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Tips for Google Maps Japan? 2009/10/6 23:41
I'm trying to set up a map guide in Google Maps for Tokyo, and I'm having considerable trouble nailing down the exact points. I have a feeling that the English writing of the addresses don't line up exactly with the Japanese writing.

For example, I am looking for the Matsugen Ebisu soba noodle shop at the given address, ''1-3-1 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku Tokyo''. When I enter that specific address, Google Maps is unable to locate its exact position even though an exact address has been input.

Does anyone have any tips on how I can pinpoint an exact location with English characters?
by foomarks  

google maps 2009/10/7 11:37
Unfortunately, I've found that the english overlay of google maps to have some significant errors. Cities are mislabeled, and searching by english address can have significant trouble finding anything lower than the city level. If its not a well known landmark then it will be hard to find via english. The only reliable way I've found to get around this is to search using Japanese addresses, and even then it is buggy.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

try this 2009/10/7 11:53
by bb (guest) rate this post as useful

diddlefinger 2009/10/7 12:08

excellent recommendation. I checked out a few test addresses and it was right on. I guess the issue is with romaji input into google, which diddlefinger seems to overcome by requiring you to input the address into a form.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Heaven sake 2009/10/7 15:18
I tried from California , Matsuzen Ebisu, and instantly

by stanfordgal rate this post as useful

one example 2009/10/7 15:35

Its great that that particular restaurant is tagged on a google map, however it required someone to do the work beforehand. Foomarks is looking for a reliable method of looking up future addresses in romaji. The quote "teach a man to fish" comes to mind.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Matsugen Ebisu directions 2009/10/7 16:45
Even in Japanese, I find it sometimes hard to pinpoint a location on Google Map or Street View. Sometimes it's just better to buy a detailed map (such as Bilingual Atlas) and find the place yourself by walking.

As for Matsugen Ebisu, however, I easily found a website showing a Japanese map and directions in English, by Googling in English.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/10/8 01:49

As bb suggested above, try
I've been using it for quite some time and it seems to work for most addresses. There are the occasional few that end up in the ocean. You can even input the address in Japanese. I've found that more reliable than the English version several times.
by geogeek1 rate this post as useful

Thank you! 2009/10/8 04:44
Thank you everyone for their suggestions!

1. I checked out based on your suggestion. It doesn't nail it perfectly every time, but this is still a great resource.

2. Most shops and services provide maps on their website, and I will match them up on my own maps.
by foomarks rate this post as useful

diddlefinger 2009/10/8 07:22
Thanks, Geogeek1. I'm just curious, though. I tried locating 1-1-1 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku which is the address of the original question and didn't work as good as Google Map. I either ended up at the wrong place searching in Japanese, or I could only go as far as Shibuya-ku in English. Am I missing something?
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

google maps 2009/10/8 11:02

Nope, its just that google maps for Japan (in english) is still in its infancy and simply not as developed as the Japanese version. As I mentioned before, searching in romaji can often go only as far as the city/ku level. Also, the satellite maps that are available for the less developed regions of Japan are also often detailed down to only the city level.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Is this the place? 2009/10/8 12:06

If so, you need to start with Tokyo, then Shibuya, then Hiro. Make sure you click on what is presented to you in the drop-down list.
by geogeek1 rate this post as useful

Sorry, 2009/10/8 12:11
The OP was looking for this address: 1-3-1

Try this one.
by geogeek1 rate this post as useful

Thank you 2009/10/8 14:27
Thank you Yllwsmrf and Geogeek1, and sorry for typing the wrong address.

Geogeek1, I did try to narrow it down gradually by typing "Tokyo" in Step1 and "Shibuya-ku" in Step2, but I typed "Hiroo" or "Hiro" in Step3 and neither of them worked. The system just stops there. (It worked for "Jingumae" though)

But it's okay. I have no problem finding that noodle shop by typing in Japanese which is my native language. I was just curious, and I don't want to bother this thread any more by posting off-topic posts. Thanks again.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Translate address first 2009/10/9 01:56
Hi everyone,

Thank you again for the tips. I found another method that seems to work 95% of the time: Translate the English written address into Japanese using Google Translate. For example, I translated the following:

"2-1, Ueno-Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo"

which gave me this:


I plugged that address in and it gave me the exact location!
by foomarks rate this post as useful

Diddlefinger developer 2009/10/22 14:52
Hi - if you have problems with a genuine address on diddlefinger, by all means drop me a line at the address on the site.

regards nick
by Nick May (guest) rate this post as useful

Google maps 2009/10/23 17:17
it is not just in Japan..I looked at maps of small places in France that I knew, and while Google earth showed the streets in the correct position, when you switch to Google maps the highlighted overlay of streets showing the names is visibly skewed and isn't superimposed on the actual streets...quite confusing unless one knows the place well.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

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