Downloadable audio programs talk visitors through Japan

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The Independent Online

For a newcomer, making one's way on the Japanese subway can be confusing and navigating the busy backstreets en route to some of the city's must-see spots is a nightmare. But a new service has just started that walks visitors through some of the best-known attractions -- as well as several that are off the tourist trail.

(Relaxnews) -

For a newcomer, making one's way on the Japanese subway can be confusing and navigating the busy backstreets en route to some of the city's must-see spots is a nightmare. But a new service has just started that walks visitors through some of the best-known attractions - as well as several that are off the tourist trail.

Japan Walk-Caster is an audio walking guide that can be accessed through the company's website and downloaded in the form of an MP3 file directly into a computer and then into a personal audio player or mobile phone. In conjunction with a PDF file that contains an outline of the course and a map, visitors are then set for the tour.

The lengths of the tours vary, but generally range from 90 minutes to three hours, according to Patrick Lovell, who came up with the idea for the service and who researches and scripts most of the tours.

"I have always been interested in history and I used to take guided tours to some of the most famous places in Tokyo, but with the technology that is available today this project became a no-brainer," Lovell told Relaxnews.

"We really want people to be able to do the tours at their own pace and we are looking to expand the number of tours that we provide in the coming months," he said. Another offshoot of the project is a series of Japanese-language tours for tourists heading to London.

At present, 14 English-language tours are available to be downloaded, including Edo Castle, the temples and geisha district of Asakusa, the picturesque part of the city that is known as Tokyo's "Little Kyoto," and a stroll through some of the historic gardens of the capital.

New tours will include a walk through Kyoto's castle and the ancient capital of Kamakura, one hour south of Tokyo by train.

For further information, visit the website at http://japan.walk-caster.com/ or +81 3 90 3340 1505

JR

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