JR Hokkaido have announced a series of measures to improve services for overseas visitors which include the expansion of free Wi-Fi services and providing more travel information in Chinese, English, and Korean.
JR Hokkaido are increasing the number of stations that offer free Wi-Fi access. Currently 13 stations in Hokkaido offer this service, but 20 more stations will be added to this system this year.
To use the Wi-Fi service simply select the “0000FLETS-PORTAL” network and register your email address and password. This gives you 60 minutes of free Wi-Fi access, but you can login again as many times as you want. What is more, once registered you can get free Wi-Fi access not only at Hokkaido railway stations but at around 4,100 locations around Hokkaido where NTT East have the following sign displayed:
At present free Wi-Fi is available at the following railway stations: Kutchan Station, Otaru Station, Sapporo Station, Furano Station, New Chitose Airport Station, Toya Station, Noboribetsu Station, Obihiro Station, Kushiro Station, Asahikawa Station, Biei Station, Hakodate Station and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station.
The following stations will also begin to offer free Wi-Fi this year: Niseko Station, Yoichi Station, Otaru-Chikkō Station, Minami-Otaru Station, Takikawa Station, Shin-Sapporo Station, Kita-Hiroshima Station, Chitose Station, Minami-Chitose Station, Higashi-Muroran Station, Shiraoi Station, Tomakomai Station, Shintoku Station, Shiretoko-Shari Station, Kamikawa Station, Abashiri Station, Wakkanai Station, Goryokaku Station, Oshamambe Station, and Onuma-Koen Station.
Multilingual staff will be posted to 11 major stations during peak travel periods. This year Sapporo will host the 2017 Asian Winter Games, and so at that time multilingual staff will also be posted to stations closest to the sporting venues such as Obihiro Station and Teine Station.
A Multilingual Tablet App
JR Hokkaido are currently working on an tablet application that can be used to make station announcements in English, Chinese, and Korean.
Multilingual Information Screens
In November of last year, multilingual information screens were installed at Noboribetsu Station and Toya Station to help foreign passengers using Limited Express Services on the Muroran Main Line. You can also find these multilingual screens at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station when transferring between the Hokkaido Shinkansen and regular train lines and at Minami-Chitose Station which serves the Chitose and Sekisho Lines.
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.