Foreign visitors and tourists travelling through Tokyo’s subway system may now use bilingual tablet computers for directions to their destinations. Tokyo Metro Co. set up the tablet computer stations at the Ueno Station on the Ginza Line for a test run until March. Additional tablets will be placed at the Shinjuku Station on the Marunouchi Line by January 17.
The tablets will allow people look for subway routes on the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway system using a map, train lines, and station names in Japanese and English. After the test run ends in March, tourists will then be able to search for their destination on the Tokyo subway system with the aid of a street map with landmarks and information to make it easier for them to locate where they are trying to go. Other sites including cultural areas, bathrooms and handicap facilities will also be found there. Korean and Chinese scripts are planning to be added later in April for these additional search methods.
Currently, the tablets can be found near the stations’ information boards that note how travellers can reach tourist spots, and how to use the subway system itself is already described in the Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese languages. With the number of tourists and foreigners taking the Asakusa Station and Shinjuku-sanchome Station, Tokyo Metro is also thinking of putting up additional tablets at the said stations on the Ginza Line and Marunouchi Line, respectively. Full-scale use of the tablets will be launched after further study has been made of its impact on the company’s service.