Kyoto Imperial Palace Guide App for ForeignersReleased in Six Languages by Imperial Household Agency
On May 16, the Imperial Household Agency released a free smartphone app that provides tourists with audio guide service to the areas open to the public at the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, and the Imperial Palace, Tokyo. The app is available not only in Japanese, but also in five other languages, English, Chinese, Korean, French and Spanish, to serve as a guide for tourists from Japan and overseas.
The app "Imperial Palaces Guide" has been developed as a part of governmental efforts to promote national facilities to the public in response to the increasing number of foreign tourists.
In the Kyoto Imperial Palace, there is audio commentary for 22 spots, including buildings such as "Shishinden," where enthronement ceremonies were performed, and "Seiryoden," where emperors usually resided, as well as the palace's prestigious main gate, "Kenrei-mon Gate," and the gracefully appearing "Kenshun-mon Gate." The app can automatically show images as each spot is approached when the global positioning system, or GPS, is used.
At the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the app's introduction includes the palace building, as well as "Tenshudai," or the remains of the main tower of the former Edo Castle, and "Hyakunin-bansho Guardhouse" in the East Gardens. The app is available for the US-based Apple Inc.'s iOS-based mobile devices. A version for Google Inc.'s "Android" has also become available recently.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)