Using public transportation in an unknown country can be a confusing experience. In particular, Japan has a very complex transit system that can seem like a nightmare at first. Here are 5 apps that can help you navigate your way through Japan.
1) NAVITIME for Japan Travel
This app can map out routes between locations, combining all types of mode of transportation—from trains, to buses and even walkable routes. The app also sends live information about train delays, helping you stay informed during your travel. It also has a built-in, search engine for looking up locations that have free wifi service.
The app is available in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Korean. Click and download here!
2) Japan Transit Planner
Not only does this app look up train times, routes, and transfer information for free, but it also has a search engine built in to search train routes that don’t use Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains (useful for Japan Rail Pass users!). It can even look up non-JR, Tokyo Metro only routes. The app is available in 12 languages, making it one of the most multilingual services compared to other similar apps.
The app is available in English, Japanese, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Bahasa, French, Russian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Click and download here!
TABIMORI (which literally means “to protect travel) is a tourist app developed by the Narita International Airport Corp. It’s designed to help travelers in Japan with any mishaps and questions they come across during their trip. Like other apps, it can look up train routes and transfers—but it also comes with a voice-activated, translation system. It even introduces bits of tips on Japanese culture to support users with their travel.
The app is available in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korea, Thai, Bahasa, French, and Spanish. Click and download here!
This is a free, official app released by the Tokyo Metro Co. If you’re worried about not having Internet service in Japan, then this app is for you—the app comes with an offline search engine. Once downloaded, you can use the search function even when there is no Internet or Wi-Fi available. It can also look up nearest station information from popular tourist destination sites. It even goes into detail about which exit to leave the station from—a helpful feature to help you navigate Japan’s complex web of train exits.
The app is available in Japanese, English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean, and Thai. Click and download here!
5) Japan Official Travel App
This is an official app released by the Japan National Tourism Organization, who partnered with several other private firms to develop this service. Aside from a route search engine, it has other features like articles on tourist information and a restaurant search engine. It even has information on what to do during natural disasters in Japan, and a search engine to look up hospitals with foreign language services.
The app is available in English, Korean, and simplified and traditional Chinese. Click and download here!
There’s been an increase in transportation apps that can help tourists navigate through Japan; the apps may have similar features, but we recommend you search for one that fits your needs for a smooth travel. Bon voyage!