"Food Pictograms" at All Narita Airport Restaurants for Visitors with Restricted Diets

The food pictograms are introduced at Narita International Airport.

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Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo introduced universal "pictograms" on July 1 to indicate the ingredients used in the food served at the airport's restaurants.

Pictograms are visual symbols that directly express information about objects, services and the like with pictures instead of written characters. They are used in public spaces such as mass transit systems, commercial complexes and sports facilities where a wide diversity of people come and go. Typical examples include exit door signs and no smoking signs. Because the symbols overcome linguistic barriers, pictograms are widely used by airports around the world to provide information on subjects like departures and arrivals.

The new "food pictograms" at Narita Airport show the ingredients in the food appearing on each restaurant's menu. The fourteen pictograms are for beef, pork, chicken, mutton, fish, shellfish, alcohol, crab, shrimp, eggs, wheat, soba (buckwheat noodles), milk and peanuts.

According to an airport publicist, Narita has considerately introduced the food ingredients so that people with restricted diets, such as food allergy sufferers and followers of certain religions and doctrines, can enjoy a worry-free dining experience at the airport's restaurants. The publicist added that the labels will be gradually placed at all airport restaurants.

Food pictograms were first introduced at a Japanese airport in 2012 in the restaurant area at Kansai International Airport in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture. The use of food pictograms is expected to spread at Japanese airports as the population of foreign visitors to Japan grows and diversifies, due in part to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.