First of all, google maps is really stupid. Anyone who spends more than 5 minutes in Japan quickly learns that all all street signs, all train signs, and all signs that are at all useful for navigation in Japan have romaji on them (English alphabet). This is because Kanji is very difficult especially when it comes to names. Kanji can have multiple readings, so if you are lost and looking at signs, even the locals can have trouble understanding whether they are in Otsuki or Daitsuki, two possible readings for 大月. Ben is good at Japanese, but his kanji is still pretty rudimentary, it is a constant frustration for Ben and I that although we typed the search in romaji, the street names and block names are all in kanji.
I am actually baffled by how utterly useless the iPhone is now for navigation in Japan.
Here are the recent changes
1. The iPhone now only registers my current location about 1/3rd of the time, including places with full service, and a clear view of the sky.
2. Romaji versions of Japanese Addresses (i.e. the way you would write the address on a letter to Japan from the United States) are no longer valid when searching on the iPhone.
3. Searching for addresses in Japanese only works for major landmarks (you can no longer search for Ben and my house on the iPhone)
|I searched for Uenohara Station... that is not Uenohara station|
4. Most train stations no longer register as valid locations on the phone
5. Driving directions are now gobbledygook.
First of all, the directions are in miles. Miles are useless here, it would be better if they gave me directions based on the length of a unicorn horn, at least it would make me smile. (I changed my map settings to km, but my directions still show up in miles).
Often the directions say "take exit" without giving the exit name (in Japan it is not unheard of to half a dozen exits within a km of each other).
Often the Kanji is just plain wrong.
And now, often, the directions get you to wrong places.
6. Walking directions now never work...ever. I wish you could at least pull up a map and watch it move as you walk around, but it can't track you (it never really could).
7. Directions often direct you to wrong places.
|My search by public transportation|
I hope they fix the maps system soon. If anyone knows a good app for navigating in Japan, please let me know!