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8 Useful Apps While Traveling In Japan

Mieke A.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Mieke A.

Last updated : Jul 02, 20248 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 8 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 Wi-Fi 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


2. Navitime 

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

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Image courtesy of appster.de


Available for: iOS and Android 

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


3. 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

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


4. 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: Free


5. 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 


6. 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 surrounding restaurants, 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. 


Available for: iOS and Android 

Price: Free



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   


8. Cymera 

In Japan, Purikura, photo booths machines, is very popular among young Japanese. By using Purikura, they can enjoy taking pictures with their friends, decorate 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 


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!


Kanagawa Tour Guide - Macco K.

Macco K.

4.80 / 5
(5 reviews)

Hello :) I am Macco, a licensed tour guide. I love eating and traveling, so I call myself "EATraveler". I'd like you to experience "tasty (oishi)" Japan, so my tour will be full of nice food. I was born and grew up in Osaka, and now I live in a small fishing town called Manazuru (near Hakone area) after living in Tokyo for more than 10 years. I fell in love with a beautiful scenary of the sea and mounains of Manazuru, and I really enjoy a relaxing life here. So I'd like to show you around this cozy town, which will make you feel nostargic and relaxed. I also work as an editor & writer. My recent works are mainly books about food and drinks, such as fermented food, dried food, cocktails and bars, Japanese sake, coffee, cheese, tea, as well as agriculture and food issues. Based on this background, I'd like to offer you amazing food experiences in Japan and enjoy EATraveling together :) Looking forward to seeing you in Manazuru!                                                                                                                                 

Kanagawa Tour Guide - Shinichiro H.

Shinichiro H.

5.00 / 5
(10 reviews)

Hello, I’m Shin, a national Certified Guide Interpreter in English, as well as an experienced professional tour guide for Japanese tourists of one of the biggest travel agencies in Japan. It'll be my pleasure to help you to make your own tour of your own interests and good experiences in Japan. I have many experiences of guiding corporate and business executives from abroad to the sightseeing spots of their interests. I also have a license for nursing care. If you have any concerns or anxiety about moving by using the stick or the wheelchair in the tour, I’ll be happy to support you. I hope you enjoy the trip to Japan.                                                                                                                                 

Okinawa Main Island Tour Guide - Tateo U.

Tateo U.

4.99 / 5
(72 reviews)

My name is Tateo. I am officially registerd English tour guide and introducing about Okinawa's history,culture, and nature.I am elderly person but have gone through lots of expericences that happened during US occupation after WW2. For the example, change of monetary system(US dollar to Yen),Change of traffic regulation(driving vehicle from right to left).The reversion of Okinawa to main land Japan was biggest historical event.The US administered Okinawa for 27 years. As a result, thing were Americanized in many aspects. Historically, Okinawa was once independent nation until 1872.During Kingdum era, Okinawa actively traded with China, South Asia Countries, Korea, and Japan. In the end, our culture is quite differ much from main land Japan. For instance, architectural technique, daily customs, and culture are also unique. Okinawa is the only prefecture belong to subtropical climate zone. Even winter time, it's neither hot nor cold. People can enjoy marine sport all through the year.Canoeing, Kayaking, Diving, and Snorkeling are popular. Besides, beatiful white sand beaches and attractive coastline are abundant. Green sea water and blue sky have been lured people from all over the world. Traditional music and dance are worth seeing. Please visit Okinawa and enjoy extraordinary trip. I will be looking forward to seeing you soon.                                                                                                                                  

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