Japan: There's an app for that

by Jemma King
Japan Travel

Japan is a very organized country. Everything happens for a reason and at a certain time. To help make sense of the public transport system, news, food, language and stay safe, there are a number of applications you can download. The following list are things that I have used during my time in Japan that have helped to make sense of this amazingly organized country.

1. Navitime
A comprehensive train transport directory for Japan with real time updates. I have found it to be slightly more reliable than Google Maps. If you have a Rail Pass you can also select to use JR line trains and buses included in the pass.

2. MapsWithMe
Offline version of Google maps. Fantastic when you do not have access to wi-fi or you have ran out of data. You can download maps of Japan before you leave home so will always know where you are.

3. Yomiwa
This is a translation application. It is fantastic for supermarket trips, road signs, menus or any time you need to read something in Japanese. It is an offline application so you simply need to take a photo of the writing and wait for the translation to come through.

4. GuruNavi
A database of food and drink locations across Japan. You can search by area or type of cuisine and has worked in some rather rural regions of Japan.

5. Line
The Japanese equivalent or WhatsApp or Messenger. It provides free video / voice calls and texts by using data so you do not need a Japanese phone number. If you stay at an Airbnb in Japan, the hosts will generally have this application to be able to communicate with you quickly. You can also add cute Japanese stickers to your messengers and photos.

6. QR Translator
Japanese information signs at railway stations, airports or museums on occasion have a QRT code. You can simply scan this with the application and provide you with the information in your designated language.

7. Yurekuru Call
Up-to-date information on early warning for earthquakes, tremors and tsunamis. You can update the application with you location and it will then send you warnings in real time.

8. NHK World
Up-to-date news and events from Japan and Asia in English. It is a great resource for general updates about the country as well as upcoming festivals or events in Japan.

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