The best free apps to use on your trip to Tokyo - wada blo9


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Friday, 7 December 2018

The best free apps to use on your trip to Tokyo

Are you planning your trip to Tokyo? If so, probably like us you will be with some fear of not mastering the Japanese language, you saw the the metro line of Tokyo and felt lost and confused and, you will probably feel very afraid of not knowing how to order your food in a restaurant. Well, we've also had these fears and worries, but the good news is that nowadays we have a lot of apps that we can use on our mobile phone and that are a huge help.
Having a family trip to Tokyo has always been a dream of ours but, as one who follows our blog well knows, since we were parents we always feel a greater need to plan and prepare our trips. It is not the same two adults spend an hour lost to a city when they are alone or, the same happens with a child who is hungry or needs to rest. That is why we have changed our way of traveling, which has not become anything worse, in fact, it is better than ever now that we explore the world next to our son, but the way we travel is different, there is no doubt about it.

The reports we knew from Tokyo were a bit scary, especially for the language, which was totally different for us, as well as the fact that English was not widely spoken by locals, the city is huge with confusing transport network. This caused some apprehension in us but times have changed and nowadays few people travel without a mobile phone, at least we use it a lot, because it is a very precious help.

But this precious help only really matters if we have the main helpers, namely the precious apps that give so much life to our mobile phone and, in the case of those who love to travel, much has made life easier.

Well, before our departure for Tokyo, we did a lot of research, trying to find out the opinions of others who had traveled through Japan, we did a lot of downloads, we experimented a lot at home to dominate the apps and, Tokyo with the mobile phone loaded with apps.

Now, once the trip is over, we have come to share our experience with you, and to give you our opinion on the apps that really worked for us during our family trip to Tokyo and which we highly recommend. Others we ended up not using. We will not say that we used the best and that we did not use are worse, our goal was not to make this comparison, we recommend those that really provided us with an indispensable help throughout our stay.

Before we presented our list of most used apps, we wanted to leave some notes. The first is that we only used free apps, we did not spend any pennies on them. Another of the issues that we wanted to point out is that we also did not have any internet service during our stay, all the applications were used off line for the vast majority or, in some exceptions, cases that we will refer to below.

We are very fans of google maps, we are obliged to say, and this application has the possibility to download many maps for later use in off line. We have already done so in many countries and trips that we have done but, unfortunately, there is no such option for Tokyo. Incidentally, this option is not available for whole of Japan. The reason we think it attaches to copyright rights. Regardless of the reason it is a big deal, which led us to look for an alternative, which we had already used on our trip to Iceland (you can see it by clicking here) and, it proved to be a perfect companion for our trip, so we decided to use it on this trip.

In that sense, what we did was download this application, the Maps.Me and the map of Tokyo. Then, as we made our itinerary at home, we were marking on the map of the application the places we wanted to visit, as well as our hotel, and when we were there, all we had to do was connect the GPS antenna of the mobile phone, put our destination and , said with great perfection the nearest way to get there, nothing to cheat.

This was our main help in getting around the city, the map was very accurate, so we only have to say good of this application and we highly recommend it. We only leave the advice of, like us, to mark the places that you want to visit before your departure. In fact, we made 4 lists, in which we pre-arranged each day and then just followed the itinerary, destination by destination.

Another app we also used was Tokyo Subway Navigation. This application, also free, helps to find out which meter you will need to catch to get to your destination as well as the necessary changes. It is available in several languages, we use English (did not have Portuguese available) but you can also use it in Korean, Thai, French, Spanish and Japanese.

To use, simply enter the name of the parturition station and the station of arrival, and you can also use the name of your place of departure and arrival, but here may not work as well.

We said we are fans of Google Maps and, it's true. For Europe it is our great help but in Tokyo it had the limitation of not having internet available. However, all the metro stations we had in Tokyo had internet, and we feel more comfortable organizing our subway trips using Google Maps than Tokyo Subway Navigation. We do not say it's because it's better, but perhaps because we're more comfortable with Google Maps.

We can say that this was a huge help to get organized on the metro trips during our stay. Besides telling us everything about our subway ride, he still told us how much money each trip cost, which made it much easier to buy a ticket. This is because, when you buy your ticket, you will have to see the right amount for the route you want to take. You can do this by referring to the panels that are next to or above the vending machines, but with Google Maps you will automatically know the amount you will have to pay.

This was also one of our main helper for our entire trip in Tokyo.

Something very good that Google Translate currently has is the possibility of using the camera of our phone to translate texts. To do this, simply open the application and load the image of the camera, point to the text you want to translate and wait for the response.

This is a great option we used, for example, when in restaurants with hi-fi to seek out more about the different dishes we could choose from. Of course the translations were not perfect but they allowed us to understand much more about what we were asking to eat.

We are very fans of tripadvisor and, in many of our travel research we seek the opinion of other users of the app. However, when investigating about Tokyo, we discovered this application, the GuruNavi Restaurant Guide.

Apparently, it is mostly used by locals and it refers to restaurants that may not even appear on tripadvisor. It was through her that we discovered some of the restaurants that we talked about in our itinerary, so that many times the night before we did a search for the restaurants in the areas where we planned to walk and of course, when we chose, we marked the location in Maps.Me .

6. Booking and AirBnB

This are applications that, those are are use to travel, already knows and for sure use them a lot. We went to Japan already with all reservations made but, nothing simpler than arriving at the hotel and showing our reservation on the mobile phone.

Click here and here to find more about the app.


Like us, if you search for the best apps to use on your trip to Tokyo, you'll easily find a lot more chances as we've found and downloaded them from these and more.

Far from us saying that you do not need apps to make your trip to Tokyo. Seeing the story of what it was to travel in Tokyo a few years ago, and of what it is today with the help of the apps, we can guarantee that it is much easier to know the city and to avoid getting lost for hours.

We don't say that getting lost in a place that you like is negative, in fact, if there is something we recommend to those who visit our city, Lisbon, is to be lost in the streets of the city. However, for those traveling as family as we can be tricky, especially when the kids are younger. Also for those who sometimes can't stay as long as they like in a destination, as was our case on the trip to Tokyo, where we could only stay 5 nights, which corresponded to 4 full days to know the city.

So, with a good organization before departure, we have prepared and organized an itinerary for our visit (see it here) and, with the help of the apps we recommend, we can confirm that we have a great trip around the city of Tokyo.

Of course many more apps are available and we don't want at all say that these are the best, but rather they were the best for us and we have come to recommend it for your trip to Tokyo. All our recommendations are possible to download for free for Android and IOS systems.

Another issue that we could not fail to say is that finding wi-fi through Tokyo is not very hard. In fact, as mentioned above, all metro stations have but many cafes and restaurants, which is a huge help. Take a look at this cool post by Esther Namugerwa, from the "The Adventurous Feet" blog, were she gives some cool ideas about apps that can help you to connect to wi-fi.

At the restaurant level, it is also very easy to make your choices. Almost every place where we ate or had menus with photos or, we asked for our choices in vending machines with photos. Or, something we found very often, is the menus made with imitations of the plastic dishes exposed outside the establishments, and the price below, so to make your request just pointing to what you wish and pay.

We hope that our experience will help you prepare your trip to Tokyo. We hope you make the most of your trip and do not hesitate to leave us your comments and suggestions. If you have used other applications, please let us know in our comments box. Now, travel and have fun!

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