Japan is an amazing place to visit. However, with limited English being spoken and often hard-to-understand transportation systems, Japan can be troublesome for first-time visitors.
Fortunately there is a lot of online apps to help make your trip run smoothly, from helping you navigate Tokyo’s subway stations, to automatically translating street signs.
I prepared a list of best travel apps for Japan to help you choose the best one
Best travel apps for Japan – Virtual Private Network (VPN)
First things you need to take care of is information security. We are heavily reliant on public WiFi when we travel, so we need to protect our information and privacy. That’s I highly recommend using VPN. I use Nord VPN to do a few things:
- Encrypt my information (password to email, bank account, social media account) protect it from hackers and third parties
- Hide my IP address from websites, hackers, and advertisers trying to track our location or activity
- accessing geo-blocked content.
Information can be compromised on any public WiFi, even when it’s password-protected. That includes WiFi at restaurants, in hotels, on military bases, or any place where many people can easily obtain the password.
I have the VPN installed on phone and laptop. It’s always on in the background, even while I’m at home. Nord VPN is available on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
Best travel apps for Japan – transport in Japan
One of the best travel apps which contains a lot of useful features. It’s free and easy to use. Google Maps not only gives you a detailed tips on how to get to target location, but it also contains a ton of information about transportation options, such as train and bus schedules, so you can plan your day, determine the exact timing of your transportation, and calculate the total cost.
Google Maps ia also available in offline mode. Just leave the app open with your destination mapped when you walk away from the WiFi, and Google Maps will remember the route and directions.
The Japan Transit Planner is the English version of Japan’s most-downloaded navigation App. It is one of the most trusted train routing App. Great for finding your way around Japan’s railways and airways. Just enter your start and end points and the Japan Transit Planner will recommend the fastest and cheapest routes. There is a free and paid version of this App.
Great application offers a lot of features:
- Travel guides,
- Route search,
- Offline spot search,
There are free and paid versions for Android and iOS. This App supports English, Korean and Chinese languages.
Maps.me it is a great substitute of Google Maps if you do not have an access to WiFi. It offers 345 free maps (countries and islands). It’s simple and intuitive to use. A great back-up to have in Japan since WiFi is still not available everywhere.
Free application provided by Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. It is a great way to find transfer information for the Tokyo Subway system. It supports multiple languages: English, Korean, Chinese. It can be used online as well as offline. It is easy to use – just select your departure and destination station and the app will show you the main route, time required and even cost. Additionally, it can advise you on which exits to take for popular tourist sights.
Hyperdia gives accurate information on routes and times for both trains and planes in English, Japanese, and simplified Chinese, offering the best options between origin and destination. it can also provide walking times, offer car rental rates, and even point to hotels around the area. It also lets you know the price for each trip option
Best travel apps for Japan – language translation
The most popular, free app which enable you to quickly and easy translate text into over 90 languages. Google Translate is not perfect, so the translations don’t always seem logical. However, Google Translate has one unique feature that allows you take a picture of text to read the translation of words or entire paragraphs. This function is critical in a country like Japan that does not use the Roman alphabet
This free APP has over 10,000 words and works 100% offline. Great to type in English words to find Japanese translations or visa versus.
JED i available both on Android and iOS devices.
Best travel apps for Japan – eating and drinking
One of the best application which helps you to quickly and easy find a recommended restaurants in Japan. You can filter restaurants by location, budget or type of food. Guru Maps supports multiple languages like English, Korean, Chinese.
Best travel apps for Japan – eating and drinking
Facebook Messenger is an easy way to o send messages of any length, make phone or video calls to your contacts, and share photos or videos. Additional advantage of this app is that you can search people even though you don’t know their number.
You don’t need a Facebook account to use Messenger. You can download the app (it’s separate from Facebook) and establish an account using your cell phone number
Another well known apps which enables you free communication via Internet connection. Although Skype has been losing popularity in recent years it’s still good app.
WhatsApp is a one of the most popular app in the Europe. It’s free and easy to use. It offers the same functionality as Facebook Messenger, but it’s more secure – all of the communication is encrypted.
Signal is very similar to WhatsApp in terms of functionality. However it known as the safest communication app – that’s the reason of growing popularity.
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