Without these 15 apps for travel in Japan, your trip would not be hassle-free, would be unsafe, and would not flow perfectly according to the plans. Making your travel experience a memorable one, why not give these apps a try.
This article provides you the list of 15 user-friendly apps for travel in Japan that will help you in so many ways. But first, let’s know the several reasons why these apps are worth having. Keep on reading.
Why Are Travel Apps Important Today?
Complicated and Challenging Geography
Big buildings, wide streets, means of transportation, and a large crowd may confuse you while in the metropolis city of Japan like Tokyo. Not only that, most large cities in the country rely on train stations that are very big to understand. On this problem, you must have a map that does not take time to understand and navigate. And navigation apps will be reliable here.
A traveler to Japan must know that the Japanese language in terms of writings and talking to locals is very challenging. Most signages and directions are in Kanji. Also, you need to speak to store owners, cashiers, and even locals to know many things.
Isn’t it better if you have apps that will translate Nihongo for you, will teach you Japanese phrases and will communicate to Japanese people for you? Good thing is that there are many language apps for you and it is free!
Easy to Locate Foods and Accommodation
It is a memorable opportunity to familiarize and try the foods and delicacies in Japan. Isn’t it also nice that you can instantly check-in to restaurants and hotels just by clicking on your mobile phone? Now, there are hotels and food apps proven to be useful while traveling in Japan.
Discover Japan’s beauty through foods and sceneries by installing these precious apps exclusive for you.
Free Internet Connection
Having a data connection is good especially if you are in your country. But how about while traveling in Japan? If you have what it takes to buy sim cards or pocket wifi, that is also good.
Indulging with freebies like free Wi-Fi that has the fastest connection is better. In Japan, there are apps that let you connect wifi hotspots automatically in train stations and malls.
Cashless Payment is Better
Paying for goods is a must. If you prefer cash, you must convert your local money to yen. If you prefer cashless payment, you can also pay through your phone and card. And that is way possible with our apps accessible with android and ios.
Japan is known because of the big and terrifying earthquakes in the country. There are unexpected events and accidents and you need to know where the hospitals are located. Also, in these pandemic times, you must be worried about the protocols against the covid19.
Don’t set aside your safety. There are apps for your safety while traveling in Japan.
Updated on Everything
Emergency or not, you need to communicate with your family and friends. You may resort to social media apps to connect to your relatives. Plus, being updated in local Japanese news and world news is an initiative.
You may need to install apps like LINE while enjoying your trip to the land of the rising sun.
With no delays, we present to you the best-picked apps for travel in Japan.
15 Apps For Travel in Japan You Should Have
Topping the list, Hyperdia is a Japanese app which is available in English, Chinese, and Japanese language. As a commuter and a tourist, a feature is available wherein you can choose your starting point station and your arrival station. It will display the time of travel( starting time and arrival time).
- Special search filter which lets you filter search results by selecting your train preferences. By clicking the “More Options” button, you can customize the search. Tip: Deselect Nozomi and
- Mizuho trains for more accurate results.
- After specifying your route, click Search and Hyperdia will show you the departing hour, your departure and arrival, track number, the name of your train, how much it will cost (Japan Rail
- Pass holders ride all JR trains for free), additional information on maps, hotels, restaurants and rent-a-car services in the are, how long will the journey take, how many transfers you will have (if 0, it is still shown), and the total distance in kilometers.
Download links: Android
Hyperdia by Voice
This app is only available to iPhone users. This will let the user navigate train stations by using voice recognition. Just speak to start your queries and the app will automatically provide the information on your travel by train.
Download links: ios
This app for travel is also popular because of its detailed information on cities like Tokyo. This app generates data for you like:
- Door-to-door route search
- Voice navigation
- New offline search for free
- WiFi spots
- A train stop list that will help you confirm you are headed in the correct direction
- Train delay information
- Recent routes saved for offline searches
Google Maps is an essential app for travel in Japan. Why? This app is proven to be one of the best as time goes by.
As far as everyone know, this is one of the oldest navigation apps that will guide you to routes in any registered city, town, village, and many places in Japan.
Many travelers approve of this app when commuting through train stations. Train stations in Japan are complicated for first-timers, and the detailed information from Google Maps is the answer.
From clicking “Details“, you will see the names of the train you can ride going to your destination. You will also see the time of the departure and arrival of the trains in your nearest station. The minutes that will take you to your destination will be displayed as well as the cost or transportation fee.
You can also see nearby parks, restaurants, and other buildings.
Planning to go to the Metropolis? This app will help you navigate through the complex city, either online or offline. Nice, right? However, as the name suggests, this app focuses on Tokyo only.
But then again, because it focuses on one city, it performs well when giving the best routes on any stations, to any major landmarks, hotels, and any place in Tokyo.
The app will display information like trip time, fare, and the exit. That is a pretty good idea especially in Shibuya, where the majority of people meet that you will get lost if not familiar.
This will also display if Wi-Fi nearby is available. That’s a lot of advantages despite being usable offline.
It is really a struggle when you are in a place wherein your local language is rarely used. In this case, Google Translate is proven useful especially on emergencies like asking directions and explaining to officers like police and train guards. You can translate instantly by typing what you want to say then just show the translated words to the person you are talking to, or just state the Nihongo translated words.
In shopping, you can use the camera mode(Japanese translator app camera) by focusing your phone camera on the texts and the translation will be displayed instantly. Very easy, right?
Even though this app is not really accurate all the time, the good thing is the translation is still understandable. Just use simple English when translating to get the main point.
Plus, no ads will be displayed. You will also love this app when traveling in Japan.
Before coming to Japan, it is advisable to learn some Japanese.
This way, you can still understand even the slightest touch of the language. Train stations mostly have announcements. It is funny because if you can’t comprehend what they are trying to say, one thing or another is that you don’t really know what is happening and you will be left behind.
Experience conversing with locals for this is really memorable while traveling in Japan. For better help, try installing Imiwa. This app is like a dictionary that will translate English, German, French, even Russian to Japanese.
When searching you can write by inputting katakana, hiragana, kanji, and even romaji. Very cool, indeed. Words are even used in sample sentences(polite form and neutral form) for you to give a shot. This app also features the kanji section that will teach you several meanings from one kanji.
Download links: Apple
Eating is part of the journey in Japan. By clicking GuruNavi, you can find restaurants in any prefecture like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. So far, this is the best food app in Japan.
From your place, you can find restaurants that will offer cuisines like:
- Yakiniku (BBQ)
- Izakaya (Typical Japanese pub)
- Dining bars/beer halls
Useful filters you can indulge are:
- Places with English-speaking staff
- All you can eat/drink offers
- Places with free Wi-Fi access
- Non-smoking restaurants
Download links: Android
If you love reading manga while learning about Japan, Ms. Green will help you. Ms. Green is a guide app developed by JTB Corp.
The service of the app is through the manga’s story, Ms. Green is like a tourist guide in any destination in Japan that will help troubled tourists and foreigners in things like Japanese washlets, train etiquettes, etc. You will really learn alongside the story.
The app also features reservations of tours and hotels that will redirect to the JTB’s booking site, Japanican. Plus, giveaways and gift certificates are waiting for you as a user.
Download Links: Android
Ever heard of Japanese food encyclopedia? That is the app for travel in Japan, Table blog. The app is in Japanese but still, you can use it at its fullest when you have Google Translate as its partner. The app will display photos, reviews, and rating systems.
Here are the rules from the app. If the rating of the food is 3.5 stars, that means decent. If 4 stars above, that means great. And if it is 4.5 and above, the food is rare and exceptionally delicious.
The reviews will play big so try to translate them using the Google Translate app.
Do you want to try cashless payment and experience not bringing too many cards? In most cases, Suica or Waon cards are prepaid cards that can be linked to your Google Pay and Apple Pay. These cards can be used to pay for your purchases in chain stores in Japan and even on train station fares.
In that manner, you can now use your mobile phone to pay for the goods you purchase and in transportation just by tapping or hovering.
However, it is also a good call to bring some cash with you because some establishments do not support this system yet. Don’t rely too much on cashless payment!
As mentioned earlier, Japan is known for big earthquakes. So it is very important to secure your safety while traveling in Japan. The app will notify you ahead of time for earthquake warnings, the epicenter, and the strength.
By setting your location, you will then be notified of the updates from your area.
This is English-supported and offers earthquake drills you will be glad to join. Just open your GPS or locations on your phone because this app works offline.
Even while travelling in Japan, you can still be updated on news. This app which is also English-supported,will notify you of train closures, and useful weather and disaster news during tsunami season. Very safe!
Download Link: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/app/
This navigation app is widely used offline. You just need to download the map of a certain city and you can start navigating. Just open your GPS to use the app at it’s best.
If you want to remember the places you want to go to and the place you went to, just bookmark them and you are good to go. Use this feature to reminisce the moment when you set foot on each place you bookmarked.
The advantages of the app are: has very rich offline capabilities, bookmarking features, semi-detailed mapping, and tracks GPS location as you would expect.
In this pandemic time, the Japanese government launched an App that will guide you away from COVID19 infected persons.
How does this app work?
“The smartphone app called COCOA records contact when someone else with the app installed stays within a distance of one meter (about 3.3 feet) for 15 minutes or more. If a person’s infection is confirmed on the app, all of that individual’s recorded contacts will be notified. “
Through Bluetooth, COCOA is enabled short-distance wireless communication without sharing personal information. Contacts will be automatically deleted after 14 days. This app is free.
Download Link: Android
Tip: “If you misplace your Apple device, you can use “Find my Iphone” app to locate your lost Apple device. Just log in to any device with your Icloud account. This is an uplifting thing to know in Japan despite being a peaceful country.”
Nowadays, your phone is your travel-to-Japan companion. By installing these apps for travel in Japan, you can get to experience a very hassle-free trip. You can also use this if you are working in Japan as a foreigner.
You can navigate without having to use a real map, you can speak without having to learn every Japanese word, you can instantly check-in to restaurants and hotels and you can travel safely through safety apps.
Use this wisely and have a safe and memorable Japan adventure with your family and friends.
FAIR Japan provides useful information about Japan.