Let’s take a look some apps that will come in handy in Japan. We start by giving the official APP by World Rugby an honourable mention.
Rugby World Cup 2019 APP- Download HERE
Not an essential app by any means but a very handy source of times/venues for all matches. Well designed and easy to navigate it’s a ready source of kick-off times for all matches. Worth downloading for the video content alone which will provide good company as you travel through the Japanese countryside by Shinkansen. Don’t forget to get a SIM from Mobal.com to stay online.
May differ from your home country in that Google Maps does not work offline in Japan- you need an internet connection. Comes into its own when getting you from the door of your accommodation to the entrance to the train/subway station. You may be better served by a local transit app when actually riding the trains/buses so read on!
Local Transit Planners
Japan Transit Planner– Japan’s most downloaded app for good reason. Gets you from A to B on public transport using criteria that suit you best. Filters available for Japan Rail Pass holders (only shows trains you can use), fastest route, cheapest route, most convenient, etc. Check out the desktop version in advance HERE
Hyperdia– Free for Android but paid for iPhone users is an alternative to Japan Transit Planner. There’s not much to choose between these 2 x popular apps so it’s down to personal preference. Check out the desktop version HERE
FREE Wi-FI APP
Japan2Go!– to make this app work you need an internet connection on your phone to begin with so it’s effectively a back-up for heavy data users. However it does give you up to 2 weeks access to over 400,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across Japan. What it doesn’t tell you is how many of those hotspots are located in public vs. private locations and whether you have to pay to use the facility (coffee shop, etc). It’s got other redeeming features however and is worth downloading just in case.Find out more HERE. For a thorough review on how it works in practice check out this blog post!
Language Help App
Waygo– a point and translate app for Japanese signs & menus that works offline. Who doesn’t need that? It’s not perfect but you simply hover your camera over the text and the translation appears underneath the original text. Initially free so you get a chance to check it out. Read more HERE
Hungry & Thirsty Help App
Gurunavi– Japan’s leading restaurant guide. Allows you search for restaurants & bars in your area based on important criteria such as English menus or “All You Can Drink” options.