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Have you found Google Maps in Japan to be reliable?


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Yes, it’s reliable for me ine the suburbs/countryside, as long as you don’t mind ending up on some zero-visibility inaka access road that’s barely wide enough for a single kei truck. The algorithm says it’s technically a road, so it takes you there. I wish there was some way to make a setting where you would only travel on 2 lane roads, for now I just have to check the route and plan ahead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once, about 5 years ago, it led me to the wrong location. But other than that, it's been a godsend.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's fine for use at home but Apple map is better and easier to use for driving.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sounds strange perhaps, but you need to know how to interpret Google Map results especially if you use it to reach a destination.

My experience: I was on my way by bicycle from Lake Akan to Furano and decided to avoid Obihiro by taking Rt241 after Shihoro then make my way south to a hostel in Shintoku. When I got as far as Rt718 and the Tokachi River I input “Shintoku” and got a course. Shortly afterward the battery charge was exhausted. “No problem” as the “point” indicated by Google was right on Rt38. It turned out to be halfway up the grade to Karakachi Pass (After leaving Rt718 I approached Rt38 by side roads and not from the bottom of the grade.) When I arrived at the point and found nothing but trees, mountain and uphill grade, I realized I should have input “Shintoku Station”. I reckoned that the point returned was the geographic center of Shintoku township. I had to pitch my tent there in bear country to shelter from an approaching rainstorm as night fell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes - totally agree with JeffLee. The traffic information is also superb too and more up to date than VICS a lot of the time. To be clear I am a user of Android and Apple Devices , and like both for different reasons, but I have to disagree with a comment above, Apple Maps aren't even close yet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's pretty good in terms of train station directions and that kind of thing, but Yahoo Maps has a few Japan-specific features that I really like:

Google Maps writes everything horizontally, probably because it was translated from English without much thought given to other orientations, but Yahoo has a mixture of vertical and horizontal. Names of north-south streets are a lot easier to read vertically.

Yahoo displays the numbers of a lot more buildings than Google does, and lets you see a list of all the building numbers in a given neighborhood. On Google, while you can often see the building number if you sub-click and select "What's here?", that only works if the building doesn't have a business name attached to it, which takes precedence. Most of the time people are looking for specific businesses, not house numbers, but there are times when you just want the number, and Google makes it harder. They also don't allot enough space for a lot of things, so you're stuck with a meaningless "東京都新宿区…" with the most important part cut off at the end.

They each have their good points. I use both all the time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Google Navi is very reliable, and coverage in Japan is excellent. It missed occasionally. When the Navi says "head west", that's quite annoying when it is anything but obvious which way west is. And, as Arrrgh said above, Google can send me down some barely navigable back roads when there is a perfectly acceptable 2-lane road nearby that would take maybe 30 seconds longer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would u really want strangers to view your house and garden on their map? And yourself?

Some day the map will even show what you do in your bedroom and toilet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No, and Japanese address format is the worst in the world. Even Alaska is easier to find and navigate than Osaka.

Google maps doesn't help with incorrect, missing or superimposed building numbers, omit street names, and incomplete maps. Train station maps are really bad.

But the alternative is not free, Mapion has useful features, and Navtime seemsto be updated regularly. So I stick to Google Maps and put up with it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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