Downloading maps with Mapple is highly recommended for anyone hiking in Japan. You can get the mapple app on your phone. Each map download costs 500 yen. Here’s how to get it.

1. Download the app, you may find it easier to locate by searching for “Shobunsha Publications.” The app looks like this:


2. Open the app and click on the top wooden sign (Translates to “Choose a map”)

wood post

3. The next screen shows all of the maps you’ve already purchased. At the very bottom, there’s a bluish-gray button (translates to “Purchase and download maps”). This is how you buy new maps.

buy new maps
Purchase and download maps
Example Map. If you are in the are of the map, you will also see your current position.

And there you have it. Now, there are a few things that you should memorize on these maps.

a. The blue teardrop with white kanji is water (I assume water suitable for drinking for the most part)

b. Yellow circles with black kanji are warnings of dangerous areas, which usually require a scramble of some sort.

c. Black circle with white kanji, I think, are markers of a small shrine or stele (I had to wiki it).

d. The houses with the colored in roofs are mountain huts. Make sure to check which ones are manned (usually colored roofs) and which ones are emergency huts (unmanned, typically uncolored roofs).

  1. A sansou is a large mountain hut
  2. A goya or in some cases koya are smaller mountain huts. These are seasonally manned.

e. Dotted lines represent difficult terrain, chains, or areas with some degree of exposure.

f. The numbers on the trail lines are estimated time to hike a section of trail.

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