Students in Kawagoe prepare to take foreign tourists on tours

High school students in the Japanese city of Kawagoe, near Tokyo, are training to serve as English-speaking guides, ahead of the return of foreign tourists to Japan on Friday.

Thirty-five members of Hoshino High School's international culture club practiced leading people on a tour of the scenic town on Tuesday.

Kawagoe is popular among foreigners, as its streets are lined with historic warehouse-style buildings. More than 300,000 people visited the city in 2019.

A couple of experienced local guides taught the pupils how to talk about the city's monuments in English.

In front of the town's iconic Bell Tower, the guide explained the tower's history. People reportedly rebuilt the structure after it was damaged by a massive fire in 1893. They are said to have rebuilt the tower before they repaired their own houses. The teenagers took notes while the guide spoke.

For the first time in three years, pupils from the school will start serving as guides again later this year.

A senior student said she wants to be kind to the foreign tourists and explain the history of Kawagoe in her own words.