Return to Top

Skip to main content

Japan Tourism Agency
Japan Tourism Agency > Information on National Examinations
main content

Information on National Examinations

Print Page

Last Update : 2017/2/7

To Become a Tour Guide-Interpreter

A Tour Guide-Interpreter can accompany international visitors and provide them with travel guide services using a foreign language for remuneration. To become a Tour Guide-Interpreter, you must pass a national examination (administered by the JNTO) and register with a prefectural government.

The Tour Guide-Interpreter Examination

1.Examination Subjects
(1) Foreign language
Your choice of one language from among English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Korean or Thai (From 2016, one foreign language can be exempted and if you wish, you may take another foreign language or, if two foreign language subjects are exempted, you can try a two-language application
(2) Japanese geography
(3) Japanese history
(4)General knowledge of industry, economics, politics and culture

2. Examination Qualifications
There are no age, gender, academic or other restrictions.
 
3. Test contents
Written exam (first exam): Foreign language, Japanese geography, Japanese history, general knowledge
Oral exam (secondary exam): practical test of tour guide-interpreter skills (tests practical ability to guide, interpret and communicate in the foreign language selected in the written exam)
 
4. Examination Dates
First-round examination: mid to late August  
Second-round examination: early to mid-December
 
5. Examination Locations
First-round examination: 
     ・Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Naha, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei
Second-round examination: 
     ・English/Chinese/Korean: Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka
     ・Other Languages: Tokyo
     ※Candidates who took the English, Chinese and Korean written exams in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka  must take the oral exam in the same area they took the written exam.

6. Fees
11,700 yen
  ※ If taking two languages: 23,400 yen

7. Exemptions
(1) If using other qualifications:
Applicable Exemption Exempt Subject
National Examination for Certified Travel Supervisors, passed Japanese geography written exam
Test in Practical English Proficiency (Eiken), Grade 1 English written exam
TOEIC Listening and Reading test:  over 840 points
TOEIC Speaking Test:  over 150 points
TOEIC Writing Test:   over 160 points
 
English written exam
Test in Practical French Proficiency, Grade 1 French written exam
Test in German Proficiency, Grade 1 German written exam
Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi Test (HSK), level 6, over 180 points
(formally HSK Advanced Examination level 9 or higher)
Test in Chinese Proficiency, Grade 1
 
Chinese written exam
Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK), passed level 6
“Hangul” Proficiency Test, Grade 1
Korean written exam
Geography Aptitude Test, Japanese Geography, Grade 1 or 2
the geography aptitude test has not been held since 2013
Japanese geography written exam
History Aptitude Test, Japanese History, passed Grade 1 or 2 Japanese history written exam
University Entrance Examination (Center Exam)
Japanese History B, over 60 points
Japanese history written exam
University Entrance Examination (Center Exam),
Modern Society, over 80 points
General knowledge written exam
 
(2) If using qualifications other than those listed above:
Applicable Exemption Exempt Subject
Applicants who have already passed one or more parts of the written exam The written exam of the following year in the same subject is exempt.
Applicants who have already passed the written exam When taking the exam for another foreign language, the written exam sections other than foreign language are exempt.
Applicants who have already passed the Region-Specific Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam When taking the Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam in the same foreign language, the foreign language section of the written exam is exempt.
Applicants who have already passed the foreign language written examination of the Region-Specific Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam The written exam for the same foreign language of the following year's Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam is exempt.
※Applicants who have passed the foreign language section of the Region-Specific Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam are also exempt from the written section for the same foreign language for the following year's Region-Specific Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam.
 
(The above contents may be subject to change, so please be sure to contact the JNTO for the latest information)

8. Inquiries:
The Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO)
International Tourism Promotion, Inbound Strategy Department
Acceptance Response Group, Tour Guide-Interpreter Exam section
Address: Yotsuya International Building 3-4th fl. / General Reception, 1st fl.
4-4-1 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004
Phone. 03-6691-0940
For further details, please see the agency’s website:
http://www.jnto.go.jp/jpn/projects/visitor_support/interpreter_guide_exams/ (Japanese only)

How to Become a Certified Travel Supervisor

What is a Certified Travel Supervisor?

According to the Travel Agency Act, tour operators and travel agents must appoint a certified travel supervisor with certain qualifications for each business office and that person has to manage and supervise work, such as explaining the terms and conditions of travel. In order to become a Certified Travel Supervisor, you must meet certain qualifications and pass a national exam (the Certified Travel Supervisor Exam).

What Does a Certified Travel Supervisor Do?

The responsibilities of the Certified Travel Supervisor, defined by the relevant laws and regulations, are administrative affairs concerning the management and supervision of the following operations:

1. Matters concerning the preparation of travel plans
2. Matters concerning the posting of fees for handling travel-related business
3. Matters concerning the posting and maintaining of travel agreements
4. Items related to transaction terms
5. Matters concerning the delivery of the contract documents
6. Matters concerning the advertising of travel plans
7. Matters concerning measures for the smooth implementation of travel plans, such as the reliable provision of services like transportation
8. Matters concerning the handling of complaints concerning travel
9. Matters concerning the maintenance of a clear record of the date of contract conclusion, the other party concerned in the contract, the contents of the contract and the storage of related documents
10. Matters specified by the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency as necessary to ensure
fairness of transaction, safety of travel and convenience for travelers

The Certified Travel Supervisor Exam

There are two types of travel supervisor exams: the Comprehensive Certified Travel Supervisor Exam and the Domestic Certified Travel Supervisor Exam. Both exams are administered by the travel industry association.

Types of Certified Travel Supervisor

The necessary travel supervisor exams differ depending on the type of travel business dealt with by the business office. For example, for sales offices dealing with overseas travel, the supervisor is required to have passed the Comprehensive Certified Travel Supervisor Exam. For sales that only deal with domestic travel, the supervisor is required to have passed the Domestic Certified Travel Supervisor exam.

National Exam Dates

  General Certified Travel Supervisor Exam Domestic Certified Travel Supervisor Exam
Test Administration: JNTO ANTA
Exam guidance announcement: early July mid-June
Application Period: early August mid-July
Examination Date: early October early September
Results: late November early November
Exam Subjects: (1) Travel Industry Law and Related Laws
(2) Travel agreement terms and conditions
(3) Domestic travel practice
(4) Overseas Travel Practice
(1) Travel Industry Law and Related Laws
(2) Travel agreement terms and conditions
(3) Domestic travel practice
Exam Locations: About 9 locations around Japan About 12 locations around Japan
Fees: 6,500 yen 5,800 yen
Caution: Exam dates change every year. Please contact the appropriate agency for updated details.

Exam Subject Exemptions

Participants who pass the Domestic Certified Travel Supervisor Exam will be exempted from some of the exam sections when taking the Comprehensive Certified Travel Supervisor Exam. Also, if someone involved in the travel industry completes training conducted by the Japan Association of travel Agents (JATA), some subjects will be exempted
 
There may be other cases where you could be exempt from some subjects, so please check with the JATA.

Test Administration

The Japan Association of Travel Agencies (JATA) and the All Nippon Travel Agents Association administer the exams on behalf of the JTA.
 
The Comprehensive Certified Travel Supervisor Exam:
Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA)
3-3-3 Kasumigaseki, All Nippon Express Kasumigaseki Building
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-9913
Phone:    03-3592-1277
Website: http://www.jata-net.or.jp/seminar/exam/guide/exam.html (Japanese only)
 
The Domestic Certified Travel Supervisor Exam:
All Nippon Travel Agents Association (ANTA)
4-1-20 Toranomon, Tanaka-yama Building 
Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001
Phone:    03-5401-3666
Website: http://www.anta.or.jp/exam/index.html (Japanese only)