Japan:Tourist Information Centers
Tourist information centers provide up-to-date information and recommendations that are not found in guidebooks.
Nowadays, if you have a smartphone, you can easily find directions to and opening times for popular sightseeing spots. However, face-to-face communication with staff at a tourist information center may provide helpful hints that haven't yet made it onto the internet, such as construction work at a sight you are considering visiting, or a local festival that will make certain streets crowded.
In addition to pamphlets and maps for local sights, you can also find additional information, such as how to arrange bicycle rentals, coupons for local shops and restaurants, and timetables for sightseeing bus tours. Many centers close early in the evening, so in order to get travel planning support, it is best to visit early.
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