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Thursday, 4th February 2016
In Japan Travel News,

Smartphone app for underground areas around Tokyo Station being tested

Tests are now being carried out by the land ministry on a smartphone app to help travellers navigate the underground areas around Tokyo Station.

Smart Navi has been developed due to the problems with navigational tools below ground where GPS signal cannot reach, reports the Japan Times.

Android phone users can download the free app until March 6th, as it is tested with the view to roll it out to the general public.

The current test takes in areas around Tokyo Station, such as the Marunouchi, Yurakucho, Ginza and Yaesu districts.

It has set up 300 beacons that allow mapping of the indoor facilities to take place and provide an accurate picture of layouts.

Users can discover the best routes to get to their destination and how long it will take, as well as where ticket gates and coin lockers can be found.

On top of this, information about the closest restaurants and other businesses will also be presented to the visitor.

At present, the app is only available in Japanese, but once the initial tests have been completed, the plan is to cover more destinations and also offer the service in English.

This entire process is not expected to be complete until 2018, when the app will be officially launched.

Navigating a new city can be one of the biggest challenges when travelling to a new place and this can become especially difficult when it’s a sprawling capital, with various transport options.

Luckily, in this day and age it is no longer necessary to rely solely on paper maps, with so many apps and other technological solutions available.

Related news stories:
New app helps Tokyo subway navigation (1st July 2014)