Take a look at this collection of Travel Apps to make your trip to Japan absolutely hassle free.
While planning for my Japan trip, I came across a number of handy apps that you can use for planning your own trip to Japan. The apps are also very useful when you are in Japan. Here is the list of the ones I found most useful.
Staying connected on the go is very important. And this app makes the entire process very easy. The app lets you search and connect to over 130,000+ free wi-fi hotspots in Japan. A handy map lets you easily find the hotspot closest to you. The app also manages your access to these hotspots, so say goodbye to signing up at each wi-fi hotspot as well.
Tokyo Subway Navigation
This app lets you get around Tokyo’s massive Subway network like a boss. The app presents you with a user friendly subway map and automatically figures out the best route to your destination. You can even find out the fare you expect to pay !!! The app also helpfully points out places of interest near your destination. Perfect for the tourist.
Japan Travel Guide by Triposo
This rather massive app is a complete off-line guide book on Japan right in your phone. It includes detailed information on sights to see, offers tours and packages, recommends places to dine at and even provides a handy Japanese phrase book. So if you need to look up information in a jiffy, this is definitely worth it.
Google Translate is a must have when travelling to any foreign country. It can easily translate common english phrases into Japanese with their correct spoken pronunciation. But what if you see some Japanese signs that you want translated? Fret not, just point your camera at the text and let Google translate it into Japanese for you. You can download and install an offline language pack for easy translation on the go as well.
Getting a pre-paid SIM card in Japan is a bit tricky. Legally, you cannot be sold a pre-paid card for voice until you are resident of Japan. So most tourists end up renting a data only SIM card. If you have one of those, you can use Ringo to call home using VOIP. I like Ringo mainly because of their highly competitive rates and good voice quality. But you can pretty much use your favourite VOIP client instead as well (Skype, Viber etc.)
Bonus App: Hyperdia
While not strictly an app, Hyperdia is an invaluable travel planning resource. While they do have a fairly outdated paid app for Android, the app is only available in the US and Japan. Nevertheless, the website lets you plan your train journey within Japan. It’s especially useful when planning travel between cities along with your JR Rail pass.
Credits for header: Osamu Kaneko