Question

I plan on travelling for 2 months throughout Japan, some by bus/train but mostly hitchhiking. I am highly considering purchasing a...

...handheld GPS when I arrive in Tokyo (with English)... is there anywhere/anything in particular I should look as I do not want to spend an arm and a leg?

Location

Country: Japan

Answers

Garmin is the worldwide GPS maker, they are small and made for mountain climbers and hikers and of course they will be available in English and can be bought in Akihabara in Tokyo.

Hitchhiking is not a good idea because Japanese people are not in the custom of picking people up this way, trains and buses will be better, a really good idea would be to buy a small folding bicycle with a bag, these can be brought on the train and you can use it to get around cheaply.
Handheld GPS, mmm I wonder why you want to drag something like that around with you. But, as you do plan to bring/buy a GPS with you can I recommend you take a look at "Everytrail". You will find it interesting/helpful but, make sure, your GPS, and it's information can be connected/downloaded to your computer. Japan Rail (J.R.) has a thing called "Juuhachikippu". They cost about 11,000-yen and you can travel anywhere on J.R. trains. But, the cheapest of all, is the bus. The bike idea, as suggested by the other member, is a good idea. Before, or when, you arrive here, touch-base with one of us and, I am sure, we will be of help. All the best. Bary.
Hello, I traveled in the year 2.000 hitching but it is actually forbidden in Japan. I discourage you to try to travel this way if you do not want to face Japanese Police problems. About the navigator you can find Garmin in Japan that you can set showing main English menu but the map will show the location in Japanese characters. Personally I still not read Japanese, and to have the sole Japanese English map available for gamin I bought it from a Japanese local company. Unfortunately I founded out that the map is not updated and many roads and also main roads are not present. To buy electronic stuffs you do not need to go Akiabara that actually is also not so cheap at all. There are big chain electronic shops located close many main stations (Eg. Biccamera and Yodobashi camera). I founded a GPS navi few months ago which was sold also at Biccamera it had also fully English detailed map and the cost was around 40.000 yen. If you need the model let me know.
Ma friend better you give up the idea of hitchhiking as Japan now is different and go for what other members advised. good luck
Hi there, I think you are cool!!

First reason: you are in Japan (just like myself)

Second reason: you are hitch hiking in Japan (I have just done the same and came back yesterday from Tokyo to Beppu, so I would say don't listen to the people who say it is illegal or that it is impossible, because it isn't) Just remember to bring and show your valid passport to the police if something should happen to come your way, but that I doubt. And it is true that Japanese are not so much for hitch hiking, but I promise you they do pick you up, I just went from Oita, Beppu, Kyushuu, to Tokyo by hitch hiking and back again, my advice is go to service areas, and have a little sketch book with your with the kanjis written on it of the name of the city you want to go to :)

Best of luck ;)

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