Campy signs you may encounter when you visit Iwate in Japan

Translation by Satsuki Uno

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, Japan has reached 20 million oversea visitors in 2017, and we’re two years away from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Over the past couple of years, Japan is rushing to construct foreigner-friendly infrastructures to break language barriers, including inventing multilingual robots.

As one of those movements, Morioka Regional Development Bureau created a website to help local venues promote tourism, providing free-to-use whimsical signs to pique the interest of foreign tourists. The simple, campy signs show a samurai with a chonmage teaching visitors rules and etiquette in shops, restaurants, and onsen baths.

The official homepage also teaches the people of Iwate how to communicate with foreign visitors when they are in need or trouble as “omotenashi.”

Here are some of them:

59325994028236805988278285107200

Ironically, "no charge" brings further confusion.

62157362634424324794405554749440567526777946112051927351830773765636026810761216

What promopted Iwate prefecture to make these signs? Kamaishi-city in Iwate will be the main venue for upcoming Rugby World Cup 2019, and Iwate is trying to revitalize from the devastation of the 2011 Great East Earthquake.

Contact: 019-629-6512 (Iwate prefecture, Morioka Area Promotion Bureau, Planning Department)
Licensed material used with permission byIwate no jyutte, Facebook
These beachside Airbnb rentals in Japan have stunning ocean views
Tourists often visit Japan during summer to experience cultural traditions in major cities, like the Obon festival or firework festivals. But it’s ...
Forget coin lockers: Store luggage in a cafe while sightseeing in Japan with ecbo cloak
There's nothing more stressful than going sightseeing with a giant piece of luggage in hand.It's slightly more tolerable when you're in an area tha...
5 seaside stations worth visiting in Japan (part 2)
Travel enthusiasts usually have their niche, and for Taku Muramatsu, he’s passionate about train stations--in particular, only those by the ocean. ...
Tourists spots for foreigners that are too obscure for Japanese
TripAdvisor, one of the most major review aggregators for travelers, has recently announced its rankings for the most popular tourist sites in Japa...
Kurosaki: the best Michelin-rated sushi in Shibuya you’ve never heard of
Ask what’s the ultimate sushi in Japan and you’ll largely get two different responses—Sukibayashi Jiro for those abroad, and Sushi Saito for Japane...
5 seaside stations worth visiting in Japan (part 1)
Every traveler has their own reason for their journey. For Taku Matsumoto, it’s to document his visits, exclusively to seaside stations in Japan. H...
8 stunning mirror-like water destinations in Japan
Japan’s photogenic spots typically are more characterized by compact spaces than vast expanses, whether it’s capturing the neon city lights of Kabu...
Stylish country living is only 90 minutes away from Tokyo
Sometimes you may want to escape the distressing, overtime-ridden life in the city, but don’t have the time for a lengthy beach vacation. Or, stayi...
10 popular spots in Japan's "gateway to the tropics"
Once upon a time, Miyazaki Prefecture was a popular honeymoon destination. Beginning in the 1960s, scores of couples made it their place to visit f...
6 stunning vacation rental homes across Japan
We all have our idiosyncracies and preferences when traveling. Some like to focus on the journey as opposed to the destination, others relish a lux...
9 shopping spots to hit while in Shibuya
Shibuya is an overwhelming spectacle from the moment you step out of the station--throngs of tourists, business people and high-schoolers amassing ...
120-year-old abandoned school in Japan turns into eclectic marketplace
Drive down south on Route 220 from Miyazaki city, and while traversing next to the glittering Nichinan beaches you’ll encounter (the former) Ushio ...
JAPAN LOCAL's guide to Shibuya, Tokyo
On the surface Shibuya is a neon-bathed urban hub, with swarms of high-schoolers and business people flocking to mega department stores, multi-stor...
Forest bathing, now moss therapy--the lush woods of Inohae
Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku may envision having a hot-tub in the woods, but it's a relatively new concept birthed in Japan in the '80s. Inohae ...
Abandoned factories in Sado look fit for a Bond villain lair
Sado Island is one of the hidden tourist gem spots in Japan that is unknown even to most Japanese. While having a rich history that includes being ...
Future of Airbnb in Japan: Growth and navigating through murky residence lodging laws
Last year the Japanese parliament passed a law giving an official green light to Airbnb’s business model, albeit with restrictions. Taking effect t...
9 fine shaved ice to cool down for the summer
Japan is well-known for its dreaded heatwave during the summer, and one of the traditional ways to cool off is to have freshly shaved ice. It used ...
Wabi-sabi: everyday goods from Japan as (imperfect) works of art
Minimalism has died, long live wabi-sabi—or so the trendsetters are saying. But while it’s talked about from everywhere from Elle to Huffington Pos...
Eating the best chicken I've ever had at Sumibiyaki Sankuu
The person who showed me around Nichinan (a small city on the coast of Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu) told me two intimidating details about the rest...
One social media post, one ton of citrus sold--Nichinan's sweet lemons
When thinking of food that goes viral, you tend to imagine the colurful, lavish or outlandish--like a Unicorn Frappucino. A social media initiative...