Ever gotten confused in a foreign country because you couldn’t understand the signs?
Japan knows your pain, with one prefecture now rolling out painfully obvious signs in a bid to make visitors feel more welcome.
26 signs have been rolled out across the Iwate Prefecture, in a campaign titled “Ten ways to make travelers happy.”
Signs include a man breathing fire to indicate the food is spicy, a pig inside a bowl letting diners know the dish contains pork and another swiping a giant card to indicate that credit cards are accepted.
Officials behind the campaign are also holding lectures around the city to encourage locals to offer help and interact with tourists, even if it is “in broken English.”
“Until recently some owners believed their profits from serving only locals were sufficient, and due to the language barrier, they may have left foreign visitors with a feeling that they were not welcome,” said Takefumi Shimomukai, director of the Iwate Prefectural Government’s Morioka Regional Development Bureau.
“I believe that we can show off our hospitality and convince tourists that [we are] good places [to visit].”
Japan had earlier this year rolled out standard controls for their public toilets, after numerous tourists were unable to understand the icons on the toilet seat.
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