How to navigate using a smartphone or tablet.

It could be sometime bothersome when you have the address of a place you want to visit but your smartphone doesn’t respond well. I have been to such trouble many times, so I had to stop people on the street and show them the address. Since, Japanese people are very kind and nice, most of the time they would just go with me, because they could not tell me the direction in English. Always I would feel bad for the person to go all the way back especially when they lead me to a bit far place. Therefore I tried to figure out how to use smartphone smartly. In my case, I use IPhone (other smartphone might work as well, Just I didn’t use it), and I prefer to use Google map apps for its precession because for most of the restaurants and offices it shows even the floor. So I highly recommend you to use Google map in Japan.

How Japanese people write address:

In Japan (Japanese) the address is written from the largest to the smallest, and the name of addressee or building name are the very last one. For example for Tokyo Sky Tree is:

住所:〒131 0045 東京都墨田区押上1丁目1番2号 都京スカイツリー

〒131 0045 Tokyo-to Sumida-ku 1-Chome 5-ban 3-go Tokyo Sky Tree


The order is reverse when writing in Roman letter in order to suit the western conventional address writing style.

Therefore Address for Tokyo Sky Tree is:

Tokyo Sky-Tree

1(chome)-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 131-0045


To Navigate precisely:

Type only “Oshiage 1-1-2” on your Google maps app from the address. The app will give you information about train, walk, and private car. However, many people type the entire address. Most of the times response will be error, suggest similar addresses, and sometime will automatically change to an address that the app guesses.


In case of finding a restaurant, I do the same as above (town name, district number, street and block numbers). Then I follow the direction on the map. I look for the name of the restaurants when I arrive to street and block.

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