GSI HOME > Update history > Maps of Japan to be more easily understandable for overseas visitors Last Updated : March 30, 2016

Maps of Japan to be more easily understandable for overseas visitors

Rules for translating Japanese geographical names into English, and map symbols designed for overseas visitors, are settled.

On March 30, Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) released rules for translating Japanese geographical names into English, and 15 map symbols designed for overseas visitors.
GSI will adopt these rules and symbols as standards for creating foreign-language maps, as well as disseminating them among local public bodies and map making companies to facilitate their use.
 
In order to help overseas visitors travel in Japan without difficulties and to support a smooth delivery of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, GSI considered these rules and map symbols and invited comments from the public through the Government portal for public comments, or e-Gov, from January 7 to February 7, 2016. Based on the comments received and so forth, GSI finalized the rules and symbols.

Rules for translating Japanese geographical names into English

These rules identify how to translate Japanese geographical names into English (outlined in Attachment 1, (in Japanese))
Examples of English translation:
  • Mt. Tsukuba for Tsukuba-san
  • Tone River for Tone-gawa

Map symbols designed for overseas visitors

We determined map symbols on overseas visitors maps for 15 facilities frequently used by visitors from overseas, such as hotels and restaurants. (Attachment 2)
 
The rules and symbols determined this time will be adopted as standards when GSI creates foreign-language maps. Moreover, GSI has included them in the revision of “Working Rules for Operating Specifications", which are applied to public surveys, and will disseminate them among local public bodies and map making companies to facilitate their use.

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