While I’m on the topic of traveling to Japan, I want to share a list of useful apps I personally used during my travel. Since I always have my smartphone with me I found it convenient to install applications on my device rather than buying a guidebook or getting a map. So these are a few of the apps I found useful during my trip.
This is a trip planner that helps you navigate the country you are in. It instantly displays different routes via flight, train, bus, ferry or driving options in getting from point A to point B in the quickest way possible. It also displays estimated travel time and fares. Rome2Rio is available in both Apple and Android devices.
This is a train timetable application similar to Rome2Rio that shows a complete timetable of all kinds of transportation. All you need is to click on the date, time and mode of transportation you want to take to get to point B, and the app displays different routes you can take with the corresponding departure and arrival time of each transport. Then you can choose which route you prefer based on the number of transfers you need to do, total cost and total travel time.
The Hyperdia by Voice is similar to the regular Hyperdia app but is only available to iphones. It is a voice recognition software that sets the parameters of your search automatically and provides you with direct access to the train timetable.
You can download the app in your Android device, while for Apple devices you can download the Hyperdia by Voice which is only available in selected countries.
Google Maps is a widely used navigation app not just in Japan but all over the world. Similar to the previous apps this shows you different routes you can take to get to your destination. By clicking on your intended destination you can choose from different routes such as via car, train, bus or by foot with the corresponding estimated time. And by selecting the route you are given instructions as to train line, platform, or direction you need to follow to get to your destination.
I personally found this the easiest to use and is my go-to app in all my travels.
Maps.Me is an offline version of google maps so you don’t need internet connection when using this app. It is available in both Google play, Apple app store and Blackberry. You do need to do an initial download of the area map, it is best to do this when you are in your own country and connected to the internet. Once you have completely downloaded the map, you can now use navigation, search and other functions while offline.
This app is a life saver in situations where there are no English signs. All you need to do is take a picture of what you want translated and it automatically translates it to English or to your chosen language.
GuruNavi is an easy to use “food/ restaurant/ cafe finder”. All you do is select your location and select what kind of cuisine you are looking for. You can also filter your search to restaurants offering an English menu, free Wifi, smoking or non-smoking, etc.
Other apps you may want to check: TDRnow – Disney app that shows wait times for Tokyo Disney Resort, Navitime, Japan Travel Guide with Me.
*You definitely don’t need to get all these apps, you can just choose which one you think is the most useful for you. I find Maps.Me or Google Maps as a must especially if you are a first time traveller.