Oita Prefecture wants more foreigner-friendly restaurants

OITA, May 4 — The Oita prefecture government is planning to boost the number of foreigner-friendly restaurants, as it gears up to welcome the Rugby World Cup matches in 2019.

The Rugby World Cup 2019 matches, including the quarter-finals, are scheduled to take place in Oita prefecture.

“We expect more foreign visitors stay here for some time to watch five rugby matches,” said a local government official.

“If we can grab their stomachs with our local produce, they will become good PR persons for us to boost inbound tourist arrivals and help the local economy,” he added.

The Oita prefecture government has started receiving applications from local restaurants and plans to give certification to 20 restaurants this year.

The local government’s standard for foreigner-friendly restaurants has four categories.

They include: those that offer dishes using local produce such as Bungo beef of Oita, shiitake mushrooms and local fish; those with menus written in English with photos; those that accept credit cards; and those with free Wi-Fi spots.

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