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How it works / tips
Diddlefinger for iPhone lets you look up a Japanese address using only romaji ("English") then plot it using the google maps application that runs on your iPhone. (Diddlefinger has NO association with Google.) This gives you all the benefits of the iPhone's GPS.

That map has Japanese labels. On our desktop website (http://diddlefinger.com/) we add our own English labels to google's map of Japan. We have a version of that website for iPhone - but the built in iPhone maps application is better.

So - after we help you find the address, we give you a short list of the labels, in English and Japanese, that you will see on the map. We also tell you the distance to the nearest train/subway stations.

Something like this. Perfect? No. But useful....

The quickest way to get to an address is to use the search. Give us the first few letters of the area, plus the chome, click "lazy search" and we will try to link you to a candidate address. If there is more than one candidate, we will give you a short list.

e.g. to find the address: Fukuoka-ken, Fukuoka-shi, Takamiya, 4-8-12, you can just enter "Takamiya" in the search box and "4 8 12" in the chome box.

You can search over the whole country, or bookmark a page and put an icon on your iPhone home-screen to search just within a particular prefecture or city. For example, if you live in Tokyo you might want to bookmark...

...this page to search in Tokyo.

...this page to go quickly to an area.

It is also possible to jump to an address by entering the yuubin bango ("zip" or "post" code), followed by the chome information.

e.g. "815 0083" and "4 8 12".

Drill down.
Japanese placenames have many possible English spellings, so if all else fails, the foolproof way to get to an address is to "drill down", selecting the prefecture, the city, the area and then entering chome information. In fact, drill down has another use - drill down to your city and you can select a page that lets you search just within that city. Bookmark it and keep the icon on your iPhone desktop to go straight to that page.
(c) Nick May 2008 : all rights reserved