English Address Search

This panel lets you find the locations of most, but not all, addresses in Japan, IN ENGLISH.
Scroll down for an exampe and see the end of this help document for some "known limitations".

The information we need
We build the address up line by line. We need to know:
 » the -shi or -gun (the "city")
 » the -ku or -machi (the "ward" or "town") if there is one,
 » the local area,
 » a numeric designation for the chome, ban etc and - optionally, the apartment number.

Important notes
1) Don't try and tab between fields. It will simply clear the previous field.
2) Diddlefinger doesn't know anything about building names. Don't type them in, it will reduce the chances of a successful search.
3) We use "-shi" and "-ku" - not "ward" and "city". If the address you are looking for is "something ward, something city", enter "something-shi, something-ku" on diddlefinger.

About the fields
At steps 1 to 3, type your information into the field, and select from the options presented. These are NOT "freeform" fields - you have to make a selection. (You will know you have selected something as a new field will appear.)
Step 4 IS a "free form field" - it accepts numbers and hyphens ONLY. When you have finished entering information at step 4, click the "map this" button with your mouse.

An example:
We want to find the following address:

   Lion's Mansion dai 2, Apartment 404
   Takamiya 4-8-12

Written in the Japanese style, this would be:

Fukuoka-ken, Fukuoka-shi, Minami-ku, Takamiya, 4-8-12, Lions Mansion dai 2, Apt. 404

(The Japanese address system goes from the general to the specific).

For our purposes, the relevant bits are:

Fukuoka-shi, Minami-ku, Takamiya, 4-8-12-404

We can ignore the "Fukuoka-ken" bit, and we ignore the building name (Lion's Mansion dai-2). We can probably ignore the apartment number, too.

Entering the address

Type: Fukuoka-shi into the field at "step 1" and select "Fukuoka-shi".
   (A new field will appear at step 2)
Type: Minami-ku and select "Minami-ku, Fukuoka-shi".
   (A new field will appear at step 3)
Type: Takamiya and select "Takamiya, Minami-ku, Fukuoka-shi".
   (A new field will appear at step 4)
Type: 4-8-12-404

Don't use the tab button - just use the mouse to click the "map this" button.

You should be taken to the location of the address on the map. A marker will be placed on the map containing the address you searched for in English AND in Japanese. (If you don't have Japanese fonts installed, the Japanese will appear in garbled form.).

How to decide what goes at step 4
If you are not familiar with Japanese addresses, it can be tricky to work out exactly what to type at step 4, as the anglicised version of the original Japanese address can take several different forms.

Let's go back to how the address would be written in Japanese....

Japanese style: Fukuoka-ken, Fukuoka-shi, Minami-ku, Takamiya, 4-8-12 Lions Mansion dai 2, Apt. 404.

The 4-8-12-404 is understood by the post office to mean 4chome, 8ban, 12nantokas, apartment 404.

However, there are a lot of different ways of anglicising such an address.

some possibilites

  ... 404, Takamiya 4-8-12
  ... Apartment 404, 4-8-12 Takamiya,
  ... 4chome, 8-12-404, Takamiya

or any one of a range of other weird and wonderful variations...

It shoudn't be too hard to get the correct information from the address in front of you. Just remember that the apartment or house number (if there is one) goes last, on the end of any hyphenated bits, and the "chome" (which may, or may not be mentioned explicitly - in our example it is the '4' bit), goes first. Make sure everything is separated by hyphens.

It is actually quite common NOT to have all the numbers we have in our example.

E.g. the address of the British Embassy, Tokyo is:

   No.1, Ichiban-cho

You would simply type '1' at step 4.

Known limitations
There are a very few parts of the country we don't have information for.
If (US or JP) military bases have special addressing, they will likely fail on diddlefinger.

Click the close button (top right) to close this info box.