Three of the signs showing different levels of spicy food - each has a man with different sized flames coming out of his mouth

Picture copyright
Morioka Regional Improvement Bureau

Picture caption

It is hoped the indicators will make life simpler for guests – significantly these with delicate style buds

Officers in northern Japan try to succeed in out to overseas guests through the use of comical indicators to tell them about native customs and meals.

The indicators are in use within the metropolis of Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, the place officers hope they are going to make guests who do not communicate Japanese really feel extra welcome, The Japan Times reports.

Twenty-six photos can be found for companies to download online: one reveals a cheerful little pig inside a bowl to tell diners that the dish incorporates pork. One other tells folks to dry off earlier than coming into the altering room at sizzling springs, and reveals a dripping-wet man in a puddle so massive rubber duck has appeared in it. Quick English phrases beneath every picture clarify the which means.

Takefumi Shimomukai, who heads the Morioka Regional Improvement Bureau, says they needed to do one thing easy however enjoyable to draw folks’s curiosity. The realm is much less of a draw for foreigners than vacationer hubs like Tokyo and Kyoto, and communication troubles have made some locals reluctant to succeed in out to guests. “Till just lately some homeowners believed their earnings from serving solely locals have been adequate, and as a result of language barrier, they might have left overseas guests with a sense that they weren’t welcome,” he says.

Barely extra hi-tech approaches to coping with communication issues have been rolled out elsewhere in Japan, because the variety of overseas guests grows. Final yr, a brand new app was trialled that translates rail announcements right into a customer’s personal language, and a few areas provide 24-hour multilingual hotlines for recommendation on all the pieces from discovering a health care provider to sending baggage residence.

Subsequent story: Plea to help Danes avoid sunburn abroad

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to remain up-to-date with our stories by way of Twitter.