Using a Tablet While Traveling in Japan

Tablets and Touchpads are becoming essential to business professionals like myself (I use an Apple iPad) as well as travelers. They are light weight, can do most things you’d use a ‘net-book’ for, and best of all they’re so easy to use. Sean, a long time reader of JapanitUP wanted to give some quick insight about his experience using an HP Tablet during his recent trip to Japan. So… here’s Sean…

Recently my partner and I were traveling in Japan for 3 weeks. We flew in from the states to Tokyo and took trains and buses to Hakone, Takayama, Hiroshima and Kyoto. We’ve traveled internationally together before and enjoyed the mishaps that come with the territory, but this trip we were armed with a tablet. My mom gave me an HP coupon to get one and I thought, sure it’ll be nice to play with during down time, not have to lug around a heavy book to read and keep up with email so my family wouldn’t worry. Little did I know what an amazing and helpful tool it would be on our trip!

Never get lost again. Sure, a good guidebook has hundreds of maps. I usually rip out the ones of the town I’m in and carry them in my pocket for easy access, but inevitably I take a wrong turn somewhere. Try to navigate your way to Tokyo’s Kappabashi street from Asakusa with a map and then try using the map function on a tablet that shows you on the map, so you know exactly where you are and tell me which one is more effective.

Store and post pictures online immediately. You can do this with certain phones too, but data plans may apply. With a tablet, you just need to be in wifi range. We visited the Hakone open-aired museum and were able to snap shots of us in front of Rodin’s exquisite sculpture Drowning. It was my Facebook profile picture less than 5 minutes later.

Get up to date reviews fast. I’m a big lover of Lonely Planet Travel Guides, but they are super bulky and go out of date every year. Their website is the best way to have instant access for places to stay and eat, and everything else you might need to know. Book your hostel for the next town before it fills up. Book your Bullet train tickets, decide what you want to do next and find advice on nightlife all from something that weighs about a third of the guidebook.

Our entire trip was enchanting. We always said we never minded getting lost, as it was part of the journey, then we went our entire trip not getting lost once and realized that was just as fulfilling. The important thing is that you visit Japan, but if you grab an HP coupon to take advantage of a cheap tablet you’ll be glad you did that too.

4 thoughts on “Using a Tablet While Traveling in Japan

  1. Not only do tablets double as a mobile map, but you can also find some cool apps these days. A friend recently came out with an app on Japanese Gestures – funny writing, great photos and makes for a great Japan keepsake http://youtu.be/JbBC5hU4V5g

  2. I plan on visiting Japan this November 2012 but I can’t afford a tablet ! I’m still saving for my trip =) I guess I’ll have to use the old ways and keep my map in my pocket !
    But that’s a great Idea though =)

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