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Embracing Technology & The Virtual History of Kyoto.

We've all seen the wooden boards at numerous locations of historical or cultural interest in Kyoto (and other places), describing in Japanese the history and notable events along with a translation in English underneath (most of the time). But now Kyoto, and I have no doubt that other places are taking this directions also, is beginning to have Q codes on alot of these wooden information boards. Using a smart phone you can then pull up information in numerous languages and also have text to speech. Below is a screen shot of what you can expect to see after scanning the Q Code at Gojo Bridge, Kyoto.

Pictured below right is one such wooden information board showing the Japanese text, English translation underneath and the Q code plus instructions at the bottom left of the board.

But now I have noticed that another level in the concept of using technology to give visitors a better taste of the past is being used in a number of locations in Kyoto. Virtual Reality!

By scanning these particular Q codes you can hold up your smart phone and on the screen a moving image of the past will appear to show how it used to look at a particular point in history.

One such site is Sanjukkoku-bune boat on the Keage Incline. This old railway line route has a replica boat on a carriage. The boats used to carry commodities such as rice, charcoal, soy sauce, and sake between Kyoto and Shiga during the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa Era's. Because of water level differences they were moved by carriage along this part of the route. Pictured below is the route as it is today.

Pictured below the screen shot of the virtual reality video on the smart screen showing the location in the past.

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