Preparing to come to Japan is difficult, especially when it comes to technology, but EnableJapan.com has you covered! We know which Japan travel apps you need to make your trip convenient.
Sure, it’s easy to look at our wonderful website and imagine yourself coming to Japan and seeing all of the great things that Tokyo has to offer. But once you get here, you may find that navigating the city streets in person is a little tougher. And who are you going to ask for help?
If you haven’t already, have a look at our Guide to Getting Wifi and Phone Services in Tokyo. Got it? Good! Now that you have a phone and wi-fi, finding your way around Japan will be that much easier!
Here is our list of the top apps you should download on your smartphone before visiting Japan. These apps will help you deal with transportation, communication, and other traveling conundrums. Once you get here, we promise you won’t regret it!
Top Japan Travel Apps: NAVITIME for Japan Travel
NAVITIME for Japan Travel is one of the top Japan travel apps for English-speaking travelers in Japan. They have articles to help you through different traveling obstacles, like getting to and from airports and how to rent cars in Japan. They also have a route section of the app to help you navigate trains, buses, and streets. Japan Travel also has a section to help you find free Wi-Fi, currency exchanges, ATMs, train stations, and other tourist information nearby. Even longtime residents use this app to help them find their way around on the trains when they are going someplace new.
Beyond the fact that all of our articles use it to get you where you want to go, I can tell you from first-hand experience that Google Maps is a lifesaver while traveling in Japan. While many other map applications won’t recognize Japanese addresses, Google Maps will sort it out and get you exactly where you need to go. They will give you directions by car, train, bus, walking, or Uber, and give the exact amount of time it takes to get there. They will also give the amount of money each route will cost, train schedules, and delays if there are any.
When you don’t speak Japanese, it can be hard to call a cab.And even if you get one, how do you explain where you are going and what you are doing? The drivers know major hotels and restaurants, but you’re going to have a problem if you want to do anything else.
Lucky for you, we have an article specifically about getting taxis (and Uber) in Tokyo and beyond. Download them and you will never have to worry about partying past train operating hours again!
Google Translate [offline]
If you don’t know Japanese, having a translation app is extremely helpful. Although traditional Google Translate requires cellular data or Wi-Fi, it can be used offline if you download the Japanese translation files. This way you can communicate with people around you even if you don’t have cellular data or Wi-Fi. To download the offline component of the app, first download Google Translate. Then go to Settings –> Offline Translation, and click “Upgrade” next to Japanese.
If you are using data or Wi-Fi, you can take pictures (signs, menus, or other Japanese text), speak into the microphone, write on the screen, etc. and the app will translate it all for you. Do note that due to the differences between Japanese and English in regards to grammar, idioms, etc. you aren’t going to sound smooth (the translation in the picture is not great). But you will be understandable.
Japan Connected – Free Wi-Fi
Japan is really good about having free Wi-Fi in restaurants and train stations, and this app is here to make it easier for you to get connected! It is especially helpful in case you are here short-term or are on a budget and don’t want to purchase a prepaid cell phone or international data. The app (which has over 146,000 spots in its memory banks) will search for free Wi-Fi in the area and notify you.
So there you have it! There are plenty of Japan travel apps that will make your Tokyo experience easy and convenient! Good luck, and happy traveling!
Did we miss a really good travel app? Send us an email and let us know!