Visiting a new country brings with it plenty of unique stresses from the fumbling first cash transaction to trying to read a menu. Thankfully, we have apps for all that nowadays. I wish I could say I knew about all the best ones before we arrived in Japan, but trust me, adding these six apps to your phone before your trip is well worth it.
Earthquakes in Japan are a very common occurrence. While most don’t have the devastating effects as those in recent weeks, they can be alarming at any size. This app allows you to set your location and will send early detection alarms in the event of an earthquake. You can also check in as safe.
If you don’t want to be without your very television programs or websites, a VPN is a virtual private network that allows you to connect to the internet in another country while traveling. Certain content isn’t available in all countries and having this app on our phones means we can use it wherever we go.
One of the many things I had to learn when moving to Japan was the metric system and this free app has made grocery shopping and measuring for furniture or curtains much easier. You can easily scroll between units for quick conversions and it also includes up-to-date currency exchange rates.
From mail to menus, this app is a lifesaver I wish I’d downloaded earlier. Maybe then I could have avoided ordering things like fried cartilage or cod brain ceviche, right? Just simply take a photo and the app detects the text of the chosen language for translation. It isn’t perfect, but it makes things easier to decode.
Japan ATM Navigation
I can’t say enough how amazing 7-Eleven stores are in Japan. One of the best things about them is they have ATMS that accept foreign debit cards so you can quickly get cash and avoid the currency exchange counter. This app helps you find one fast so you can get your yen and get exploring.
This is hardly an unknown app, but I’d be remised if I didn’t mention it. Use it to share photos with friends and family back home of your trip or follow some of my favorite local accounts like @savvytokyo, @timeouttokyo, @thejapantimes and @voguejapan.