Konnichiwa! Say Hello to Tokyo with These 17 Travel Apps

Shibuya Crossing, the Imperial Palace, metro station sushi, vending machine ramen.

Tokyo is one of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever visited—you could spend months there and never cross everything off your Tokyo bucket list.

To make the most of your time, download Tokyo travel apps.

These apps will help you find your way around the mega metropolis of Tokyo, as well as find the best activities.


Tokyo Travel Apps for Communication

Google Translate

iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

Google Translate offers the usual language dictionary features, but it also has optical character recognition, better known as OCR.

All you have to do is point your phone’s camera over Japanese words (yes, even over kanji), and the translation appears immediately.

Pros: Google Translate can translate languages in multiple ways, including text, voice, handwriting or character recognition.

Cons: The OCR function definitely isn’t perfect. The translations are often literal, so you get some interesting translations.


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Tokyo is a huge city. In order to experience everything it has to offer, it’s crucial to become conversational in Japanese, which is where FluentU comes in.

It combines authentic Japanese media clips—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—with learning tools to create immersive language lessons.

Pros: Hearing native accents in authentic videos will help you learn to understand and communicate with Japanese locals.

Cons: The program works best for those who have already started on their Japanese language journey.


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tokyo travel apps

Japanese not only includes a massive dictionary with over 175,000 words, it also acts as a study tool.

It breaks down kanji characters to help you learn them, and it offers thousands of examples of how to use the words. You can even create personalized study lists.

Pros: Japanese offers many ways to learn how to read and write Japanese. The app even includes the lists of vocabulary needed to pass the JLPT (a standardized test for non-native speakers).

Cons: The current Android version is still being updated and doesn’t have all the features of the iOS version yet.


iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

LINE is Japan’s answer to WhatsApp and is a must-have when you want to communicate with people in Tokyo.

Use LINE for group chats and video calls. It basically operates as your phone if you don’t have a phone plan in Tokyo and relies solely on Wi-Fi.

Pros: LINE offers free instant messaging, free audio/video calls to other LINE users and lots of fun extras, like stickers and merchandise.

Cons: None!


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tokyo travel apps

Imiwa? is an easy-to-use Japanese dictionary that’s packed with words and sample sentences. It offers translations from Japanese into English, German, French and Russian.

It’s constantly updated and is completely free.

Pros: Imiwa? offers users the ability to make their own vocabulary lists and even teaches the stroke order of Japanese words.

Cons: There’s no Android version of the app available.

Akebi Japanese Dictionary


tokyo travel apps

This is another Japanese-English dictionary that’s jam-packed with words and study tools.

If you like Imiwa? but don’t have an iPhone, this is the app to get. And you can download the app to use offline.

Pros: Akebi includes a built-in Japanese keyboard as well as handwriting recognition.

Cons: There’s only an Android version of the app available.

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Tokyo Travel Apps for Navigation

Google Maps

iOS | Android | Website

tokyo travel apps

Good old Google Maps is reliable just about anywhere.

Google Maps shows you how to get around Tokyo via car, public transit and foot. You can download portions of the map so you don’t need to connect to internet to use the app.

Pros: The app is generally reliable, especially for all the walking you’ll do around Tokyo!

Cons: New stores and places are constantly popping up. While Google Maps does a great job at trying to keep up, it might not have the most up-to-date information all the time.

Tokyo Taxi Association – TAKKUN

iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

Call a taxi via the TAKKUN app. Select your pickup point and tap a button to have a cab come right to you. The app will let you know the taxi number of the cab picking you up.

Pros: It’s quick and easy: the app claims it takes a maximum of two minutes to locate a taxi after you complete an order!

Cons: It only works in Tokyo’s 23 wards. You’ll also be charged a pickup fee.

Tokyo Subway Navigation

iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

The Tokyo Subway Navigation app provides a map of the Tokyo subway system.

Input the departure and arrival stations and the app will give you directions. It even provides the estimated travel time and cost of the ticket.

Pros: The app offers users a choice of input languages including Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Thai, French and Spanish.

Cons: None!


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tokyo travel apps

This app provides maps of pretty much any place in the world offline, completely free. You can get directions and find nearby hotels, attractions and restaurants.

Pros: The map of Tokyo is fully accessible offline so you don’t have to use data or find a Wi-Fi connection. The walking directions will even show you the terrain of your walk.

Cons: If you only use the offline map, you’ll need to remember to update it when you’re connected to the internet so you don’t get lost.

Tokyo Travel Apps for Sightseeing and Culture


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tokyo travel apps

Want to find out what music events are going on in Japan? iFlyer is the app used for promoting and sharing music-related events in Tokyo and beyond.

Pros: Users can order tickets and view them inside the app.

Cons: The search function is a bit finicky.

Tokyo Art Beat

iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

Tokyo Art Beat is your source for finding the hippest art scenes in the city. It lists events and links you the website for each one.

Pros: It’s an easy-to-use app that lets you search by location or by art category.

Cons: You’ll have to pay to get all the benefits of the app.


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tokyo travel apps

NHK WORLD TV provides users with up-to-date programs in English.

The app takes shows from 54 broadcast stations from around Japan as well as from 30 of the world’s majors cities. There are news and cultural shows as well as a program called #Tokyo, which gives visitors insight into what to see when they’re in Tokyo.

Pros: There are so many shows to watch to learn more about Tokyo and the country of Japan.

Cons: You might find yourself so caught up in watching the shows that you lose track of time!


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tokyo travel apps

When I was at sushi restaurants in Japan, I randomly pointed at menu items because I had almost no knowledge of the Japanese language. I just hoped that whatever was delivered would be something I would like.

I wish Sooshi had been around back then. By using this app, you’ll learn all about the different kinds of sushi, maki and nigiri.

Pros: It’s a beautiful app with high-quality pictures.

Cons: It could be a bit more expansive.

Tokyo Travel Apps for Daily Life

GURUNAVI – Japan Restaurant Guide

iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

Don’t know where or what to eat while in Tokyo? The GURUNAVI app can help you.

You can search by location, food category and price. You can also filter for restaurants with promotions, family atmospheres and even English menus.

Pros: GURUNAVI provides so much information and detail and even allows you to make reservations within the app.

Cons: The app doesn’t include restaurant reviews, so you’ll have to look up the restaurant using a different source if you want to read other diners’ thoughts.



tokyo travel apps

TABIMORI is like an intro guide to Japan. It provides newbies with information about how to take different modes of transportation, types of Japanese food and even how to use a bathroom.

The app has a built-in currency converter, weather forecast, QR code reader and guide to finding free Wi-Fi.

Pros: The app is available in Japanese, English, traditional and simplified Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, French and Spanish.

Cons: The information for tourists is fairly basic and might not be useful for more seasoned travelers.

Yurekuru Call

iOSAndroid | Website

tokyo travel apps

This app alerts you to earthquake warnings around the country. You can set the seismic activity intensity scale so you’re only notified about stronger earthquakes.

Pros: It’s very easy to use.

Cons: The app is in English for the most part, but it’s not flawless English. The tutorial is completely in Japanese.


There’s so much to do and see in Tokyo that you’re bound to need a little help along the way.

Download these apps and you’ll be able to take on Tokyo like a pro!

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.

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