Maps

Now you can find the butcher, the baker and the yukata maker with Google Maps

Tourists from around the world are flocking to Japan in increasing numbers. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, over 2 million tourists came to Japan in April, which is the highest number on record. If you’re one of the many visitors who doesn’t speak or read Japanese, it can be tricky to find your way around.

Say you’re shopping in downtown Tokyo. Although Google Maps can you tell you the English and Japanese names of stores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi or Lawson, these don’t tell you what kind of stores these are. Are they cosmetics stores, fashion boutiques, ramen restaurants or stationery stores? The list of possibilities is endless. (Which is how long it can feel to switch between apps to look things up too!)

From today it’s easier to see what kind of store you’re looking at in Google Maps. Now you’ll be able to see if you’re looking at a bookstore, laundromat, pizza restaurant or toy store in Google Maps. This way you’ll know that you can pick up a late night snack at Lawsons or some cosmetics at Matsumoto Kiyoshi.
There are more than 1,000 types of businesses available and this feature will be available in 19 languages. These include Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Dutch, English, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

These categories are rolling out over time and will appear in Google Maps when you arrive in Japan. We hope this new feature makes exploring Japan easier with Google Maps—and good luck finding that yukata!