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The Japan National Tourist Organization this week launched a powerful tool for English-speaking foreign visitors to Japan.

The 6,200-page Japan Travel Updates Web site is equipped with search engines to access a database of 8,000 hotels and 1,000 restaurants across the country.

The Web site also includes a travel planner that provides several route options after a user inputs a starting point and destination. The planner provides timetables and ticket prices for rail and air transport.

A total of 250 model travel itineraries are also included on the site. All information is provided in English.

Users can also view maps of the country, including detailed maps of 22 major cities.

The site will be operated by JNTO, a Transport Ministry affiliate, with a government fund of 800 million yen.

The Transport Ministry is in charge of promoting the nation’s tourist industry.

Although JNTO has operated such a Web site since August 1995, attracting 3 million monthly hits, the previous site had only 700 pages.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.