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Gaijin phone or how to use your smartphone to help you out in Japan

By Unassigned Robot - Posted on 13 May 2011




More and more people carry around those little pocket computers with phone functionality advertised as smartphones. There are a bunch of applications for those phones which are interesting for foreigners staying in Japan. Unfortunately, the application stores are crowded with junk applications and it is difficult and time consuming to find a set of good applications.
Below you will find a list of useful applications for Android-OS based devices (sorry i-guys, if someone sends me a list, I will add it here).
If you know other interesting applications to make your stay in Japan more interesting, easier, less awkward or simply more fun, send them in and I will add them. However, strictly Japanese/Japan related applications only…


name requires data connection description
Aedict offline, after loading dictionaries A very good offline dictionary Japanese<->English including Kanji look-up and Romanji/Kana input
aMetro offline, after loading maps Metro-stations around the world including Tokyo and Sendai… yes we have a single line here… and we are proud of
ChibiJisho offline Japanese offline phrasebook written in English/Romanji/Kana
Chizroid online Topographic maps of Japan… this sort of maps governments releases. As a real techy you never trust Google maps only
Colordict offline, after installing dictionaries A multi-language dictionary for all kind of languages including Japanese
Euro-Japan Dictionary online and offline Basic dictionary for French/German<->Japanese
Furigana Automatic offline Create Furigana Kana-reading for Japanese names in your address book
Freedict offline, after installing dictionaries A multi-language dictionary for all kind of languages including Japanese
Glympse online Share your location with someone for a certain time… great if you get lost in Japan (and therefore Japanese related ;))
Goggles online Take a picture and let the Google spider search for information. Could be barcodes, brand names, buildings, etc.
Good Character offline Kanji-look up by many different methods, including drawing recognition
Human Japanese offline, after installation of data A very fun and nicely to read Japanese interactive textbook
Japan Trains online Find the best connection for trains from A to B, including local and Shinkansen lines no subway, English menu
Japanse Text Analyser online Does all kind of text analysis for Japanese text… not sure how useful it is
Japanese Traffic online Real time traffic information
JapanPostCode online Read those funny barcodes from Japanese Post
JED offline, after dictionary installation Japanese<->English/French/Spanish dictionaries
Kanakana online Simple Kanji to kana converter
Kanji Quiz offline, after data installation Quiz to learn Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji
Kanji Yomi online OCR for Kanjis… well you need good light a steady hand and luck…
Kanji recognition offline Kanji look up by handwriting recognition
Learn Japanese number offline Well, learn Japanese numbers
Mac coupon online Special meal sets offer in Japanese McDonalds stores
MultiLing keyboard offline A softkeyboard for many different languages changeable by swiping over the space buttons including Japanese with Romanji/Kana input
HanWriting offline Add-on for MultiLing keyboard for handwritten Kanji recognition
MySoftbank online Access to Softbank mobile phone carrier account only in Japanese
Numerals offline Type Arabic numbers and convert them into Japanese numbers, including the always troubling "ichi-man" one tenthousand unit conversion.
Pocketbook Appendix offline All kind of information, holidays, geography, conversion, postal charges, etc. including many facts of Japan. Mimic the kind of infos you find at the end of a paper organisers.
Relax and Sleep offline Enjoy your jet lag with a set of background sounds I know this is not Japanese related… but hey they have a Shishiodoshi sound there
SPB Japanese Cards offline Picture based Japanese learning tool with native spoken output similar to Rosetta Stone
Traffic online Japanese traffic information for Car, Train and Airport, in Japanese
tWareki offline Convert dates from Gregorian calendar into Japanese calendar
Wikitude online Augmented reality tool with all kind of information including many places in Japan
WWWJDIC online Japanese-English dictionary including a Kanji OCR

Disaster special edition:


name requires data connection description
Global Nuclear Watch online Fun to show people that Tokyo and Sendai getting less radiation compared to there individual home towns
Namazu Alert online receives Japanese Early Earthquake Warnings (EEW) by push service, Alarm-levels are adjustable. Not always in time but its easier to find your buzzing and vibrating phone after the earthquake ;)
Safe Area Checker online Estimated map of the Fukushima power plants radiation cloud including wind directions.
GeigerWidget online Widget to show radiation level

Date: 2011-05-13 Fri

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