Osaka: Multilingual visitor center opens in Dotonbori

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Digital signage provides tourist-friendly information at the Pivot Base cafe in Chuo Ward, Osaka.

OSAKA — A newly opened multilingual facility in Osaka’s Dotonbori district is offering tourists the chance to access local information via cutting-edge technologies in a laid-back cafe-like atmosphere.

Pivot Base aims to stimulate nighttime tourist activities and encourage interaction between travelers and the local community.

Visitors are obliged to purchase a drink to use the service, which is operated by Dotonbori Night Culture Creative Council, an organization formed by JTB Co., Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau, Nankai Electric Railway Co. and others.

A “travel concierge” offers assistance in English, Chinese, Korean and other languages. Digital signage introduces tourist spots that are trending on social media, such as restaurants, bars and sightseeing locations. QR codes allow visitors to gain more information via their smartphones.

“Digitization is essential if Dotonbori is to become a world-class tourist destination,” said a senior official of JTB. “We want to offer stress-free travel and enhance the area’s appeal.”