5 Best Apps for Traveling in Japan

Japan

Japan

If you are thinking of traveling to Japan anytime soon, here are some of the best apps that will help you make the most of your trip and navigate your way around Tokyo streets and subways as well as other places across Japan.

1. Airbnb
Download from: App Store or Google Play
A growing number of tourists are now using AirBnB to look for accommodations that best fit their personal preferences, requirements, and budget. From budget-friendly rooms to spacious yet affordable apartment units, this app will help you search with ease for the right accommodation for you.

2. Google Translate
Download from: App Store or Google Play
Unless you speak and read Japanese, getting around can be a bit tricky at times when you cannot figure out a word written on posted signs or labels on items you want to buy. But thanks to this app’s Instant Camera Translation feature, you can make sense of the words you need to understand if needed.

3. Gurunavi
Download from: App Store or Google Play
One does not travel to Japan without exploring its glorious cuisines. Gurunavi is a foodie traveler’s dream and a handy app for anyone who finds it a challenge to look for the best spots for delicious Japanese eats. This restaurant guide provides information on a wide array of restaurants and hole-in-the-wall eateries.

4. Tokyo Handy Guide
Download from: App Store or Google Play
Tokyo Handy Guide serves as the official guide to the city by the tourism board. This app helps tourists find a wealth of information including points of interest, maps, cultural attractions, and more.

5. Tokyo Metro Subway Map and Route Planner
Download from: App Store or Google Play
This app is exactly what its name suggests – a metro subway map and route planner in one. You can find a downloadable map of Tokyo that shows the Metro and Toei Subway lines so you can plan your trips around better.

5 of the Best Lessons to Learn From Traveling

architecture

architecture

There are things in life you cannot learn in schools or from books. Some of life’s most important and unforgettable lessons are found while you are out in different parts of the world traveling. Here are some of the best things travel can teach you.

1. Your comfort zone expands more than you can probably imagine.
Traveling has a way of expanding your comfort zone in ways you probably have not imagined before. You may be the least adventurous person you know. But you might be surprised with the things you can do and discover about yourself during your travels. And as you travel more, you will find that breaking out of your comfort zone becomes easier.

2. You develop patience.
Patience is one of the greatest life lessons you can learn from traveling. You build it as you experience waiting for a lot of things — from airport security check lines to long layovers and more. You begin to deal unexpected situations like flight delays, missed trains, and getting lost among others in a more patient manner.

3. You try and experience new things.
No destinations are completely the same regardless of how similar they may seem at the onset. Every place has its own unique set of things to see and experience which makes every trip an opportunity to do something you have not done before. Whether it is trekking along ancient trails or going off-the-beaten paths while exploring a city, you will find a lot of new things to discover.

4. You learn to appreciate the smallest things.
Traveling allows you to see different facets of life. You learn about the great and the not-so-good aspects of places. You may even experience things that will make you appreciate the simple things at home that you usually take for granted. Travel keeps your senses in tune to everything around you and allows for truly immersive experiences.

5. You learn about other cultures and understand them better.
Travel is the best teacher when it comes to understanding other cultures better. It breaks stereotypes as you get a glimpse of the beliefs, customs, and traditions of other people. While you can read about culture in books and on the internet, there are certain nuances that you will only see as you get to experience some of what the locals see and do on a daily basis.

15 Free Things to Do in Tokyo

Sensoji Temple

Meiji Jengu Shrine

Traveling in Japan does not have to be as expensive as it is often believed to be. You can actually do a lot of things in Tokyo for cheap or at no cost at all. Here are some of the best free things you can do in Japan’s capital city.

  1. Enjoy panoramic views of the city at the observatories you can access for free like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building observatories, Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center view deck located the 8th floor of the building, the observation room at the Tower Hall Funabori, and the observation lounge at the Bunkyo Civic Center among others.
  2. Take a stroll around the Imperial Palace.
  3. Explore the Imperial Palace East Gardens.
  4. Join one of the scheduled free guided tours of the Imperial Palace.
  5. Learn about Japanese alcohol and enjoy the free tastes at the Japanese Sake Information Centre.
  6. Take a self-guided tour of Yebisu Beer Museum to learn more about one of the country’s most famous brews.
  7. Sample delicious free beers as you take a one-hour free tour of the Suntory Brewery Musashino Factory.
  8. Discover the world of Japan’s national sport that dates back to hundreds of years ago at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Museum (Sumo Museum).
  9. Experience a free Japanese traditional boat ride at Yokojikkengawa Shinsui Park.
  10. Browse the products on display and learn about making crafts at the various demonstrations at the Japan Traditional Craft Center.
  11. Escape in the tranquil surroundings and find a spot to relax while taking in the nature scenery at the Meiji Jengu Shrine.
  12. Visit the Sensoji Temple and window shop at the Nakamise-dori which is said to be one of the oldest shopping streets in Japan.
  13. Enjoy the scenery and attractions around Tokyo Station.
  14. Take a look at the extensive collection of guidebooks and other travel-related books at the Travel Library located near the Tokyo Station.
  15. Watch the famous tuna auction at Tsukiji Fish Market. Make sure that you arrive on or before 5:00AM to apply for one of the limited slots at the Osakana Fukyu Center (Fish Information Center).