OsmAnd is an OpenStreetMap-based map app. For Japan localities that don't have a name:en= parameter it displays junicode transliterations which are always wrong. rrobek has created an improved map that uses a better transliteration algorithm. But rather than using general-purpose transliteration, using a database of translated place names would be the best.


I am looking for a database that tells me how Japanese places/shops/houses names are usually written in English:

日本 → Japan
原野ビル → Harano building
ニセコバックパッカー アスパラロッジ → Niseko Backpacker Aspara Lodge
鉄砲町停留場 → Teppocho station
吾妻古墳 → Azuma tumulus
ミニヨン南堀江駐車場 → Miniyon Minamihorie parking lot
藍場浜公園 → Aibahama Park
ふじ鮨 ニセコ店 → Fujizushi Niseko


Ideally the license should be compatible with OpenStreetMap, but databases with more restrictive licenses are OK too.

I am aware that no database is perfect, for instance 大分村 translates as Daibu or Oita depending on the prefecture. The database should provide the most common (or even better provide the translation depending on approximate latitude/longitude, but I guess it is too much to ask for).

2 Answers 2

  • Wikidata have some place name but those are only for notable locations
  • Japanese government have a Gazetter of Japan which contain translation of ~4K place name in Japan http://www.gsi.go.jp/kihonjohochousa/gazetteer.html
  • Japanese government have also published a guide that indicate how to romanize Japanese place names. http://www.gsi.go.jp/common/000111876.pdf For place name that does not exists in any other database or dictionary, it would be nice to phrase the place name via these rules first before throwing them into the romanization engine.

ENAMDICT/JMnedict is a database of Japanese proper names:


It also contains other types of proper names, but place/shops/building names are those marked with either p, c, o, st.

License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 http://www.edrdg.org/edrdg/licence.html not sure whether it is compatible with OSM.

Drawback: It only contains ~100,000 entries

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