5 Useful Android Apps for life in Japan!

This is mainly for foreigners who live in Japan. But if you’re traveling to Japan soon and you’re taking your unlocked(or other compatible) Android phone with you, then these would be really handy! And if you have 3G enabled, even better!

So, here are the Top 5 android apps:

  1. JED
  2. Foodspotting
  3. OTO
  4. Barcode Scanner
  5. 8tracks



The first one has to be JED. I use it almost everyday when I go grocery shopping and for much more! Unfortunately, the developer has put it on Hold. But no worries, you can still download and it works great!


What I love about it is that it Works offline!
Other features are: (In descending order of most useful) :

– Search in readings (Romaji), meanings (English) and Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana)

– Search and view results as you type!

– Multiple dictionaries ( English-Japanese, French-Japanese, Spanish-Japanese )
– Search results can contain words, expressions, Kanji (both Onyomi and Kunyomi) and inflected form for adjectives and verbs.
– Filters results based on content type (meaning, reading, character type, parts of speech, common words, common Kanji)
– Radicals lookup
– tags (vocabulary list) with possibility to search and export to Google Docs and Anki.

– Copy-Paste for most of the field and a notepad to gather information
– Animated Stroke Order Diagrams for Kanji

You can download it from Google Play – JED

Note: Sadly, the app developer has stopped updating the App. BUT, it still works so go ahead and try it!


If you’re visiting Japan for the first time, or if you’re visiting a new city in Japan – you’ll be wondering – Where do I find good food? Local specialties?

Foodspotting is a great app for foodies(like us)! This app is a visual guide to good food and where to find it. Check out their website here.

You can “spot” the dishes in your desired area, rate them and review them. If you’re like me and love to try new food every day and you love clicking pictures of them? You can post them on foodspotting, add your comments, the name of the dish and where you ate it and VOILA! Foodspotting adds the map and the address of the place for you.

It’s available for PC, Android and iPhone!

 3. OTO

“Okay, So I’m here. I got my phone….but WHOA! 100 yen for 1 minute?”

OTO is NOT free. It lets you make international calls at the rate of local calls. Not bad, right? This function works only in Korea and Japan. You can make “free” calls to around 80+ countries.

Ofcourse, Skype is FREE. But what about those times when your 3G/4G ain’t working? And you really badly need to call your mum? Well…OTO is my solution! What do you think about OTO? Do you have a better solution? Let me know in the comments.

4. Barcode Scanner

Many smartphones come with this app already installed. But In case you don’t, I recommend you do. JED and this go hand in hand when I go grocery shopping.

If you don’t want to buy two conditioners instead of buying a shampoo and a conditioner (Happened to us) Well, USE THIS APP!

If you’re using Chrome as a default browser on your phone, it translates the Japanese to your desired language. So you can click on the website link that shows up and get all the information you need about the product.


 5. 8tracks

What’s traveling without MUSIC?? I absolutely love 8tracks. I would use it anytime anywhere. It makes my day! Have you tried it?

Here’s a link to my favorite Japanese songs playlist:

These are the top 5 apps I use almost everyday. I hope it helps you too. Download em’ and make life in Japan more interesting smile

I’ve not included “Google maps” in the list although I use it quite often. I’m sure most of you know about it and use it already. Right?

Your thoughts..

What are your favorite apps for life in Japan? Let us know in the comments?

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