With the Olympics — and an anticipated influx of even more foreign tourists — a little more than a year away, local companies are finding more ways to get in on the act of showcasing Japanese know-how and enhancing the overall experience of visitors.

Take taxis for example. While the industry is world-renowned for its white-gloved drivers and automated doors, there is still room for improvement.

In Japan, vacant vehicles display in red LEDs the Sino-Japanese characters of kusha (literally, "empty car") to indicate that they are available for hire. Naturally, the signage is lost on many tourists visiting from abroad.