Useful Japanese Websites and Apps for non-Japanese people who live or travel in Japan

Japanese people tend to use their own version of whatever websites that are popular outside of the country. For those people who’re not familiar with those Japanese websites, it could be difficult to know what is a good website to use in Japan.

I made a list of Japanese website could be useful if you’re living in Japan.


Koku-cheese is a website like Meetup. The users can host and find meetups. Meetup is often used by foreigners who live in Japan or Japanese people who are already somewhat global. If you want to target local Japanese people, Koku-cheese might be the better way than Meetup. It is not as big as Meetup, but it’s definitely something you should look if you’re looking for local communities.


Camp-fire is a crowdfunding website just like Kickstarter. You will definitely find more projects by Japanese people here.


Makuake is also a crowdfunding website just like Kickstarter. You will definitely find more projects by Japanese people here.


Jimoty is a website like Craigslist. The users can look for communities, sell and buy things, give away free stuff.


Mercari is a app/website like Ebay where people use to buy/sell things. Mercari is very popular due to its simplicity and the safe payment transaction. Mercari is the middleman and handles the transaction safely.


Rakuten is the biggest online shopping website in Japan. Despite the busy and not so user-friendly web design, many Japanese people still use it. Sometimes you can find items that you cannot find on Amazon or listed cheaper.


It’s a website that you can find recipes. I highly recommend using this website if you live in Japan and cook. Japanese recipes written by Japanese people tend to be more authentic. In addition, even if you make non-Japanese food, the website can be helpful because it often tells you the recipes with tips about how to find ingredients and ways in Japan.

Basu-Hikaku Navi (バス比較ナビ)

A long-distance bus is a very nice and affordable way of transportation in Japan. It’s a very clean and punctual, and safe way to travel cheap. The website allows users to search through multiple bus companies’ websites.


You can use this website to watch TV shows for free (with ads) if you access from Japan. (Except NHK)


You can use this website to listen to Japanese radio for free if you access from Japan.

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