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Misi Gunung

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 7:31 PM
YAMAP : Japan's Social GPS Trekking Companion


Another mountain map smartphone application that I used during Japan trip is YAMAP. Just like Mapple, it offers offline map, information on the elevation, parking, trailhead, etc., can track your progress and location. But not only that, YAMAP lets you save your progress, keep track of the calories burn, pictures (yes, you can take pictures while using it), and it gives you option whether you want to share it with the rest of YAMAP community or just keep it to yourself. It is also pretty accurate. I used this most of time before I discovered Mapple. 



Good news is most of the instruction is in English, but in order to find the mountain map, you still have to use Japanese. Worry not, Google Translate is always there to do the job for you. 



It is like a social media where you can like, or comment on other people's post. And since most users are Japanese, they use the native language in their post instead of English. Kind of struggle to understand, but you will get through it. 


I don't think there's a limit on how many maps you can download. But like Mapple, you also have to pay especially if you want to unlock and use other functions offered for premium member. They offer premium membership up to a year. You can choose the one that suits your need. Once you have purchased the ticket, you can get access to topographical maps (in colors) and few more other functions.



You can check mine @ izzarosli (YAMAP app)

You can download the app here (for Apple user) or here (for Android user).

You can read more on YAMAP here or here or here

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 1:33 AM
Japanese Mountain Map 101

I discovered this Mapple Mountain Map during my recent hiking trip in Japan. My Japanese friend introduced and taught me how to use it. I rarely use map during hiking as we don't really have a proper one, both in Malaysia and Indonesia (or maybe it's just me who hasn't found it yet 😅). So, here's a few tips on how to get and use the Mapple Japanese Mountain Map.

  1. Mapple Mountain Map offers two versions of map, physical map and digital map.For physical map, you can buy it at outdoor shops or bookstores. Just ask the staffs, they will help you with it.


  2. If you cannot speak or read Japanese well, use Google Translate. Just search the name of the mountain and show it to them. For example, 富士山 (Mount Fuji/Fuji-san). 山 (pronounce as 'yama') means 'mountain'. Japanese also use '-san' to refer to mountain (e.g : Fuji-san). Both are correct and can be used depends on the context.

  3. For digital map, you can download it for free from App Store or Google Play Store. Search '山と高原地図'. But they only give you one free sample map which is Takao-san's (Mount Takao) map. The rest you have to pay. For Apple user, you can pay through iTunes account.

  4. But for digital version, you kinda have to work hard as everything is in Japanese (I think both versions are). You might need someone who is well verse in Japanese to help you out. As for me, I just Google Translate everything and use my logic to understand and figure things out. It works well for me. 😂

  5. Most of the Japanese mountain maps give both hiking time and distance. So, use it well to plan your trip. If you cannot predict your pace according to the time given, I suggest you to use digital map instead of the physical one as the digital map can be used even without internet connection. It is also can detect your location (offline map, but you have to download it first).


  6. The map is 99% accurate as it is always up-to-date. Proven by me and most of Japanese hikers. Everything's there. Do read it carefully and thoroughly. 

  7. It is also pretty and waterproof (which is good for outdoor especially during rainy days). 

  8. Since, most of the trail signage is in Japanese, make sure you write down important words like the name of the mountain or trail or the mountain hut in Japanese character, so in case you get lost, you can use it to find your way out because not all Japanese people in the rural area can speak or read English well. Also don't forget to keep all the emergency numbers. 

  9. Lastly, don't forget to always, always and always check the weather forecast, bring the raincoat, rain cover (for your bag), money and power bank along with you (if you use digital map).


Thanks to Sota-san (my Japanese hiking friend) and Marco Pefferkoven (the trail runner that I met at Mount Fuji) for introducing and explaining to me how this map works. Oh! And I also use Lonely Planet 'Hiking in Japan' as reference. Good guide. Hope this information helps to those who want to try hiking in Japan. 😁

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