Everyone told you to get a smartphone for your Ishikawa JET tenure, but whether you’re running iOS or Android, your phone is only as useful as the apps you put on it. Here are some recommendations to get you started or to make your life a little easier.
For Both Android and iPhone
Yurekuru Call (EN and JP, free). An earthquake warning app. Uses your location and your phone’s notification system to give you up to a minute’s warning before an earthquake is projected to hit your area. Highly recommended–it may be the only English language warning you get.
Japan Goggles (EN, free). This nifty app uses your smartphone camera to recognize and translate kanji words. It might take a moment for the app to recognize the right kanji compound, but it’s still incredibly helpful.
iConnect (EN, free) Published by AJET, this app is a converter, phrasebook, directory, and national event guide all in one! If you miss the JET Diary, this app is for you.
Ishikawa Travel Guide (EN, Free). Uses Google Maps to show you nearby sights throughout Ishikawa. Unfortunately, the gourmet list is lacking, but the list of sightseeing spots and activities is comprehensive. Good for exploring a new part of the prefecture!
北鉄バスビュワー Hokutetsu Bus Viewer (JP, free). Japanese language bus route-finder and schedule for buses all around the prefecture. Allows you to bookmark your favorite bus routes. It can also use your current location to find nearby bus stops.
乗換案内 by Jorudan (Free, JP). Japanese only. A nationwide train route finder and schedule. Recognizes romaji place name input. Includes a Live feature that notes train delays. The paid version, 乗換案内プラス (norikae-annai plus), is 630 yen in both stores and allows you to save routes.
EnjoyLearning Japan Map Puzzle (Free, JP). Want to get 上手 (jouzu) at Japanese geography and prefecture names? This drag and drop prefecture map game will help. It includes hiragana readings of the prefecture names, too.
Platform-specific apps are after the jump!
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