15 best apps for traveling around Japan in 2024

Best apps for travelling around Japan

This article is dedicated to the most useful apps to check while traveling in Japan. If you are scared of the fact that you simply can’t cope with Japanese writing and will get lost either in translation or the extensive Tokyo Metro system – worry no more. Our app selection is here to save the day.

Below you’ll find a detailed list of the best apps for traveling in Japan, the type of service they provide, and how to use them when visiting the country with a Japan Rail Pass!

Navitime (Japan Travel by Navitime)

App Navitime to travel around Japan

Navitime for Japan is a popular app that makes navigating around the Japanese capital and the rest of the country stress-free. Apart from providing detailed information about the world’s most complex metropolis (Tokyo), it also generates:

  • Door-to-door route search
  • Voice navigation
  • New offline search for free WiFi spots
  • A train stop list that will help you confirm you are headed in the correct direction
  • Train delay information
  • Platform details for each service
  • Recent routes saved for offline searches

It can be downloaded for both iOS and Android and also features guides to events, art & culture, shopping, nightlife, and food & drink across Japan.

However, you should make sure you have an internet connection to be able to get the most out of it. If you’re looking for some great connectivity options for your stay in Japan, there’s nothing better than a Pocket Wi-Fi device, which can connect to a total of 10 devices simultaneously.

Japan Transit Planner (Jorudan)

Jorudan Co., LTD. is a Japanese company, which has developed an easy-to-use English transport app called Japan Transit Planner. Below you can see a screenshot of the PC version and the type of information it provides.

Jorudan search results
Jorudan search results

As you can see, this Rail Planner app tells you the distance, fare, type of seat on the train (reserved, non-reserved), including any surcharges that may apply.
You’re given information about the duration of the trip and the total price, and you can also filter out services that aren’t covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

Japan Transit Planner is available for both iOS and Android systems.  The app is free to download, but there is also a paid option that is ad-free and allows you to access route search/timetable history, customize search criteria, and other premium services.

Tokyo Metro Subway Map & Route

Tokyo Metro Subway Map & Route app to travel around Japan.

If you’re planning to make Tokyo your primary destination in Japan and spend a few days exploring the metropolis, then this app is essential!

Incredibly simple and easy to use, this app provides a full interactive map of the city’s Metro, Toei, and Yamanote lines. So you don’t need to waste time looking around for wall-mounted or paper route guides.

It also lets you navigate around the city through the route planner function and helps you find the quickest route to your destination (even if you aren’t connected to the internet).

It’s free to download for both iOS and Android systems.

Google Maps

Google Maps is one of the oldest and best-known transportation apps. Similar to the apps we’ve seen so far, the new Maps will guide you through any city, town, village or area in Japan, by showing all the optimal routes available at the moment of your inquiry.


By clicking Details you can see the name of your train (in this example Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen is the bullet train line) and the time it will take you to get to your selected final destination.

The displayed cost is only valid for those who do not hold a Japan Rail Pass. The biggest advantage of this app is that it is more visual regarding location. Apart from your destination station, you can easily see nearby restaurants, parks, bars and more. 

Available for both Android and iOS.


Available in more than 15 languages, this interactive map is similar to Google Maps, but can be used without an internet connection. SImply download the map of Japan when you’re connected to Wi-Fi and you can use it even when in internet dead zones!

Maps.Me also lets you import bookmarks from Google My Maps and use them alongside the built-in points of interest and custom pins within the app you create, even when offline. Also, it has a GPS function that can be used when you’re connected to the Internet.

Maps.me is free to download and use for both iOS and Android. However, if you want to remove the in-app ads, you can choose between 3 subscription options; weekly, monthly, and yearly.

Google Translate

If you don’t understand a lick of Japanese and want to make your trip through the country as hassle-free as possible, then downloading the Google Translate app is a must.

This app makes it easy to overcome the language barrier with functionalities such as: 

  • Instant text translation
  • Voice translation
  • Conversation mode that allows to translate back-and-forth speech in real time
  • Voice playback that aids pronunciation
  • Handwriting analysis and translation
  • Translation of text in images through camera mode

The Google Translate app is also great because it allows you to download many different languages for offline translation from Japanese.It can be easily accessed from your computer, tablet, or Android or iOS phone.


This Japanese dictionary app is ideal for travelers who want to engage with the local language. Incredibly accurate in its translation, it not only provides you with Japanese words and phrases but also teaches you how to pronounce them correctly!

What’s more, the app is available in many different languages, including:

  • English
  • German
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Imiwa? is an offline app, meaning you don’t need an internet connection to use it. Also, it’s free to download, but only available for iOS.


Tripadvisor is a top-rated app, used by millions of people all over the world. If you’re used to using to it in your own country, you can easily in Japan as well. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

"Things to do in Nara" by Tripadvisor
“Things to do in Nara” by Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor gives you personalised options about:

  • Places near you
  • Hotels
  • Flights
  • Restaurants
  • Things to do
  • Holiday rentals
  • Destination guides
  • Forums

Having all of this information at the tip of your fingers will surely make a difference. Select your preferred food, price limit, personal interests and start discovering. The app is completely free of charge.

Ecbo Cloak

Ekbo-Cloak app to storage your luggage while travelling around Japan.

This easy-to-use app is a lifesaver for travelers in Japan needing temporary storage for their luggage.

It allows you to locate nearby storage facilities, securely store your bags, and pick them up at your convenience.

With a vast network of storage options, ecbo cloak lets you find a convenient spot near tourist attractions and stations. It permits you to free yourself from the burden of hauling luggage around, making your travel experience more enjoyable.

The app is not only budget-friendly but also boasts a straightforward payment system that allows for quick transactions. You can download it on both iOS and Android.


Omotenashi guide to travel around Japan.

OMOTENASHI GUIDE makes it easier to understand Japanese by providing instant transcription of public announcements in various locations, including train stations and tourist spots.

When an announcement is playing in Japanese, simply open the app and press the on-screen button. The app will then display the translation instantly in the language you select.

By offering real-time translations, OMOTENASHI GUIDE ensures that all travelers have access to vital information, enhancing safety and convenience. It’s available for both iOS and Android.

Gourmet Navigator (GuruNavi)

Gurunavi is a great and easy to use restaurant-finder app for both iOS and Android. It lets you select your prefecture (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc.) and the area where you are.

Gurunavi app

Once you have selected where you want to eat, the app shows you restaurant search results by cuisine such as:

  • Sushi/Seafood
  • Okonomiyaki/Takoyaki
  • Yakiniku (BBQ)
  • Izakaya (Typical Japanese pub)
  • Dining bars / beer halls

Furthermore, there are some quite useful filters such as:

  • Places with English-speaking staff
  • All you can eat/drink offers
  • Places with free Wi-Fi access
  • Family-recommended
  • Non-smoking restaurants

As the app tends to display a huge number of results and the search filters are limited, you might feel a little overwhelmed by all the restaurant options GuruNavi offers you. Still, it’s very useful if you want to find an option to eat out close by in the surrounding area!


While Gururnai is often considered the “Yelp of Japan”, good old Yelp is also incredibly useful in the country too! This top-rated app, used by millions of people all over the world, is relatively new in Japan, but is still a reliable resource for finding high-quality restaurants in the country.

Yelp not only offers reviews and ratings of restaurants so you can make an informed choice for where to eat out, but you can also use it to search for other businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons.

You can also use it to make reservations and order take-out food. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

The Yelp app is completely free of charge. However, you’ll need an internet connection to access it. Apart from the amazing Pocket Wi-Fi option, you can also order a Data SIM card (internet only) that will give you direct access to the fastest internet connection available in Japan.

Sushi Dictionary

Sushi dictionary app for sushi enthusiasts.

Navigating the world of sushi in Japan is made easy with the Sushi Dictionary app. This app is a must-have for sushi enthusiasts and travelers alike, offering a comprehensive guide to sushi terminology and fish types.

Here’s what makes it stand out:

  • Comprehensive Content: Includes a complete glossary of fish and seafood, covering common sushi items and preparation styles.
  • Visual Aid: The Image Searcher feature helps you visualize each type of fish, both fresh and as sushi.
  • Audio Feature: Learn the correct pronunciation of sushi terms in Japanese, enhancing your dining experience.
  • Sharing and Saving: Share your newfound knowledge with friends or save definitions for easy reference.
  • Search Functionality: Easily search for terms in English, Japanese, or
    romanized Japanese.
  • Additional Features: Access specialized sake terminology and a guide to yakitori menus.

Available for free on the Google Play Store, the Sushi Dictionary is an invaluable tool if you’re looking to deepen your understanding and enjoyment of sushi in Japan.

Ramen Beast

Ramen beast app for ramen enthusiasts.


Ramen Beast is the ultimate app for enthusiasts of authentic Japanese ramen, guiding you to the best ramen experiences in Japan.

The app’s curated selection features over 700 top-rated ramen shops in Tokyo, carefully selected to avoid tourist traps and chain restaurants.

It provides detailed reviews, including information about the chef’s history, specialty ingredients, and unique aspects of each ramen shop.

Ramen Beast also offers English recommendations on what to order, making it accessible to non-Japanese speakers. It’s available to download for iOS only.


Tabelog is the go-to app for locals to discover the best dining experiences across Japan, offering an extensive range of restaurant reviews. It boasts:

  • In-Depth Ratings: Known for its thorough rating system, Tabelog app provides reliable guidance on restaurant quality. Ratings above 3 stars indicate excellent choices.
  • Extensive Database: With over 800,000 restaurants reviewed and more than 50 million reviews, Tabelog offers unparalleled insights into Japan’s dining scene.
  • User-Driven Content: The app’s content is largely user-generated, ensuring authentic and up-to-date information.

While the app is only currently provided in Japanese, you can easily translate the content using Google Chrome, making it accessible to non-Japanese speakers. Tabelog is available for iOS users.

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