Japan Map Code Search – How to find Map Codes for your destinations
March 31, 2015

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:



  • dolphin says:

    This tutorial is great! thank you.

  • Kim says:

    I found a nice website for searching mapcode.


  • 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

  • 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:

  • 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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