Previously you had to be in Japan or to have a japanese AppStore account to get access to software that allows you to manage and add SUICA cards to your wallet and use it right-away for public transport.
Now with the 2020 olympics approaching more and more tourist support-apps are made available to non-japanese audiences.
Just like this little helper:
So the scenario was: You arrive at an airport in Japan. And the first thing you needed to do to use the public transport system was to get such a SUICA card either purchased or topped-up.
This is a straight forward process and they even came up with “Tourist SUICA” cards that will deactivate themselves after a certain amount of time and are cheaper to purchase upfront – still it was a process you had to know how it works.
With the above helper app you’re simply doing this:
For years now Google Maps did not allow us to download Offline Maps for Japan. It is an extremely useful feature when you are out and about and you might not yet have full mobile coverage or your plan is not set-up yet.
A week ago this was not possible and I have just now noticed that you can now select the Japan area for a custom offline map in the Google Maps app on my iPhone and on my iPad.
This is great news! Do you use the offline map feature?
I am having a hard time learning japanese and reading/writing the kanji especially.
Having to write japanese city names frequently (for example when doing searches) I still do remember the spoken out version of the name but I do not quite yet remember the kanji version. Also I do not want to switch back and forth in keyboard languages.
For this, especially in macOS and iOS there is a nice way around this. With the built-in “Text Replacement” feature of your Mac or iPhone/iPad you can easily mass-import a mapping between the romanized version of a word and the japanese written out kanji version of that word.
While you are typing then you will be presented with recommendation text replacements, effectively the kanjis of what you’ve just tried to write.
Unfortunately I do not know a way how to mass-import these text-replacements on iOS.
But if you own a macOS computer and you have it synced over iCloud with your mobile phone or tablet you will likely be able to open the text replacement pane in your system settings and import this plist file into it. Simply drag the file (after unzipping the ZIP file) into the text replacement window.
Download the Tokyo-Text-Replacement.zip file. Extract it (double clicking). And drag the .plist file into the Text Replacement Window.
For you to derive your own files you can find the raw data, a list of all designated Ken and Ward names in Tokyo here:
Let me introduce you to a wonderful concept. We are using these movies as backdrop when on the stepper or spinning, essentially when doing sports or as a screensaver that plays whenever nothing else is playing on the screens around the house.
What is it you ask?
The thing I am talking about is: Walking Videos! Especially from people who walk through Tokyo / Japan. And there are lots of them!
Think of it as a relaxing walk around a neighborhood you might not know. Take in the sounds and sights and enjoy. That’s the idea of it.
If you want the immediate experience, try this:
Of course there are a couple of different such YouTube channels waiting for your subscription. The most prominent ones I know are: