First in Japan! Refreshing drive to San'in Coast Geopark area with GEOCOMS, an ultra-small electric vehicle for tourism (Iwami Town, Tottori Prefecture)

Tottori Prefecture

12/10/2018 1:00 pm

GEOCOMS is an unprecedented sightseeing service that you can enjoy with an ultra-small electric vehicle, a new “tool”, mainly in Iwami Town, which is a part of the San’in Coast Geopark, certified as a UNESCO Global Geopark, and has many hidden charms.

“GEOCOMS” incorporates elements of activities and sightseeing tours utilizing the clean and compact ultra-small electric vehicle that features a guidance system in foreign languages and is also very popular with foreign tourists.

GEOCOMS’ official PR video:
https://youtu.be/MT_99Hp8VDg
asoview! (English version): http://brand.asoview.com/tottori/coms/en

Overview of GEOCOMS (as of November 2018)

Location: 2182 Otani, Iwami-cho, Iwami-gun, Tottori Prefecture Next to San’in Matsushima Cruise Boat
Number of vehicles: COMS 10 units
The vehicles have cute sea creature designs(Nine types of animals including a shark, squid, and crab for 10 units)

Model course
We have several model courses according to the participant’s preference. The audio guidance system will provide you with course navigation and tourist information.

1. Scenic Geopark course (3 hours or 1 hour)
Uradome coast has many notable marine erosive features formed by the powerful waves of the Sea of Japan. This is the most popular course in which you drive along the coastal road that leads to Higashihama Station while enjoying the beautiful, constantly changing scenery such as cave entrances, caves, and white sandy beaches.

2. Welcome to the Anime world course
Iwami Town in Tottori Prefecture is the location of a TV anime and attracts many anime fans. In recent years, we have come to see these fans dressed in cosplay costumes getting around the town by rental cycle.
In this course, with GEOCOMS, you will visit recommended locations around the town on which the anime is based.

3. Tottori Sand Dunes course
This is a course for you to travel around “Tottori Sand Dunes” – the tourist site representative of Tottori and designated as the only natural monument in Japan that is a coastal sand dune. You can enjoy the sand dunes as they vary depending on the season and time of the day, “The Sand Museum” exhibiting sculptures made of sand, and other spots. The course also has fun seasonal activities such as “pear picking” and “a shallot field”.

Charge
Model course (3 hours): 3,000 yen
Model course (1 hour): 2,000 yen
Driving outside the model course (1 hour): 2,000 yen (1,000 yen per additional hour)
To use GEOCOMS, a valid International Driver’s License is required in Japan.

Characteristics of GEOCOMS

Characteristic 1: A refreshing feeling like riding a go-kart
Hold the steering wheel and see the tourist sites with a cute electric vehicle
You can get in the open COMS and feel the sea breeze and hear the sound of the waves.
The maximum speed is 60 km/h. You can hold the steering wheel and drive while enjoying the beautiful scenery to the fullest, being a part of nature.
A cool and warm cushion is provided on the vehicle seat, so you can drive ‘cool’ in summer and ‘warm’ in winter.

Characteristic 2: Drive easily with a compact vehicle
Anxiety-free driving on narrow streets only the locals know
You can easily drive along narrow streets with the compact vehicle. Furthermore, extra torque is applied for Iwami Town because it has many slopes. You can go through narrow streets and up slopes easily and enjoy a spectacular visit without stress. As the seat heater is installed, you are not going to shiver when the weather is cold.
You can drive about 60km on a single charge. You can travel around many places without worrying about charging the vehicle.

Characteristic 3: Audio navigation through bone conduction headphones
Available for first-time users and tourists from abroad!
The vehicle comes with bone conduction headphones that do not block your ears during driving.
While driving, you can listen to directions and tourist information and enjoy a detailed local trip.
(The audio guidance is available in the following languages: Japanese, English, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese/Taiwanese. More languages will be available in the future.)

Characteristic 4: Take photogenic photos to post on SNS!
Traveling with vehicles unique to this area
Vehicles covered in cute sea creatures found in the San’in area such as crabs, sharks, squid, and rock fish. Some people drive differently to usual, dressed in cosplay costumes.
We also offer a service that allows you to drive in your swimwear so that you can enjoy swimming at the beach, which is the charm of Iwami Town in summer.

Access to Iwami Town in Tottori Prefecture
Iwami Town is located in the most northeasterly part of Tottori Prefecture; the east sits on the border of Hyogo Prefecture, and the north faces the Sea of Japan.

From Tokyo
About 75 minutes by plane
About 4 hours 40 minutes by train
About 9 hours and 35 minutes by express bus (night bus)

From Osaka
About 2 hours 30 minutes by train
About 2 hours and 50 minutes by express bus
About 3 hours by car  

From Fukuoka
About 3 hours by train
About 10 hours and 30 minutes by express bus

Business Operating Entity: The Association for Tottori Tourism Mobility
Six parties, namely Tottori Prefecture, Iwami Town, Chizu-Sekiyu Co., Ltd, TOYOTA AUTO BODY Co., Ltd, JTB Corp., and Forte Co., Ltd, entered into an agreement and established “The Association for Tottori Tourism Mobility”.
As a proof of concept project utilizing each partner’s strength, we launched “GEOCOMS”, a new tourism project for low-carbon mobility, in April 2018.

References
GEOCOMS station website: http://chizu-sekiyu.com/geocoms/
Operation method of GEOCOMS (English): https://youtu.be/WDX74HlB82Y

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