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The Tourist Information Center (TIC) of Japan National Tourist Organization is your helping hand while in Japan. Its services range from providing travel information and free literature on Japan to offering suggestions on tour itineraries. Reservations, however, are not handled there. Its address, telephone number and office hours are as follows:
10 Fl., Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan Bldg.,
In addition, the following Tourist Information Centers, operated by the JNTO-affiliated International Tourism Center of Japan, are your reliable information sources.
Tourist Information Centers (Narita International Airport):
Kansai Tourist Information Center (Kansai International Airport):
Arrival Floor, Passenger Terminal Bldg., Kansai International Airport, Osaka 549-0011
"i" Tourist Information Offices
The Information System "i" has been set up especially to assist travelers who are visiting Japan from abroad. There are 126 "i" (Tourist Information System) offices scattered all over the country, usually located in or near major train stations, or in town centers (look for an establishment with a red question mark with the word information underneath). Each center provides information relevant to its local tourist sites.
The JAPAN RAIL PASS is the most economical way to travel throughout Japan by rail. The JAPAN RAIL PASS is offered by the six companies that make up the Japan Railways Group (JR Group). Please be aware, however, that some restrictions are applied. The pass is not valid for “NOZOMI” trains on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines. A JAPAN RAIL PASS cannot be purchased inside Japan. You must purchase an Exchange Order from an authorized sales office or agent before you come to Japan.
Guide-interpreters may be hired through hotels as well as land operators. Licensed guides are available for interpretation in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Korean. As of March 2005, there were licensed guides, of whom about 858 were members of the Japan Guide Association (Tel. 03-3213-2706. Fax. 03-3213-2707) and 500 were members of the Japan Federation of licensed Guides (Tel. 03-3380-6611. Fax. 03-3380-6609). Charges for guide-interpreters services depend on the level of expertise required and the length of the assignment. Average rates are in the range of 30,000yen - 40,000yen per day. In addition, transportation, meal and accommodation costs for the duration of the assignments are borne by the person engaging a guide-interpreter.
Guide Service / Volunteer Guides (Goodwill Guides)
Systematized Goodwill Guide Groups, comprising mostly students, housewives and retirees, are engaged in different locations throughout Japan in a variety of volunteer activities using their foreign language skills. As volunteers standing ready and willing to assist overseas visitors, these Goodwill Guides are registered with JNTO and display the badge shown below. The 58 Systematized Goodwill Guide (SGG) groups offer tourists from overseas free local tours guided in English and other languages. There is no charge for their service as they are volunteers. You are only expected to pay for their travel expenses and admissions to tourist facilities as well as yours, and to pay for their meals if you eat with them.