Tajimi Tourist Association plans to open a VR-enhanced English language web site on August 1st to make the city extremely accessible to foreigners interested in Japan.
Tajimi is a mid-sized town on the countryside of Gifu prefecture on Japan's main island Honshu. Its Tourist Association decided to launch the virtual reality initiative in order to solve two major problems facing foreigners who want to experience life on the Japanese countryside - the lack of information in English, which will be solved by a wealth of carefully crafted stories in English, and the very vague image of Japan that most foreigners have. With VR, you can "try-before-you-fly", which has proven to be a strong motivator for travelers to go places they would never have considered otherwise.
Another unique aspect of the site is that it is crafted by a European - Hans Karlsson, of Swedish origin - and that therefor the city is presented entirely as viewed by a foreign resident. Karlsson has been given free hands to present a genuine and truthful picture of the town, very different from the brochure-style sites that dominate Japanese city promotion.
This site will provide unique experiences to anyone with a cheap pair of VR goggles and a smartphone. Visitors to the VR universe of Tajimi will be able to feel immersed by spaces such as local pubs and restaurants, pottery workshops, natural environments and more. Even without goggles users will be able to access the VR imagery just by using their normal browser on a smartphone or PC. As the ease of use and affordability of VR as well as AR (Augmented Reality) can be expected to improve exponentially, Tajimi Tourist Association plans to provide ever more impressive experiences to a growing audience over the next years.
No special software is needed, and quick instructions are available on the site to get started in two minutes.
Hans o. Karlsson
Chief blogger for Tajimi Tourist Association.