Home >> Japan Travel >> Japan Map Code Search – How to find Map Codes for your destinations


Update (Aug 2016)

There is now a simpler way to search for Japan map codes.  You can use the following website, which works pretty much like Google maps, to search for your destination in English and it will display the result with the mapcode:




What is Japan Map Code?

japan map code 2

Mapcode is a convenient way of keying in your destination on the GPS when on a self-drive holiday to Japan.  Rental cars in Japan come with built-in navigation systems.  When searching for your destination, you will find an option called マップコード (MAPCODE).  If you know the mapcode of your destination, simply key it in and you are set to go – Easy Peasy!

Japan Mapcode


That sounds great! But how do I know the Japan Map Code of where I want to go?

Step 1

You will first need the Japanese name of your destination.  Try searching for official websites of the place you wish to visit and copying the Japanese name from there.

Step 2

Go to Mapion website.  Copy and Paste the name of your destination in Japanese into the text box.  Click on the blue button next to the text box to begin search.

How to search for Japan Map Code 1

Step 3

If more than 1 search result appears, you will need to determine which one is your correct destination.  This can be done by comparing the telephone number or address from the official websites.

I would advise you to note down the telephone number of your destination.  In case the Map Code doesn’t work on your GPS, you can trying searching for your destination using telephone number (電話番号) instead.

After you have figured out which is the correct result, click on the GREEN ICON corresponding to the correct destination.

How to search for Japan Map Code 2

Step 4

You should now see a map with a small green arrow pointing to the exact location of your destination.  Look for “+ 便利シール” at the top right-hand corner just above the map.  Click on it to expand the menu.

How to search for Japan Map Code 3

Step 5

From the drop-down menu, choose “地図URL”.

How to search for Japan Map Code 4

Step 6

A pop-up window will appear.  The Map Code (マップコード) you need is the chain of numbers that appear at the bottom.

How to search for Japan Map Code 5

Hope this tutorial will be helpful to anyone seeking to do a self-drive free and easy holiday in Japan.  Enjoy your vacation and drive safe! 🙂

This post is archived under my Japan Travel Blog:


the author

Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.


  1. Chuan says:

    Hi Bumblebee Mum,

    Its me again! Love your post! Just to confirm, all rental cars come with GPS (MapCode?). So its not like other countries where you need to specially rent a GPS unit?

    I was thinking of using Google Maps through a mobile device but I noticed driving in Australia that its at time abit slow in updating your actual position. Especially in the Cities. What do u using when going around hokkaido?


    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, rental cars from all major car companies in Japan come with built-in GPS. I know in Australia you need to rent a separate GPS unit and they charge a premium for it, but in Japan, the GPS is built into the car on the dashboard.

      In Hokkaido (or anywhere in Japan), I always rely on the car’s built-in GPS. You input your destination using telephone number or Map Code, so foreigners who do not know Japanese can still find their destinations easily. Amazing technology if you ask me. Still remember in Australia, I had to spell the name of the place and scroll through a dozen options to figure out which is the correct one and sometimes my spelling is wrong yada yada.. Oh well, I digressed.

  2. evie quah says:

    HI bumblebee mum! Love your blog and what you’ve been doing with your kids! They are so fortunate to have an adventurous mum like you! Thank you for so pain stakingly writing down details for readers such that we can plan better for our outings and trips overseas. Really appreciate your generousity (I know many SAHMs wld prefer to catch up on their much needed sleep! )

    May I request for your advice for my upcoming trip to Hokkaido with my family? We are doing a free n easy 11 day trip and this is my 1st time driving in Japan, so I’m relying alot on the info found on your blog! Arigato!!! =) HOW do you manage to squeeze in so many activities in a day? Haha I think I can only cover 2 places in a day! We will be there from 11th-21st June. Could you suggest day trips that we could make during the days that we are staying in Sapporo?The rough plan is as follows.

    11th – check into Renaissance Sapporo and explore the Susukino district where our hotel is. Ramen Alley!!

    12th – Odori Park, where else could we go on foot?

    13th – Pick up car at Sapporo n Drive to Lake Toya and visit Sobetsu Strawberry farm on the way. One night stay at Lake Toya

    14th – Where do you suggest we drop by on the way back to Sapporo?

    15th – Breakfast at Jyogai Ichiba (Sapporo Central Wholesale Market) then to Nakajima Koen for the Festival =) If we are up for it, we might visit Sapporo Satoland

    16th – Nijo Market, Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park, Mitsui Outlet park

    17th – Day trip to Otaru

    18th – IS the zoo worth the drive? =)

    19th – Drive to Furano and drop by Hokkaido Greenland Amusement Park

    20th – we would like to explore the Biei area and check out fruit farms. Any suggestions?

    21st – Chitose Rera Outlet on the way to Chitose Airport.

    Thanks in advance for your help!!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hi, thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words. I’m really not that great. I love writing and blogging is my way to relief stress. And it helps me remember things, coz I have really bad memory, it’s like keeping a diary. And it’s kind of therapeutic, like after a very bad day when the kids almost drove me insane, I will look back at my old posts and see my kids’ baby photos and remind myself what a joy they once were.. wahaha..

      Maybe I manage to squeeze in many activities because it is not my first time in Hokkaido and I don’t need to waste time figuring my way around. My husband says I drive around Sapporo like I’m driving in Singapore. And some things are simply impromptu.. Like we’re actually driving to Destination A and saw a sign to destination B that looks interesting so we just turn in to check it out. So on my blog, it may look like we planned to visit both destination A and B on the same day, when in reality we had only planned to visit A. So it’s good to keep your itinerary to just 2 destinations a day and take your time to explore.

      On 12th: From Odori Park, you can walk to Sapporo Clock Tower and Hokkaido Government Building. They are not particularly interesting, but they are Sapporo’s landmarks – just for you to take a been-here-done-that ‘I was in Sapporo!’ photo. At the end of Odori Park, you can go up to the TV tower. And from the TV tower, it is a short walk to Nijo Market. Otherwise, just go shopping and eating along the underground shopping arcade below (literally) Odori Park. There is a famous Sapporo Sweets Cafe there, pretty near TV Tower.

      14th – you can either go Noboribetsu or Niseko on the way back. I would opt for Niseko, because I love Niseko Milk Kobo. If you are up for some adventure, check out Pure at Niseko Village:

      16th: Shift Nijo Market up to the 12th. You can easily occupy one whole day at Takino Suzuran Hillside Park and Mitsui Outlet Park. But if you have too much time on hand, I recommend going to Mount Moiwa in the evening.

      Looking at your itinerary, I would skip the zoo and spend more time at Furano / Biei. So 18th-20th, I would stay at Furano to explore the Furano / Biei region. The fruit farms in Furano will not be open in June. They only open in July – August.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi hi! Sorry I took so long to reply! Really appreciate your advice for our itinerary=) now we are prepared for our trip!=)

    Oh are u able to recall wch is the nearest 100yen shop in Sapporo? Haha

  4. Mich says:

    Hi bumble bee mum

    I’m trying to get information on airport bus from chitose airport to Sapporo Mercury hotel. I couldn’t find information on airport limousine bus. Also how do we tell the bus driver where we want to stop?

    We will be heading off next week. Just wondering how accurate are the weather forecast information on the web? We have 2 young kids and elderly so just want to make sure they are taken care .

    Thanks as always !

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Just tell the bus driver ‘SUSUKINO’. All buses headed for Sapporo City Centre 札幌市中央 will make a stop at Susukino.

      Regarding weather forecast, I find the generic ones for a week or 2 in advance pretty vague. E.g. If it says it’s raining at Sapporo, Sapporo is huge and it is possible that it is raining in some parts of the city but not in others. Same goes for every other city. But the forecast gets more accurate closer to the date – which is why we always watch the news on TV the day before if we want weather updates – because that is when they will give updates by the hour for specific areas and those are pretty accurate.

      For e.g. during our last trip to Hokkaido in Dec, we originally planned to go to the market in Sapporo in the morning and Otaru in the afternoon. But we saw the updates saying it will snow in Otaru in the afternoon but not in the morning. So we changed our plan and headed to Otaru early in the morning, and indeed by afternoon it started snowing heavily and we headed back to Sapporo. So be prepared to play by ear when you’re out with kids.

  5. Meg says:

    Hi bumblebee mum,
    Very interesting sbaring & informative. I pla to self drve in eastern hokkaido this May to go to tulip farm at kamiyubetshu, shibazakura in takanouei park, lake natara, ice museum. We plan to hire car fm jr hokaido. Have you driven to eastern hokkaido? How is the road condition? Does the gps has english version? Besides, are there claer english signboard? Also, is waze working well in hokkaido? What other worth going places in eastern hokkaido? We plan to stay 2 nights here ~ where do u r3commend to stay? We plan to take jr hokkaido fm sapporo to asahikawa then leave from abashiri to dapporo.soory a but lengthy..thanks for your sharing & advice.Meg

    • bumblebeemum says:

      By late May, most of the snow should have melted so driving should be pretty easy. If you encounter any unmelted snow, just slow down. You can request for an English GPS from the car rental company. Signboards throughout Hokkaido have both Japanese and English.

      I have never tried using waze. But Eastern Hokkaido is pretty rural, so anything that requires internet may be a bit of a problem at some points. I have never had a problem relying on the car GPS plus road signs. There aren’t that many roads in Hokkaido, so just stick to the major roads between cities and once you hit close proximity of a city, internet should become available.

      Abashiri is a good base for visiting kamiyubetsu and shibazakura. Not sure where’s Lake Natara – is it a typo? There are a number of onsen ryokan around Abashiri and the prices vary quite a bit between the older ones and the newer & more luxurious ones. You can also choose to stay in a no-frills city hotel which will be cheaper than onsen ryokan. Just use hotel booking sites to search for accommodation in Abashiri and find one that meets your budget.

  6. Chua K Choon says:

    Hi, BumBleBeeMum.

    Just wanted to find out on the retuning of the rented car. As our retuning flight is scheduled in the morning 9.20am from CTS airport, can we return the car at 6.30am to 7.00am in the airport????? I notice that the car rental office operating hour is is mostly 8.00am onward, which is impossible for us to catch up our flight….. Please advise.


    • bumblebeemum says:

      You have to return during their opening hours. So when I have an early morning flight, I always return my car the day before and spend the last night at Air Terminal Hotel.

  7. dolphin says:

    This tutorial is great! thank you.

  8. Stella says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Have benefit a lot from your blog.
    My family will be having a self drive holiday in Hokkaido in mid June. Would like to know if I can enter coordinates into the their GPS system, or must use mapcode and tel no?

    Thank you!

  9. eco says:

    Hi BBM, do you have Tel or mapcode for Wakasaimo store ? Thinking to go there for lunch. Is this location exactly at the Silo Observatory?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The map code for Wakasaimo store at Lake Toya is 321 518 438. I had a bit of problem with the telephone number / map code of Wakasaimo store before and it brought me to a parallel road instead. If you can’t find it, drive towards the shore of Lake Toya and along the road running closest to the southern shore of Lake Toya. You should be able to see it if you drive along that road.

      Silo Observatory is not that the same place. Silo Observatory is along the Western shore of Lake Toya. The map code is 321 726 760.

  10. Qin Ying says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,
    Is it possible to enter GPS coordinates in the GPS system instead of the mapcodes and tel no?


  11. Kim says:

    I found a nice website for searching mapcode.


  12. Kim Chai says:

    Hi May I ask I was wondering as I was researching I see a lot of different map codes for the same place like for example lake akan on the toyota map code is 739 341 766, on another website it is 739 341 668 on japan map code is 739 432 538*60, I wonder which is the more accurate one? Which one should i follow?

    Thank you

  13. Nicole says:

    Hi, during your driving trip did you research and find the gas stations nearby beforehand? Are there gas stations in rural parts like Lake Akan? Thanks!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, there are gas stations in the onsen towns too. Usually for each onsen town, there will be at least one gas station. But they are generally more expensive compared to gas stations in the cities. And sometimes they are unmanned – so you need to figure out how to use them which may be a bit challenging if you don’t read Japanese.

      For Lake Akan, there is a gas station at the entrance to the onsen town:

      There is also a big gas station at the junction for the road going up to Lake Mashu – I usually top up there when at Akan National Park:

  14. Lee E T says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum,
    Thanks for sharing your Hokkaido traveling experience with us. This has been a great help.We will be having a self drive holiday in Hokkaido in middle of June this year. For the car rental, do you have any recommendations , things to look out for? We will be renting a car for about 9 days. You can also email the info if it is convenient.
    Thank you so much.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hmmm… Your question is a bit vague… Let me try my best to answer what I think you’re asking.

      You need to decide the size of the car you need for starters – depending on how many travellers you have and how many pieces of luggage.

      You need to know your route and decide where you want to pick up / return the car and the dates / time you are doing so.

      Then go to a comparison website like Tabirai to compare prices and book the car you need.

      In general car rental companies in Japan are all pretty reliable. Their price can vary very widely – with the bigger companies charging much more than smaller companies for the same thing. The problem with the smaller companies is that they may not speak English. If you do not speak Japanese and it’s the first time you’re renting a car in Japan, I suggest you go for the bigger companies like Toyota that have English support.

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