Sharp's humanoid robot to guide tourists in taxis in Kyoto
Japan Today -- Sep 12
Sharp Corp's RoBoHon, a small humanoid robot with artificial intelligence features, will accompany tourists in taxis in Kyoto and offer sightseeing guidance in Japanese, Chinese and English from Sept 22, the service providers said Tuesday.

Sharp, Kyoto-based taxi operator MK Co and travel agency JTB Corp said they have teamed up to provide the tourism package until March 31 next year to meet the growing demand for sightseeing using taxis amid the increasing number of travelers to Japan.

In the package, which will be on sale from next Monday, passengers in taxis can learn about the history and culture of the sites they are visiting from conversations with RoBoHon, a two-legged robot that can interact with users through AI besides having basic mobile phone functions such as voice service and camera.

Customers can also take the robot out of taxis with them to tourist spots to use as a guide. For the tourism package, however, the robot's mobile phone and email functions cannot be used.

It will cost 6,000 yen per person if two or three passengers share one RoBoHon and 7,000 yen if one passenger uses the robot for a six-hour tour.

News source: Japan Today
Nov 14
Japan's government has projected up to 47,000 foreign workers could come to the country in fiscal 2019 under proposed revisions to the immigration law. (NHK)
Nov 14
The dark side lurking within the Kabukicho red-light district of Shinjuku Ward — today, something like a mix of a theme park and a strip club — can easily get lost amid its blinking lights and the roar of Godzilla. (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 14
Health officials in Japan say nearly 2,000 people have contracted rubella, or German measles, this year. (NHK)
Nov 14
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged greater cooperation with the United States on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Abe met US Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo on Tuesday. (NHK)
Nov 14
With Japan having suffered extensive damage from a number of natural disasters this year, the country's three top damage insurers are expected to pay out a record 1 trillion yen ($8.7 billion) in combined insurance claims in fiscal 2018 through March 2019. (Nikkei)
Nov 14
Oriental Land Co. ltd., the operator of Tokyo Disneyland, asked a court Tuesday to reject a suit filed by two female workers seeking damages for overwork and harassment while they were working as costumed performers at the theme park. (Japan Times)
Nov 14
For the first time in almost three decades the Salt Industry Center of Japan has announced it will raise the price on many of its products by around 15 percent, indicating inflation has finally arrived in at least some industries. (Japan Times)
Nov 14
SoftBank Group has set the stage for what is likely to be one of the largest initial public offerings ever, with its move to float mobile phone unit SoftBank Corp. But as Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son completes the conglomerate's divergence into an investing holding company and a wireless provider, market watchers see significant risks on both fronts. (Nikkei)
Nov 13
A 71-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an assault on a woman in Yokohama, after he was apparently filmed walking right behind her with a stick. (NHK)
Nov 13
The Imperial Palace grounds in Tokyo will be partially opened to the public early next month for autumn foliage viewing. (NHK)