Lonely Planet Writer

Japan to roll out more tourist-friendly maps

Foreign-language maps in Japan will utilise a new set of standard map symbols, in a response by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) to feedback that the current symbols can be confusing to travellers.

Japanese maps set to become easier to read for foreigners
Japanese maps set to become easier to read for tourists Image by Kohei Fujii / CC BY-SA 2.0

The changes will see the swastika-like symbol for a Buddhist temple become a three-tiered pagoda, the police box ‘X’ symbol become a saluting officer, and the post office will be represented by an envelope rather than a ‘T’ symbol. In all there will be 18 new symbols; six of these are replacements for existing pictograms. To develop the new symbols, 1017 people from 92 countries and regions were surveyed. Read more: japantimes.co.jp