Introduction of JGA
₯Organization
₯Purpose and Tasks
₯Publications
Guide-Interpreter Business
₯What's Guide-Interpreter Business
₯Guide-Interpreter Law
₯Voice of Licensed Tour Guides
₯Guide-Interpreter search system
₯JGA Walkingtours
Introduction of JGA „ Purposes • Tasks
** Training courses and lectures

To improve the skill and knowledge of the guides, we run training courses and lectures.

The training course for the new guides

We have been running the training course for the new guides who have passed the guide test every year since 1963. The sum total of the participants has reached 8,000. Most of the veteran guides active in the front lines of inbound tourism in Japan today are the graduates from the course. Participation fee is very reasonable by the support from Japan Foundation. If you have passed the test and want to work as the guide, we strongly recommend you to participate the course.

It is a 5 day course. The first day is a lecture in a class. The other 4 days are bus tours in which veteran guide instructors teach you how to guide different sightseeing spots. We have 2 different courses, Kanto and Kansai courses.

Kanto course visits Tokyo, Kamakura, Hakone, Nikko, and Narita Airport. Kansai course visits Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Kansai Airport. We had 120 participants for Kanto course and 70 participants for Kansai course this year.

There are so many things to learn. Not only the basic knowledge such as rules and manners of the guide, highlights of each course, how to use hotels, but you also learn more practical know-how through many episodes of veteran guides. You also have a chance to meet many friends who have the same purpose.

The training course for the regular members

We have another course for the regular members every year (usually 2 days bus tour during off season). This course is good for those who haven't got much career yet or those who have been away from the job for a long time to improve and brush up their skill and knowledge. You may ask the veteran guides the questions that you have been unable to answer on the job. As the guide nature, many instructors take care of you very well, talk to you a lot(sometimes talk too much?).

Inspection tours and lectures

Each branch office also runs inspection tours, lectures, and get-together parties to improve the quality of the members and promote their communication. For inspection tours, we visit the places related to tourism especially new facilities. We have visited many places including Okamoto Taro Museum (by Head Office), Nagoya Noh Theater (by Nagoya Branch), Sanju-sangendo Temple (by Kansai Branch), Haratsuru Hot Springs (by Fukuoka Branch).

For lectures, we recently had the speech on "World Tourism Organization" and the speech on "the regional problems of tourism in Kyushu" by inviting the experts in different fields. Some of our members can give lectures to the others. We have the experts in HAIKU (Japanese short poems), the experts in flora, the experts in SAKE(not heavy drinkers?)and so on. They may embarrass the professors in each subject.

A get-together party is another pleasure for the members. We exchange information, discuss problems and enjoy talking with different aged people. You also have a chance to talk with the guides of different languages.

** Job placement service

We give free job placement service to the members and this is authorized by the Health, Labour and Welfare Minister. We give this service to the guides in 10 different languages (English, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, and Thai). We always contact travel agencies, private companies, and local government offices and try to advertise JGA and the members. We also try to get information about international conferences and events as soon as possible to increase the opportunities for the guides to work.

The guide fee is basically decided between the customers and the guides by free-lance. In fact, it depends on the ability and career of each guide. It also depends how long and how many people the guide work for.

** Public Relations

Propagation of the guide is necessary not only to increase the jobs for the guide, but also to promote inbound tourism in Japan. For this purpose, we have been doing lots of public relation activities such as exchanging information with the people in tourism, having interviews form mass media and public related magazines, and sending our institutionary journal to the tourist divisions of all prefectural governments and many tourist associations all over Japan.

We have about 7.3 million foreign visitors visiting Japan in 2006. This is ranked in 30th in the world and 8th in Asia. Compared with the number of the Japanese going overseas (1.7 million), however, this is not enough at all and there is still a big imbalance between inbound and outbound. We may have overemphasized outbound tourism. Now it's time for us to emphasize inbound tourism more, just like the other countries do.

In that sense, we expect "Welcome Plan 21" in which Ministry of Land,Infrastructure and Transport plans to double the number of foreign tourists to Japan in the next century.

It is urgent and important for us to have more foreign visitors visit Japan and experience Japanese culture so that Japan will be evaluated more fairly from the world. We also hope that the guides who play important roles in the public relations for Japan should be evaluated fairly as well and their job conditions will be improved.

Copyright (C) 1999-2017 JGA (Japan Guide Association). All rights reserved.