Japan touts 'hands-free travel' by storing tourists' luggage
New sightseeing routes designed with foreign visitors in mind
TOKYO -- Japan is working harder to make traveling easier for foreign tourists, encouraging the creation of more luggage storage spots at places such as airports and train stations so that visitors can enjoy "hands-free travel."
The government aims to boost the number of spots where travelers can check large luggage by 50% to 240 this fiscal year. The transport and tourism ministry will offer funding that partly covers construction of such storage spaces to businesses that operate tourist information counters at airports, train stations and commercial facilities.
The grants also cover costs for signboards offering information in multiple languages as well as for tablets that display information at the booths. The ministry will accept applications starting this month through October.
Meanwhile, the Japan Tourism Agency certified 11 new sightseeing routes for foreign visitors this month. One route is designed to attract Taiwanese tourists to Hokkaido, highlighting its nature, food and islands. Another route, targeting French tourists, introduces the country's traditional culture with Japanese confectioneries and sights like Izumo Taisha shrine.