This article will be divided in different categories regarding Wi-Fi and Internet access :
- Free Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Paid Wi-Fi Hotspots
- Portable Wi-Fi Rental
- Sim Card Rental
- Internet Cafes & Manga Kissa
FREE WI-FI SPOTS
One of the things that make traveling in Japan really easy and convenient is the amount of free Wi-Fi spots you can find. Accessing some of them might require a little bit of Japanese knowledge but don’t worry we’re here to help you through that.
A big majority of hotels in Japan offer free Wi-Fi internet access in the guest rooms. You can usually find a paper on the desk of the room with the name and password of the Wi-Fi. In older hotels you can ask to borrow some hardware to connect to internet in your room.
Some hotels will charge for the use of Wi-Fi. In that case when you connect to the wifi you will get redirected to another page where you have to fill in your room number and other information (name, age,…). You can usually check if the hotel you are going to has free Wi-Fi on sites like Booking.com, Japanican, Airbnb…
Free Wi-Fi has been made more and more available on public transportation these past years. These free wifi hotspots can be found at train stations, inside the Shinkansen, at some convenience stores and at certain bus stops.
To access these free wifi hotspots, you need to download one of these 3 apps on your smartphone :
-Travel Japan Wi-Fi : The N°1 free Wi-Fi connection app for visitors to Japan from overseas ! You can connect to 60,000 Wi-Fi hotspots with it for free, and if you get a premium access code from one of the app’s partners (JAL or selected shops in Japan). What’s more, you gan get recommendations about the local area where you are, and get discounts and coupons on food/drink, shopping, and cosmetics. Another great plus is the access to navigation to guide you to where you want to go. If you see any of these stickers, then you can connect to the hotspot :
-Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi : This app which covers 100,000 hotspots in Japan only requires registration by email or SNS. It’s completely free and can be used on both iOS and Android. This app basically shows a map of all the Wi-Fi spots. After walking close to the spot, just tap the « connect » button and voilà ! you’re connected to Wi-Fi ! Another good point : 13 languages are supported.
Their official website : http://www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/en.html
-Free Wi-Fi Passport : A free Wi-Fi service provided by SoftBank, allowing tourists to access SoftBank’s Wi-Fi hotspots in Japan. This service has more than 400,000 hotspots, mostly found at restaurants, cafes, major train stations, hotels… Just look for this seal :
If you are using an iPhone, here is all the information you need to access the hotspot : http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/freewifi/en/setting/iphone/
And here is how to do it on an Android phone : http://www.softbank.jp/en/mobile/special/freewifi/en/setting/android/
For more information, check out their official site here :
PAID WI-FI HOTSPOTS
Of course if you are looking for more hotspots, you might want to think about switching to a paid Wi-Fi service. Most of them are in Japanese and you can’t pay unless you have a Japanese card but here are few that are available for foreigners.
-Wi2 : 200,000 hotspots all over Japan, accessible for a limited time depending on the plan you choose :
- 6 Hour Pass : 350¥ (3,50$)
- 1 Day Pass : 800¥ (8$)
- 3 Day Pass : 1500¥ (15$)
- 1 Week Pass : 2000¥ (20$)
Read more about it on their official website here : http://wi2.co.jp/en/300/
-Docomo Wi-Fi for Visitor : This service is available all throughout Japan, and you can choose between three different offers : 388¥ per day, 972¥ for 1 week or 1404¥ for 3 weeks (tax included). You can apply directly on their website here (https://visitor.docomowifi.com/en/) !
You can also find a map with all the locations of the hotspots here : https://sasp.mapion.co.jp/m/dwifi/35.6862528_139.6949333_7800000/
Just look for these sticlers in order to connect to their service :
PORTABLE WI-FI RENTAL
Probably the best solution if you are planning to move and want to use the Wi-Fi to guide you around your trip. This little device allows you to access high-speed Wi-Fi unlimited and usually has good autonomy. Here are a few sites that provide a Portable Wi-Fi rental service :
-Purupuru : The one I’d personally recommend for your trip. Their prices are very good, and they have a great customer service. My friend had a trouble with their Wi-Fi and they did everything possible to help us via Skype. A « no data limit » device costs around 1000¥ per day (10€), however you can get the 10 GB limit device for 600¥ (6$) per day which is a good deal ! You can find all the info on their website here : http://www.pupuru.com/en/service/emobile/
They also have a cool video explaining how to rent their pocket Wi-Fi :
-Japan-Wireless : You can choose which device you want (some with better batteries than others), and their service costs around 4800¥ (48$) for a week rental. Read more about it on their website here : http://japan-wireless.com/products.html
SIM CARD RENTAL
The other option would be to rent SIM cards ! This will allow you access internet via the cellular phone network. These SIM cards are usually available at airports, in certain shops or via delivery to your home or hotel. Although make sure your device is unlocked to utilize SIM Cards.
YouTuber Kim Dao talks about her experience of renting a SIM Card in Japan, and gives advice on how to do it :
If all of these solutions do not satisfy you, why not try an Internet cafe, or a manga kissa ?
INTERNET CAFE & MANGA KISSA
Internet cafes and Manga Kissa are pretty much everywhere in Japan. If you don’t know what a Manga Kissa is, it’s a place where you can read comic books, use internet in a personal booth, have drinks and food, and even sometimes showers. It’s a good place to go if you have nowhere to stay for the night and are looking to use the internet. However most of the cafés will ask you to register first and pay a small member registration fee. They might be hard to find as all the signs are in Japanese, but you can recognize as most of them look like this :
Leave us a comment if you’ve enjoyed this article and want more info on how to prepare your trip to Japan ! Please also tell us how you prepare for your trip, and don’t hesitate to ask us any questions, we’ll be glad to answer you.
BEFORE GOING TO JAPAN, CHECK OUT: