Some people have asked me why the address book will not show addresses on the Google Maps application on the iPhone.

The only answer I’ve got for you: it has to be written in Japanese and in the correct japanese way of putting addresses.

How to resolve this ?

In a previous post, I’ve told you how to look up for an address written in romaji (in English, if you wish) on both the internet and the iPhone and show them on your map. Now, here’s the trick if you want to link your address book with the maps:

1) look for the address in romanji on the iPhone Diddlefinger webapp

2) map it on Google Maps (Diddlefinger makes it very easy)

3) on Google Maps, click on the little blue arrow to open the Info dialog box. As you will see, the address will be displayed in Japanese and you are now able to either “Create New Contact” or “Add to Existing Contact”. You guessed it, by clicking one of the above, a contact has the proper Japanese address written in for future reference.

As and added bonus, if you sync with MobileMe, the address is also displayed in your Mac OS X Address Book.

Next question is, how to display it on your desktop Google Maps or even Google Earth ?

There’s a nifty free little plug-in that will do you just that:

The Google Maps Plugin is the easiest way to find your Address Book contacts using Google Maps and Google Earth. Google Maps Plugin for Address Book – Brian Toth

So, you have your iPhone and wished you could use the included Google Maps to find an address?

Not only will you have to master japanese writing, but the address system in Japan is quite the nightmare.

From the moment I’ve arrived in Japan, I started using Diddlefinger. This is a godsend for people still learning the language !

Their website offers multiple ways of looking for a Japanese address, the English Address Search being the most useful in my eyes. With this website, you can not only remember points but export them in Google Maps.

As the iPhone was launched, Diddlefinger got even better. There is now a dedicated iPhone page that allows address lookups on the move. The best part being that you can actually map the location on the iPhone Google Maps.

You can search by prefecture (-ku, -ken,…), by area, by -chome, etc.

No more trouble looking after a restaurant. Just find the address, map it and activate your GPS to see where to go (especially after exiting the subway… if you know what I mean). Sadly, iPhone maps limitations means you cannot use the directions yet.

If you live in Japan, iphone.diddlefinger.com should be linked on your iPhone homescreen.