Finding your bearings in Japan


While technology has definitely helped us navigate ourselves more easily in most countries, it's not the case everywhere.

How do you get to your destinations and navigate yourself in Japan? Do you use gps systems such as google/apple maps?

Are the gps navigational systems updated enough that they provide accurate information and directions?

Is it enough to simply follow road signs in Japan?

Is talking to locals and asking them directions the best way to get around? Are they generally friendly and helpful?

Are there any online resources or other types of resources to help you better understand the road systems, transportation, etc., in order to find your bearings?

What are the steps to take if you get lost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


When I first moved here five years ago I relied on Maps from the Information centers.  Since I walk daily I did get lost several times and had to rely on stopping a stranger to ask directions.  Most of the young people like to practice their English so I made it back home with no problems.  Today I rely on Google Maps, which is not entirely accurate but gets me to a landmark where I can find my way back.  The biggest problem for me now is navigating the very large train stations in Tokyo.  I have downloaded all the station maps and study them prior to making my trips into the city.  Since Japan is so safe I really am not concerned about getting lost, as most residents are willing to help me out.

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