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?
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!
That sounds great! But how do I know the Japan Map Code of where I want to go?
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.
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.
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.
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.
From the drop-down menu, choose “地図URL”.
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.
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: