in areas that attract a lot of tourists. For example, signs that read “dori” will be changed to “street” or “avenue,” Jiji Press reported. The changes will be implemented not just in Tokyo, but in other cities that receive a lot of tourists each year.