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Thoughtful and Quirky- Tokyo Strives to Be Ever-More Safe, Clean and Kind

June 30, 2020 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Tokyo is well renowned for the practice of excellent general hygiene and the city continues to implement stringent measures which are helping to contain the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19. In such a populous capital Tokyo has many fabulous services, old and new, that help contribute to keeping it as safe and clean as possible.

Here are 5 examples of thoughtful & quirky services to keep you feeling safe:

1: Automated Taxi Doors -For a first-time visitor to Japan the self-opening and closing passenger door of taxis is a surprising novelty.  The courteous and clean automatic door service was first introduced back in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics. As the passenger is not required to touch the door when getting into the taxi or when alighting it is a super clean, kind service that many have come to take for granted.

2: Hotel Robots- It sounds futuristic but Robots have arrived and are now providing services at some of Tokyo’s hotels.  The Shinagawa Prince Hotel N Tower  launched the first autonomous delivery robot in Japan in October 2017. Now nicknamed “Harry” the room service robot can deliver a range of items to the rooms for a fee, including; face towels, toothbrushes, nightgowns, amenities for children, LAN cables, wine openers and other minibar items (beer, soft drinks, snacks).

Customer service by robots at Henn na Hotel in Tokyo’s Ginza takes a variety of forms. The “Unibo” robot concierge makes a variety of facial expressions and provides hotel and tourist information. The rooms are also equipped with smart technology to enhance the guest experience.

3: Private Ramen – Counter restaurants with private booths for diners known as “Flavour Concentration Booths”Ramen noodles are a favorite for many and most commonly enjoyed sitting at a counter slurping alongside other diners. Ramen Ichiran, originally from Fukuoka now has 19 shops in Tokyo. Initially, designed around individual female diners and celebrities not wanting to eat publicly. The concept is to allow the diner to completely focus on enjoying their noodles without any of the stresses that could interfere with their meal. With the COVID-19 pandemic the service is even more popular.  Safe and clean, you can slurp to your hearts content without worrying about annoying your neighbour.

4: Restroom “Throne Service”- This aptly named service by Tokyo’s Daimaru Department store is a real time Online Restroom Availability Service- instead of making your way to the restroom location and forming a queue you can easily identify which restrooms in the store are available. Available in Japanese for now.

5: Michelin Starred Takeout Anyone?- Fine dining has always been an art form in Tokyo and eating out is very much a way of life for Tokyoites. The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many restaurants of all levels to commence home delivery services.  As a result, takeaway and home delivery services are thriving. Tokyo currently has more than 220 Michelin Starred restaurants, more than any other city in the world and plenty of these fine establishments have started delivery services.

**In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), various facilities around Tokyo may change their operating days or hours. In addition, some events may be cancelled or postponed. Please check official facility or event websites for the latest updates and information.

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