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Unique hotels popping up in Osaka tourist hot spots

Jiji Press OSAKA (Jiji Press) — Unique hotels are appearing one after another in Osaka Prefecture, which is seeing an increase in the number of foreign visitors.

Hotel operators in the prefecture aim to attract visitors from abroad with distinctive features, as more and more foreigners look forward to experience-based activities in Japan.

“To upgrade Osaka to one of the best tourist spots in the world ahead of the 2025 World Expo, it’s important for the local communities to have hotels with added value,” said Hiroshi Mizohata, a senior official of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau. The expo will be held on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay.

This month, major travel agency H.I.S. Co. opened “Henn na Hotel,” or strange hotel, in the Shinsaibashi downtown district in Osaka city. It is the first such hotel in the Kansai region and 11th in the country.

Two dinosaur-type robots greet guests at the reception of the hotel, and 19 “RoBoHoN” communication robots, developed by Sharp Corp., perform a dance every hour.

“I want our guests to enjoy the hotel itself,” said Koji Kodakamine, a board director of H.I.S. Hotel Holdings Co.

In September last year, Sekai Hotel Fuse opened in a renovated women’s clothing shop on a traditional shopping street in Higashi- osaka.

The community-oriented hotel issues a discount pass that its guests can use at shops on the shopping street.

Guests also have a chance to experience everyday life in Osaka by interacting with locals at restaurants serving okonomiyaki pancakes, a signature food in Osaka.

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