If you’ve ever traveled internationally then you’re well aware of just how funny and frustrating language barriers can be. Simple tasks like ordering food off of a menu or asking for wifi become momentarily impossible.
Luckily, a city in Japan has developed a sure-fire solution for businesses to communicate with foreign customers by creating dummy-proof instructional and informative illustrations. And they’re awesome.
City officials created the campaign called “Ten ways to make travelers happy,” after some Japanese business owners noticed their companies unintentionally exclusively catering to locals.
“I believe that we can show off our hospitality and convince tourists that Morioka or Iwate are good places [to visit],” Takefumi Shimomukai, director of the Iwate Prefectural Government’s Morioka Regional Development Bureau, told a Japanese news service. “Until recently some owners believed their profits from serving only locals were sufficient, and due to the language barrier, they may have left foreign visitors with a feeling that they were not welcome.”
Aaron Cline Hanbury is a contributing editor for RELEVANT. You can follow him on Twitter at @achanbury