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maps and or gps


Jan 23, 2008
Hi all,

how do you all get on with navigation?

I dont know my way around and am always getting lost. Is there any maps that can be reccomended? I live in the Omiya area of Saitama.

Also, rather than maps is there any GPS systems and computer based mapping that anyone uses successfully?

All based around Road cycling.

Touring Mapple

series for Kanto is the best and seems to have a number of TCC supporters.

As for GPS then the Garmin Edge 605 and 705 are also found amongst the group. These have full colour maps and all of the navi features you need.

I use an Edge 305 but this requires downloading of GPS routes beforehand and then navigating via a compass rose on screen that essentially points the way. For me this is great since I need reading glasses to read maps ! So the 605 and 705 full GPS map functionality would not work for me, at least while on the move. I am sure the 605 and 705 also have this heading function too.

Then there is your humble keitai. Using Navitime is pretty good and no longer requires GSP capability in the phone itself.

I am sure others will also comment.....

I have ordered a Garmin 705 that should solve all my problems. Looking forward to it arriving soon.
Last Sunday I rode back from Tamagawa and thought I'd need a map. I had a map (book) of Tokyo and pulled it out of my back pack twice just to check I was on the right path. Both times I was and didn't really need the map after all.

At least with any kind of map you have peace of mind.

I've sometimes wanted to photo copy a map route and put it in my back pocket but usually just memorize the route and pray. Getting lost is sometimes the best part of a ride. You go somewhere you would never have gone and sometimes find something interesting in the process.

Maps I've bought and rarely used.

TOKYO Metropolitan Atlas. (took it last weekend).

Touring Mapple (All in Japanese but has nice motor cycle routes high lighted).

Road Atlas Japan. (Good for dreaming of those long rides when I have retired)

And a whole lot of others I had used in the past in my car before I got a car navi.

If you can memorize a few of the major roads, major train lines and major rivers then you can always find your way home... just keep riding till you bump into one.
Map my ride is good but I have only used it to plot courses I've already ridden just to see where I went. :eek:

My Sunday ride...
With the ride last week I started from a bbq on the Tamagawa and just headed towards Tokyo Bay. When I saw Kawasaki I decided that's enough river riding, I'll head into central Tokyo and see what happens. Got on route 1 which was lucky as it kind of has a cycling lane... nice ride past Tokyo Tower up to the palace past Tokyo eki (close enough) then bumped into good old route 6. Easy. Didn't need a map at all.

Omiya is near Arakawa so you can always use that as your runway home. I use the Edo river as mine.

Maps are good to peruse over for hours and the more you do that the less you need them.
garmin 605

I bought a Garmin 605 shortly after I arrived in Tokyo. It works great in combination with the alphabetic map which I got at http://www.uud.info/en/.
However, many very small roads are not included in the map and these are often the most interesting ones to ride.

The screen is big enough for me and can be read alright under normal daylight.

The 605 has built-in turn-by-turn navigation but I don't use it that often. Within Tokyo ist usually tries to guide me through smaller roads with many crossings, traffic lights etc when it's usually faster to stick to the main roads. Furthermore it got hung up a couple of times when it tried to calculate the fastest route across Tokyo- I guess there were just too many possible routes so the algorithm could not handle it...

In my view the biggest advantage of a GPS is the possibility to download rides which are posted on the web by other riders (mapmyride.com and similar sites). You don't have to worry about finding the right road or getting lost, you just load the .gpx file on your unit and enjoy the ride.

So overall I would say it was worth to pay about USD400 for the GPS and map - especially for someone with a bad orientation sense like myself :D.

I certainly agree with Chris about the download feature and this works just fine on the cheaper 305 too. You don't get the maps, just the orientation, and a nice fat arrow on the screen to lead the way. Simple - especially if you need reading glasses !!

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