Japan Apps

Useful Apps for Visitors & Expats

See our list of useful apps below. Japan has the “J-ALERT” emergency broadcast system, and you can receive these on mobile devices with SIM cards from the major carriers. As an alternative, some apps such as the “NHK World TV” app can receive the alerts in a timely manner.

eSolia recommends visitors and residents to set your mobile device to receive alerts, and install these apps from your app store, confirming settings to receive quake, tsunami and/or breaking news alerts.

App NameNotesLink
iOS Emergency AlertsFor phones with SIM cards from the major carriers in Japan (SoftBank, KDDI Au, NTT DoCoMo), navigate to iOS Settings, Notifications, then scroll down and tap “Emergency Alerts” to ON, to receive alerts directly to your mobile device.
NERV Disaster Prevention ApplicationNERV is an app that delivers optimized disaster prevention and weather information, such as earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption alerts, or flood and landslide information based on the user’s registered location. Japan residents and visitors can get real time information to help them take appropriate action.
Android 8.1+ Emergency AlertsFor mobiles with Android 8.1 (or later), you can directly receive Emergency alerts. Here’s how to enable for SoftBank, KDDI Au, and NTT DoCoMo (in Japanese).
NHK World TVNHK’s News and alert app for Smartphones. Enable alert notifications in settings.
Digi-Police Anti-Crime AppDigi Police is an app created by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency, to help fight crime. It has an SOS Message mode, that allows a person being molested (on the train) to stay silent while broadcasting the situation. In Japanese language.
JAPAN Hospital GuideMultilingual iOS smartphone app with GPS guide maps, to help Japan visitors find hospitals and clinics.
Yurekuru CallQuake alert smartphone app with in-app purchases.
Safety TipsA multilingual disaster safety tips and early warning app for quake, tsunami, volcano, weather warnings (etc).
PocketShelterA multilingual smartphone app, with evacuation area map (offline ok), which helps confirm contacts’ safety.

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