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Caching In Japan

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I don't really use any mapping for the caches I've done. Sometimes I'll look them up with google maps before I head out. I've found google maps has very accurate maps of Japan, but they are in Japanese. I don't know what type of software you could actually download to your GPS.

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I am heading to japan in june and was wondering what mapping options i have for my explorist 600? Google? Mapsend? Any thoughts will help thanks....

I am wonderring how foreign tourist is reading Japanese maps.

If I am watching this site until you come to Japan,

I will translate the googlemaps.like this?


Please make it to jpg-file,and upload to somewhere,or give me e-mail.


This site will be consulted if you use a train in tokyo area.



Have a nice trip!

Edited by nora_mike
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I am heading to japan in june and was wondering what mapping options i have for my explorist 600? Google? Mapsend? Any thoughts will help thanks....


I have an explorist 500. Unless magellan offers a detailed Japan map, the mapping options are limited to the world basemaps. This worked for me in Peru, but there were only a few caches there (and most of them were placed in areas where the arrow was all that I needed). At the very least, the basemaps can give a bit of color to the screen.


Before leaving on that trip, I did some research into converting maps into a magellan format -- there are some impressive examples of what can be done, but it is a complex subject not suited for this forum.

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I hope you enjoy Japan, I fell in love with it during several months of business trips in 2004 through 2006. I hope to go back with my family some day and see more of the country.


For my most recent trip to Tokyo, I resorted to the Magellan Basemap on my 500 (less than even slightly useful), and my knowledge of the area, along with Google Earth, my map book, and some Japanese mapping web sites. As long as you can track down the general area of the cache, and are not using the GPSr for navigation to get there, you should be fine. If, however, you actually need to navigate to the cache site using the GPSr alone, the options available for the 600 likely will not do it for you.


Interfacing your 600 with a laptop running Google Earth may be your next best option. This has the drawbacks of extra equipment to haul around, low laptop battery life, and the need for either a live data feed or pre-cached map data. Alternately, Oziexplorer with self made maps using captures from Google Earth are a technique that I have successfully employed for caching in China since my last Tokyo trip. The disadvantage is the extra work up front in creating the maps, the advantage is no need for an Internet connection for streaming of the map data.


The other option, and one you may have to resort to, is paper maps. These tend to work better than a GPSr in situations where you need to ask for directions, or when directing a taxi driver.


Also, as with caching anywhere, be prepared with something you can present to authorities if they question your activities. Show proper respect in these situations and you will do fine. Japan is a very safe place compared to many other countries, and they are just trying to keep it that way.


Don't forget your official geomuggle disguise kit, because if you happen to be non-asian, you are going to really stand out. I spent three hours one day trying to get close enough to one cache to grab it, and ended up coming back a second time and trying again for a few hours to get to it, with no luck in the end. I just stood out too much, and there were way too many people in the park.


One last suggestion, get a Japanese mobile phone, with an english speaking Japanese friend on the other end of it. A translator who is only a call away can be your salvation when you are lost and trying to ask a local for directions, or giving a taxi driver directions back to your hotel at the end of the day. You can rent phones at the airports, roam if your phone supports 3G, or buy inexpensive phones in the convenience stores. I picked up one while I was there in 2004 that cost me about $50 including a $20 call credit. Sure, the phone and manual were entirely in Japanese, but that is all part of the traveling adventure! On later trips my credit had expired, so I just used my foreign 3G phone roaming on the Vodafone network.


Good luck :D Feel free to PM me if you like.

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