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google maps vs english gps for driving in hokkaido?

DC
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31 posts
2 reviews
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google maps vs english gps for driving in hokkaido?

Can anyone comment on how accurate Google Maps is for driving around Hokkaido? I'm considering renting a mobile wifi unit to have internet during our trip and just using Google maps to drive around (we'll be going from sapporo to furano/biei, otaru, shakotan, hakodate, with a stop somewhere undecided between shakotan and hakodate [suggestions welcome]). I'm wondering whether Google maps would be sufficient enough or whether we should just go with the English GPS rental from the car company.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an affordable mobile wifi rental? Is it possible to rent from Sapporo and return in Hakodate?

Lastly, do you think mobile wifi service will be reliable throughout Hokkaido, in terms of being able to access Google maps while we're on the road at all (or most) times?

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Sapporo
Sapporo
Hokkaido, Japan
Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
57,870 posts
159 reviews
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1. Re: google maps vs english gps for driving in hokkaido?

Neither is really completely accurate. Google Map gives you strange navigation routes occasionally, while the in-car GPS sometimes get outdated. However, as Hokkaido roads are relatively simple (especially once you leave the bigger cities), neither should cause you too much grief due to inaccuracies.

You can rent at Sapporo and drop off at Hakodate. There is a drop-off charge though. According to Tocoo (a broker for many major rental car companies in Japan), the charge is 7,560 Yen.

Remember you *must* have an International Driving Permit to rent a car in Japan. You can get one very easily for under $20 at your local AAA.

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Sapporo
Sapporo
Hokkaido, Japan
Hakodate
Hakodate
Hokkaido, Japan
Toronto
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
Level Contributor
24,409 posts
30 reviews
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2. Re: google maps vs english gps for driving in hokkaido?

Google Maps: fast, accurate positioning, often awkward and non-practical routes, extra cost (mobile data)

In-Car: good routes, slow positioning - you're already past that intersection when it says turn, free with the rental car

I only use in-car navigation for Japan , even though I also have smartphone offline navigation (mapfan)

Unless you are the lone adult occupant in the car, I don't see why English GPS is needed. You get the passenger to look at the screen and tell you about any upcoming turns/exits. Also bear in mind that English GPS units often have reduced functionalities.

Many rural roads and secondary highways do not have mobile network coverage. Even at popular tourist attractions such as the lavender farm, coverage is unreliable.

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3. Re: google maps vs english gps for driving in hokkaido?

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