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Familiar Words for Travelers to Tokyo

October 14, 1990| Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports

English-speaking visitors to Tokyo can obtain help in finding information on accommodations, transportation and shopping at a new information booth opened recently at Shinjuku railway station by the Japanese National Tourist Organization.

Also new in Japan is an English news service that is available in Tokyo by dialing 0990-32-0202. Provided by NHK Radio, the 15-minute bulletins are updated every two hours. The cost to those calling is about 10 cents per minute.

Quick Fact: There are nearly 3,000 uninhabited islands in the Bahamas.

Card File: Visitors to Madrid can now join the Spanish custom of exchanging calling cards even if they arrive in the city without them.

Machines recently installed in Madrid's subway stations print visiting cards in less than 15 minutes. All that needs to be done is to select the typeface and style from among a dozen choices and input the information on a keyboard.

The cost is about $3.50 for either 30 small cards or 15 larger ones.

Early Warning: In an effort to improve air safety, Great Britain is planning to spend almost $2 billion on equipment aimed at detecting possible midair collisions before they occur.

Current systems provide only a five-minute warning, but the new system will increase that time to 20 minutes, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Bulgarian Link: Greece and Bulgaria have established a new train link between Thessaloniki and Sofia. The twice-a-week service is an overnight journey, and plans call for the route to be extended into the Soviet Union in the future.

Back From the Future: If the majority of clock-watchers in Europe get their way, summertime might become a thing of the past.

According to a survey conducted within the European Community, a majority of residents, especially those in Belgium, Spain and France, would prefer that clocks not be moved forward one hour between March and September.

Summertime, which was introduced to save energy by prolonging the hours of daylight at the end of the day, has been practiced by all European countries since the oil crisis of the mid-1970s.

Travel Quiz: What is the geographic center of the North American continent?

Le Mickey: The $8-billion Euro Disney project about 23 miles east of Paris began a recruitment drive this summer for its cast of characters, that is to say, employees.

The drive has not been without its mishaps, however. In advertising for "costume designers" when it meant uniform designers, Euro Disney prompted a flood of applications from people who thought they'd be dressing Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc., instead of those who sweep the park, sell the food, collect the tickets and so on. The theme park, one-fifth the size of Paris itself, is scheduled to open in 1992.

Room at the Top, Side, Bottom, Everywhere: The Excalibur Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas has been recognized as the world's largest by the Guinness Book of Records. The hotel, which opened in June, has 4,032 rooms.

The Sky Channel: The 740-room Kowloon Hotel in Hong Kong has come up with a novel service for its guests: in-room airline arrival and departure information that is available simply by turning on the television. Guests can check their own flight arrangements out of Hong Kong International Airport or check on the status of arriving flights. The up-to-the-minute data is transmitted to the hotel by the airport.

Quick Fact: Ten million Japanese traveled overseas in 1989, compared to 3 million foreigners who visited Japan.

Quiz Answer: Rugby, N.D.

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