FY2023 Interpreter Guide Training Seminar in Fukui Prefecture

I participated in the Interpreter Guide Training Seminar organized by the Fukui District Promotion Council of the Hokuriku International Tourism Theme Area. Five members from FTGA participated in the Seminar. The theme of this fiscal year is “Reinan”.

Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum, Rainbow Line Mountain Peak Park, Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum, and the Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse, where we learned about the hospitality techniques and perspectives that foreign tourists expect from interpreter guides from experienced interpreter guides.

At Miketsukuni Wakasa Obama Food Culture Museum, we first experienced sharpening Wakasa lacquer chopsticks.
I see that the distinctive patterns created by applying more than a dozen layers of colorful lacquer while using natural materials such as “eggshells” and “abalone shells”.

Then, we were explained from the museum’s curator on the first floor about food culture museum’s exhibits.
I learned new knowledge that I didn’t know before.

The lunch after the Food Culture Museum was a seafood meal while overlooking the sea. Delicious!

After that, we went to the Rainbow Line Mountain Peak Park.
It was a cold and snowy day, but when the bus arrived at the mountain peak park, the sky momentarily cleared up. We’re lucky.

At the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum, we learned about the “Visas for Life” by Chiune Sugihara.
Due to time constraints, we couldn’t spend much time there, but this time, we received explanations from a local guide focusing on the three Japanese people who inherited the “Visas for Life“:

Saburo Nei, who protested to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vladivostok and protected the “Visas for Life” issued by Chiune, sending Jewish refugees to Tsuruga Port.
Setsuzo Kotsuji, who risked his life in Kobe, pleading for an extension of visas until the destination for Jewish refugees were determined, thus saving every lives.
Yosuke Matsuoka, the unexpected third person, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He repeatedly instructed Chiune Sugihara to adhere to the visa issuance conditions and was the main figure behind the alliance with Hitler’s Germany.
I learned a different side of him, not as a minister but as a friend supporting Setsuzo Kotsuji‘s actions.

Finally, at the Tsuruga Red Brick Warehouse, we watched two movie clips in the diorama.
Only after visiting the museum, there was something we felt when watching these videos.

During the bus ride, the veteran interpreter guide instructor from Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture taught us how to expand the conversation during the bus ride to and from the destination.
We tend to want to talk about what we know, but what we want to talk about and what each guest wants to hear are very different things.
Interpreter guides must provide high-quality service and avoid self-satisfaction in their guidance and explanations, always considering the guest’s reactions.
I thought it was wonderful that even veterans are still humbly striving to learn more.

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