Top 11 Indispensable Apps for Surviving in Japan

by Celia Jenkins 6,388 views0

Despite being one of the world’s most visited countries, Japan can nonetheless be a daunting experience for even the most rugged world travelers. The right combination of apps can make living in Japan easier and more enjoyable, whether you’re in town for a visit or a long-term stay.

Whether it’s the quickest route to a fun tourist spot, recommendations for somewhere to grab a bite, or a specific souvenir’s whereabouts, the following apps will help you find what you’re looking for.

11. Hyperdia


Hyperdia offers comprehensive Japan railway and air transportation timetables—users can find the quickest route specific to their travel plans. This app is a must-have for anyone with a Japan Rail Pass or similar travel pass.

10. Safety Tips


This app could be a literal life saver for travelers in Japan—Safety Tips sends an alarm to your device in the event of an earthquake, typhoon, or tsunami.

9. Gurunavi


Gurunavi is a Tokyo and Osaka restaurant guide app. Users can search for nearby eateries by budget, preferred opening hours, and cuisine type—as well as whether or not there are English menus and/or English-speaking staff.

8. Yomiwa Japanese Dictionary and Translator


No Japanese language skills? Not a problem. Just use this app and take a picture of the characters to have them instantly translated for you—or have a go at drawing the kanji yourself for a quick translation.

7. Tokyo Subway Navigation


The Tokyo subway system is clean, efficient—and a rabbit warren you’ll almost certainly get lost in. This app will get you going in the proper direction with minimal effort.

6. Japan Shopping Navi


As its name implies, Japan Shopping Navi features shopping information and updates in Japan—the app contains sales and event information from over 700 stores. Gifts, souvenirs, general shopping information/guides are readily accessible.

5. Japan Taxi


If you’re in any of the 47 prefectures covered by this app, finding a ride is only a few taps away. The app allows users to calculate fares as well as contact local taxi companies.

4. Learn Japanese Phrasebook


In most cases, knowing even a handful of go-to phrases can make a world of a difference—this app allows users to search through a database of common Japanese phrases for communicating with locals in Japan.

3. Tabimori


Looking for one streamlined app for all your needs during your trip to Japan? Tabimori covers most everything you’d need– weather, travel, culture, common phrases, and more.



TRAVEL JAPAN Wi-Fi is a free Wi-Fi connection app for visitors to Japan. Users can enjoy free access from a variety of locations, as well as recommendations and special discounts/coupons.

1. Tokyo Handy Guide


The Tokyo Handy Guide App contains everything needed for exploring the nation’s sprawling capital. Notable features include city maps and transportation guides available both online and off, to the “spot nearby” function for finding sightseeing locations in the vicinity. The free app is available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean.

With this list of 11 indispensable apps, you’re all set for a more well-informed and pleasant journey to this amazing country. If visiting Japan is on your bucket list, be sure to try them out before and during your stay.



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