GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!
GoWithGuide
GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

10 Useful Apps while traveling in Japan (2020)

Mieke A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Mieke A.

Last updated : Nov 21, 202210 min read

Travel Tips

Don’t understand Japanese, but still want to have a trip to Japan? Let me help you with this issue! It is always challenging to travel to a new place, especially if you do not understand the local language. However, don’t let that ruin your trip. 

 

Japan is always one of the amazing destinations in Asia. Not only are there lots of interesting and spectacular places to visit, but Japan is also full of delicious cuisines, such as Sushi and Ramen. To help you plan your perfect trip to Japan, we’ve gathered all 10 useful apps for traveling in Japan. If you have not decided where to visit yet, GoWithGuide offers you private tours. This can give you some itinerary ideas in Japan.

  

1. MAPS.Me 

MAPS.Me is an interactive offline map, the function of which is relatively similar to Google Maps but does not require wifi or an internet.  It’s very useful, especially when you have no internet connection. On top of that, more than 15 languages are available, such as Arabic, Czech, and German. You should download the map of Japan in advance so that you can use it offline at any time. You can also check your current location when you connect to the internet

 

The app is free to downland and use. However, if you wish to remove the in-app ads, you can also get the paid version. There are 3 subscription options, which are weekly, monthly, and yearly and each of them charges differently. Thus, please check the information before making your purchase. 

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Image courtesy of MAPS.ME

 

Available for: iOS and Android

Price: $39.99 for yearly guides subscription 

Click here for more information.

 

2. Planetyze 

Planetyze is a great app for helping you find your next destination in JapanIt considerably helps you plan your trip to Japan because it offers you lots of information about tourist attractions around Japan, including must-try food and popular souvenirs that you should not miss. To give you some itinerary ideas, you can also look at Popular Itineraries, providing you sample tours in Japan, such as 1 day in Hiroshima. This really helps you save time when you are planning your trip. In addition to that, it offers you an opportunity to deeply learn about Japanese cultures by having a private tour guide service. Check out the website for further information.

 

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Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: Free

Click here for more information.

 

3. Navitime 

 Navitime is a comprehensive train route operating in English. The app requires an internet connection, but now it features a WIFI spot searcher, which is helpful when you don’t want to pay for or cannot access the internet in Japan.


  blog image
Image courtesy of appster.de

 

Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: $33 for a yearly subscription.

Note: There are other subscription plans with different price, please check the official website.

Click here for more information.

 

4. Imiwa

Imiwa is an offline Japanese dictionary app operating in many languages, such as English, Spanish, German, Korean and Russian. I highly recommend you get this app on your phone because you can download it for free and the meaning of the phrases and words are very accurate. Not only does it provide you many examples of Japanese sentences, but it also includes how to pronounce the Japanese words. You will definitely enjoy traveling in Japan with this app. 

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Image courtesy of Imiwa

Available for: iOS

Price: Free

Click here for more information.

Note that for those who are using Android or Blackberry, I recommended using " Aedict", a similarly English-Japanese dictionary. It also provides examples of Japanese sentences.

 

5. Yomiwa  

Have you ever been confused with Japanese products and questioned “what is this for” ? No worries. With this app, you will be able to understand Japanese signs, announcements, and labels. It is very useful and convenient, as you can simply take a picture of the announcements, let the app scan through all the text, and finally, the app will translate into English. It is very easy! Moreover, you can also search for the meaning of Kanji. Now, you can enjoy shopping without asking the same question!    

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Image courtesy of Yomiwa App

 

Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: $8.99

Click here for more information.

 

6. Line  

If you are looking to make a new Japanese friend, don’t forget to have “Line” on your phone. Each country generally has different communication platforms, such as Whatsapp and Kakao. However, Line is very famous and well-known among the Japanese. Moreover, once you get this app, you can call your family or friends in your country without being charged for the oversea calls. It only requires an internet connection to make a call. 

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Image courtesy of Google Play

Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: Free 

Click here for more information.

 

7. GuruNavi 

 Don’t know what to eat or which restaurant should you go to? GuruNavi can absolutely help you because the app will guide you to the restaurants according to your preferences. Not only does it show you the restaurants around you, but also you can filter some features of the restaurants, such as types of food and prices. Furthermore, it sometimes offers discount coupons and free drinks. Unfortunately, the app is only available in Japanese. It may be inconvenient for those who do not understand Japanese. 

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Image courtesy of japanmobiletech.com

 

Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: Free

Click here for more information.

 

8. NHK WORLD JAPAN

To catch up with the current news in Japan, NHK World Japan is one of the most reliable and useful apps for Japanese news. It also supports 17 languages, such as Thai, English, French, and Hindi. You can enjoy watching the latest news and other interesting programs and videos, for example, documentaries. Additionally, it features the notification of breaking news and natural disasters, such as earthquakes. Let’s get this app and start your trip to Japan! 

 

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia.org

 

Available for: iOS and Android  

Price: Free   

Click here for more information.

 

9. Cymera 

In Japan, Purikura, photo booths machines, is very popular among young Japanese. By using Purikura, they can enjoy taking pictures with their friends, decorating the photos, and later print them out. The most fun part is decoration since they can adjust the size of their eyes and skin tones, including adding some cute and funny stickers. You too can also enjoy this experience! With Cymera, you will be able to decorate and edit your pictures. There are also lots of features for you to try, such as filters and stickers. I recommended you to both try the actual Purikura machine and the app because you will definitely have a fun time with your friends by using both of them. If you are not sure how to use the Purikura, you can just ask your local tour guide

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Image courtesy of App Store

 

Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: Free 

Note that some features require additional charges, please check the further information

 

10. JapanTaxi

Transportation may not always be the most convenient in Tokyo, as the trains do not run 24/7 and sometimes it can be difficult to hail a cab in less popular areas of the city. When public transportation becomes inconvenient or is not possible for you, make sure to try out JapanTaxi, a handy and user-friendly transportation app where you can reserve or call a taxi. JapanTaxi calculates the cost of the ride according to the distance and has several inclusive payment options (ApplePay, Docomo 'd' payment, debit or credit cards). The app is supported in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. Be sure to have this app on your phone or take a look at our private car tours

 

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Image courtesy of Itunes App Store

 

Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: Free 

 

Don't want to be glued to your phone during your stay in Japan?

 

Begin your exploration with a private guide or join a private tour group.

 

Using your phone all the time to navigate during your vacation in Japan can not only drain your energy, but it can also deter you from fully enjoying your stay. With a private guide or private tour group, you can eliminate the hassle and the risk of getting lost in any area. Moreover, you will be able to learn about Japanese traditions and culture because the guides are local and they are willing to share their cultures with you.  Thus, I recommend GoWithGuide, a renowned tour marketplace with over 1,000 licensed professional tour guides, that can help you customize your itinerary and ensure that you have a convenient and unforgettable experience in Japan. 

 

If you are interested in planning a hassle-free trip to Japan, check out all the different locations available for private tours on the GoWithGuide website and then feel free to send a message to us and we’ll connect you with the right guide that fits your needs. Let’s begin your trip to Japan now!

 

 

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Japan Tour Guide Marketplaces - Finding a Tour Guide in Japan 

Shiga Tour Guide - Koichi W.

Koichi W.

4.94 / 5
(49 reviews)
Japan

Hi! I'm Koichi. I was born in Osaka, I studied in Kyoto when I was a university student. Now I live in Shiga next to Kyoto. I am a national government licensed tour guide. I have been guiding about 160 groups over the past twelve months. I usually guide my customers mainly in Kansai region including Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe and Shiga by public transportation systems. Well, I am curious about Japanese history, especially the history of Japan's ancient times since I was raised next to the world biggest mausoleum of the ancient Emperor called "Nintoku" in Sakai city Osaka which has just become one of the world cultural heritage sites. I dug out some ancient earthen ware vessels around there when I was a primary school student like the adventure archaeologist “Indiana Jones" (It’s our secret!!). That was my hobby. Now, one of my hobbies is outdoor activities such as mountaineering, kayaking, skiing and others. So I would like to take you to some good places where you can enjoy Japanese unique nature. I love to guide foreign visitors from all over the world. I think it is my calling or heavenly given job. Let's go and enjoy together! I hope to see you soon.                                                                                                                                 

Fukuoka Tour Guide - Kazue I.

Kazue I.

5.00 / 5
(15 reviews)
Japan

Hi! I am Kazue. I am from Fukuoka and live in the central city. I spent almost 20 years traveling around the world as a cabin attendant. Meeting different people, different cultures and eating local food were best things in my career. This experience definitely widened my perspective and will help me in some way when I work as a guide. Since I spent half my life outside of Japan, I noticed our culture and traditions are very unique and became more interested in historical sites in Japan. For my personal life, I am a mom of twins. It is still a hard work but I am enjoying a lot with them. We take them around Kyushu whenever possible for their fun and experience. We all love traveling after all. I am looking forward to showing you around our hometown soon!                                                                                                                                  

Osaka Tour Guide - Takashi M.

Takashi M.

5.00 / 5
(14 reviews)
Japan

Hi, my name is Takashi!! When I go abroad, I think that how nice it would be to have a friend there and hang out together. I want you to feel like you have a friend in Osaka and we can go around and explore the city. I was born and grew up in Japan. And I speak English, Spanish and Japanese. I can be the perfect guide for you!! I can also guide you any other cities in Japan, just let me know where you wanna go :)                                                                                                                                 

Kanazawa Tour Guide - Yoji K.

Yoji K.

5.00 / 5
(18 reviews)
Japan

Hello, I'm Yoji, based in Kanazawa. I spent my formative years in Kanazawa and pursued my master's degree in the United States. Having lived in Washington D.C. and California for six years, I then resided and worked in China and various Southeast Asian countries. My passion lies in exploring new destinations and connecting with people worldwide. Now, it's my turn to extend the same hospitality I've received to you. I specialize in crafting personalized tours tailored to your interests and preferences. If you're a food enthusiast, you've come to the right place. For those seeking to delve into Japan's rich history and culture, I highly recommend joining my full-day tour in Kanazawa. Additionally, I offer tours to Shirakawago and Takayama. Let's embark on an unforgettable journey together.                                                                                                                                  

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