Launched last summer, the service is available in five languages - Spanish, Portuguese, English, Chinese and Korean and can be used in times of illness, emergency or general communication with hotel staff.
The service has been rolled out across 824 hotels and ryokan. This is in addition to the 900 hotels and ryokan already been providing translation services across the city.
When translation is required, hotel staff can call the translation service and their call is taken by an interpreter, who then takes it in turn talking to the visitor asking the question until the enquiry is resolved.
James Widgren, Kyoto Convention and Visitor Bureau’s international marketing co-ordinator, comments: “As the number of international visitors coming to Kyoto increases, this service ensures they are able to communicate effectively with the staff even when it might otherwise be difficult. The introduction of such a service serves to maintain the city’s reputation for providing high quality services.”