戸倉上山田温泉のレストランガイド・ウォーキングマップ英語版は出来上がり!New Walking Map and Restaurant Guide for Togura Kamiyamada Onsen

2010.07.20: 活動 Activities

Onsen Town Togura Kamiyamada's New Restaurant Guide / Walking Map





協力してくれた皆様、有難う!そして、デザイン・印刷でお世話になったAsahi Agencyにも感謝!


During the past 4-1/2 years since we moved to Togura Kamiyamada Onsen to help take over Kamesei Ryokan, I have been working hard to share my enjoyment of this traditional onsen town and the peaceful nature around with guests from overseas. Our inn registered with JNTO as a Visit Japan Information Center, and I assisted with the making of Chikuma City's first English brochure. The latter has been particularly effective. Many guests have showed up planning to stay 1 night, but after seeing how much there is to do and see in the area, they end up staying multiple nights.

However, while using the city's brochure, I realized that it is lacking a walking map of the town, and that there are so many great restaurants that need to be presented. So I took it upon myself to hook up with the local Bar and Restaurant Association and Merchants Association. I went to 20 different restaurants representing a wide variety of cuisine, talked with each owner, explained the need for an English map, got their cooperation, then worked out an explanation in English, as well as translated 7 of their menu items. Then I approached 21 shops and businesses, once again explained the need for the English map, received their cooperation and worked out the details for their advertisements. Finally, the ryokan association and Tourism Association also agreed to assist. With everyone's help, we were able to pay for the design and printing.

The end result is a pretty unique map that will allow guests of Togura Kamiyamada, more fully enjoy our onsen town. Some of the parts designed particularly for foreigners:
*The restaurants don't have English signs, so we included pictures of their facades so foreigners can find them.
*We indicated which restaurants accept credit cards, are no-smoking, have vegetarian menus, and provide western-style sitting.
*We included a coin laundry, convenience stores with ATM's, a pharmacist and medical clinic as well as a church with service in English, so guests from overseas will know their various needs are covered.
*Foreigners tend to walk and enjoy the outdoors, so the map mentions walking times and distances between major points and shows where rental bicycles are available.

People ask if I made the map. While I was the main person to work on it, without the financial cooperation of 20 restaurants, 21 shops, the ryokan association and Tourism Associations, the map never would have been made. So it's due to everyone's efforts. Plus, the city decided to chip in some assistance, so next we'll be making a Chinese version!

Here's thanks to everyone who helped, and especially to the design/print shop, Asahi Agency.


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