Two years to go before the Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics: Limited-Time Concept Cafe Where Everyone Can Connect!
Experience new form of communication using digital technologies with staff who cannot hear
“Miru Cafe” to open in Harajuku, Tokyo from Wednesday, November 15 to Sunday, November 26!
The Deaflympics, an international sports competition for deaf athletes, will be held for the first time in Tokyo, Japan from November 15 to 26, 2025 in two years time.
At a Harajuku cafe popular with young people, we will use this time coinciding with the period two years before the Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics are held to open the concept cafe “Miru Cafe” for a limited time from Wednesday, November 15 to Sunday, November 26. It will use digital technologies to make language “visible” and allow everyone to connect regardless of whether or not they can hear.
■ Period: From Wednesday, November 15 to Sunday, November 26, 2023
■ Opening Hours: 11:00 to 20:00
■ Location: ECO FARM CAFE 632
Piazza Annex 1F, 6-32-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-0001
About “Miru Cafe”
Using technologies that changes different forms of language such as voice into words and makes them “visible,” Miru Cafe is a concept cafe that aims to create an environment in which everyone can communicate comfortably regardless of whether or not they can hear, and to promote understanding of an inclusive society through the experience. In the cafe, you can use digital technologies from entering the shop to ordering, interactions with the staff, and paying the bill, and you can smoothly communicate with staff with hearing impairments (staff who cannot hear).
You can communicate with shop staff including those who cannot hear using digital technologies that can display the contents entered by voice or keyboard on a transparent screen, convert voice to text on a smartphone or tablet, display handwritten characters, and convert sign language to text.
In addition, the shop will exhibit pop art with sign language motifs based on the concept of “TALKING HANDS” by KADO Hidehiko*, show past Deaflympics videos, place a tactile deaf emblem monument, and display sign language picture books. The exhibition will provide a variety of information to help people experience the world of the deaf.
* KADO Hidehiko: Born to deaf parents, he began drawing from a young age to express feelings that could not be fully conveyed through spoken or sign language. He has created many sign language art pieces with sign language motifs, and has been involved in a wide range of activities such as animation, confectionery packaging, interior art for restaurants, and hotel room decor.
For more information, see the interview here:
Main Digital Technologies at Cafe
|■ KIKI, sign language CG avatar||■ Speech Translation Display(TOPPAN Inc. / Pixie Dust Technologies, Inc. / KONICA MINOLTA JAPAN, INC.)|
A photo-realistic sign language CG avatar, delivering messages in sign language to visitors. Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics Support Ambassador.
Enable face-to-face communication by displaying content input by voice or keyboard on a transparent screen. It can also handle multilingual translations.
|■ Koetora SpeechCanvas (FEAT Limited)||■ SureTalk
(The University of Electro-Communications / SoftBank Corp.)
In addition to converting audio into text on your smartphone or tablet, it can also display handwritten characters.
Interactive communication system using sign language and voice.
|■ Ontenna (Fujitsu Limited)||■ Hapbeat (Hapbeat LLC.)|
This device that you wear on your hair, earlobes, collars, sleeve openings, etc. allows you to feel the characteristics of sound through vibrations and light.
This device transforms sounds such as sounds from competitions and spectator cheers into vibrations, and allows the body to feel the direction, intensity, and rhythm of sounds.
|■ FEEL TECH® -Sharing Haptics-（NTT DOCOMO, INC. NTT Social Informatics Laboratories）|
Haptic sharing technology allows users to use remote tables to transmit vibrations to each other.
Come and “see” for yourself.
We look forward to seeing you there!
TOKYO FORWARD 2025 Official Instagram