What was once usual, and before that unavoidable, smart-phone-free travel is now counterintuitive to the prevailing conventions of travel. But even in a city like Tokyo, famous for its illogical street map, can be navigated by noggin alone. This isn’t a challenge (you’re already reading guides and contemplating locale in preparation anyway; remember districts; take notes). This is a call to look around instead of down, to connect with the locals, and actually minimize frustration.
Read complete story (and other mini city guides) in Afar's March/April 2015 issue, or at Afar.com: Our Favorite City to Wander without a Phone
One more tip: Make Use of Your Manners
You don’t need a full bow to get someone’s attention or assistance - a nod of the head will do, following a sumimasen (excuse me), and after every encounter - but employing local manners will be reciprocated multifold.