There are many useful apps for traveling in Japan, such as finding free WI-FI areas, searching train timetables and maps, translating Japanese, and getting the latest weather updates.
It’s best to prepare ahead of time and download all the apps you’ll need before you go. Here is a list of the best free apps available on both iTunes and Google Play.
9 Best Free Apps for Japan Travel
1. Free Wi-Fi Areas
Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi is an app that lets you search for Wi-Fi areas and connect free of charge. A single registration allows you to connect to free Wi-Fi in over 190,000 areas all over Japan.
2. Train Timetables
Japan Travel by Navitime is a wonderful app that lets you search train and bus timetables all over Japan. You can choose the departure station, arrival station, and time. The results give you the name of the train, platform number, total cost, duration of journey, total distance, and transfers.
There is also an option to show trains covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
3. Kyoto Bus Timetables
Arukumachi Kyoto is an excellent app that offers timetables and route searches for getting around Kyoto. It shows detailed maps, bus stop information, and local bus timetables.
4. Sightseeing Information
Japan Official Travel App by JNTO offers detailed travel information about popular sightseeing spots. You can look up destinations and get detailed information, such as the business hours, admission fees, and closed days. There is also an excellent route search, similar to Japan Travel by Navitime.
5. Restaurant Finder
Gurunavi lets you see restaurants in the local area. You can make a selection based on type of food (i.e., curry, izakaya, noodles, sushi, yakiniku) and budget; and use filters such as English speaking staff, menus in English, non-smoking seating, and credit cards accepted. Once you find a restaurant, you get detailed information with a map.
Note: The app was discontinued in 2019, but all of these features are still available on the website.
Weather Japan is a great app offering weekly and hourly weather information for all the main cities in Japan. The information is updated and provided by the Japan Weather Association.
7. Japanese Translator
Yomiwa is an app that allows you to read Japanese kanji and words. You can draw kanji characters on your phone and the app tells you what they mean. There is also a Japanese-English dictionary that shows the English translation for a Japanese word.
8. Voice Translator
VoiceTra is an app that translates your speech into another language. The app supports 31 languages, including Japanese and English. It works best with basic travel-related conversations, such as when dining, shopping, checking-in to a hotel, sightseeing, and traveling. It is not good for complex, long sentences.
9. Voice Calling
Line is a very popular app in Japan that offers free international voice and video calling and instant messaging. You can keep in touch with friends using the app in Japan and at home.
Ready for the Trip of a Lifetime?
Experience Japanese culture, travel like a local and get to know the real Japan on one of our Small Group Tours.
More Travel Tips You Might Like
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this article. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We have no association with the companies or the products reviewed. These are our own opinions of top travel products.
Becki and Shawn
Japan Travel Specialists
Hi, we’re Becki and Shawn! We love Japan and are truly passionate about Japan and Japan travel.
We’ve lived, worked, and traveled in Japan for 20+ years, so we know where to go, what to see, and how to get there. Join us in Japan for an adventure of a lifetime!