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24 December 2009 @ 02:51 am
Just ordered atr kik at Axum Ethiopian Restaurant in Osaka. Looks like yemisir wot. Wearing my Cafe Colucci shirt. Need to get better at finding my way around...might buy a GPS.

Hein: displayfub on December 24th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
I can certify from personal experience that using a mapping GPS in Japan made our lives much, much easier! I have even created a small website about it.
ashi: ashi.comashi on December 24th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
Cool, very helpful. My phone has a GPS that works fine in the US, but it depends on Sprint data, which even if I could get here, would be very expensive. It can also work with wifi, but that won't really do either.

Osaka has Nippombashi DEN-DEN Town, a mini Akihabara-like area. I think I will price some GPS units there. I know some kanji, and it won't hurt me to practice. :)
Hein: 2D barcodefub on December 24th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
Actually, I think the various units are a bit cheaper in the US... look for a Garmin Etrex unit with mapping functionality, a color screen and a built-in electronic compass!
ashi: cat6 diagramashi on December 25th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Ah, but I'm in Japan, and would like to get one soon... :)
Hein: azumangafub on December 25th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
Heh, I understand. If you do get a Garmin unit that's capable of displaying maps (and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't), look at the free map that I link to on my site. It does have the street plans of Osaka and Kyoto and Tokyo -- at least the major streets. And things like subway stations, temples and shrines are also marked on it, so that does make getting around easier as well.
The only difficulty is getting the map data onto the system. Garmin doesn't have Linux software, so you'll need access to a Windows machine to run the Mapsource program.

But, as someone mentions below, a cheap prepaid phone with GPS might work too -- but depending on the amount of data you send and receive, the GPS unit might actually be cheaper...
ashi: charybdisashi on December 27th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
I did pick up a Garmin. A nüvi 250. Since I bought it here, it is already loaded with maps of Japan. Thanks :)
ashi: cat6 diagramashi on January 13th, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
I just ordered a set of maps for North America on an SD card. :)
Koukou on December 24th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Can't you just get a prepaid phone in Japan, complete with a (9[1-9]) [\d]{3} [\d]{7} phone number and data service? I'd be surprised if even the cheapest puhreee-payed phones didn't have some kind of location services.

Plus, J-phones are such a necessity in Japan these days for everything. Scanning website QR codes (like the one in this thread), C-mode coke machine purchass, theme park admission and conbini billpay (these use QR code on screen)1, train access with Suica-Pasmo system (models with NFC radio/arphid), plus of course, it's also needed for joining Mixi social network and subscription sites like CLAMP-NET, the CLAMP manga publisher's paywalled fansite.

It's like a single point of failure, single sign on credential2 for Japan. Amaterasu forbid that you, well, lose it or anything like that. That would be silly!

1. The Starbucks Card app for the iDon't works the same was a C-mode. It displays a QR code on screen, which is used to authorize a Starbucks Card account. I've always wondered whether the credential barcodes on Cmode/Starbucks actually rotate or not. Or if they're even encrypted.
2. I've even used phones for my meatspace IDs before by displaying a picture of my school ID/flash pass to get on the bus - the horizontal iDon't screen is just the exact size for a CR80 card.
ashi: arrrr!ashi on December 27th, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)
I already picked up a prepaid softbank phone for 3500 yen from a gaijin who was selling his before taking off. It does voice and email, but that's it. The last time I went to Japan, I rented one that only did voice. It could scan QR codes, but couldn't do anything with them. Most features were locked out.

At least this one can take pictures and email them to LJ as attachments to make a post like this one. :) Thanks.
Dächdach on December 24th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
I found it very easy to get around the Osaka area, though I did spend most of my time in Umeda. If you go to Amerikamura, there's a restaurant there called 1 for 81 that was supposedly run by Americans, and was the first restaurant in Japan go give free drink refills. Not that one goes to Japan to eat American food, though.

But I found everything I had set out to find, even the Territory-D store in the basement. B2F, actually. I used a paper map way back in 2005, but I always planned out my route before leaving the hotel. Besides, in Osaka, there's plenty of good reasons to get lost :)
mizuno_youkomizuno_youko on December 25th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)