You can't live comfortably without a smartphone these days, especially when you are on a trip in Japan. It will be very inconvenient if you can't get directions, send messages. More and more places offer free WiFi in Japan, but it is still a challenge to find and connect to hotspots. Even at free WiFi locations, you need to register to use. Renting a pocket wifi router might be the best solution. Often easier to set up than Prepaid SIM cards, especially useful if you are traveling in a group or have multiple devices. If you are renting a Pocket WiFi, you can pick up and drop off it anywhere in Japan, which is very convenient. this time I wrote about Japanese Wifi situation and listed best options for anyone coming to stay in Japan!
By getting up-to-date information on Japan's telecommunications, you will be able to get the best Internet connection. I hope this page will provide you with some useful information.
I am Moamo. I'm Japanese and I work in the telecom industry, so I'm familiar with the telecom situation, services and products in Japan, such as SIM cards and Pocket WiFi, and I'm running this website in the hope that my knowledge will be useful to visitors to Japan.
My expressions may be rude or hard to read because I am not so good at English. if you find any inappropriate expressions, I would be grateful if you could tell me the correct expressions.Revise the article
When you arrive at an airport in Japan, you can rent a pocket WiFi at a store. Most people rent at the airport.
The rental fees at the airport are generally higher, and you cannot rent a WiFi device if it is not in stock. Also, during the peak season, it can take a long time to rent.
Fees at the airport are often relatively high.
In some cases, there is no inventory.
It takes time to complete the procedure.
I recommend you to rental a pocket wifi online.
There are some wifi rental stores in Tokyo and Osaka that will rent WiFi on a daily basis. If they have it in stock, you can go to the store and rent it right away. The rental price is cheaper than renting at the airport. The service is often available in Japanese, so you will need to get support from someone who understands Japanese.
It’s very easy way to rent a pocket wifi. All you need to do is fill out an online application, and the portable router will be ready for collection at the airport when you arrive, or delivered to your accommodation you get there. In most cases, booking two to three days in advance is sufficient. You may have to pay for shipping, but in most cases, if you rent online, you can return it anywhere in Japan, so online is the best way , if you are traveling around Japan.
Public Wi-Fi for free use have become more and more readily available.
Tourists will encounter these networks at airports, major railway stations.
Most of Public WiFi require cumbersome advance registrations, short term access on an hourly and limited to specific devices (Smartphone, iPhone).
Cafes hotels or Acomodation like Airbnb have some kind of free wifi. Many cafe provide free Wi-Fi that will only work if you have a contract with a domestic mobile carrier. You should not expect to get a stable wifi to free.
Paid Wi-Fi hotspots are available, A one-day pass typically costs around 500-800 yen and gives you access. You can use all devices not only smartphones but also laptops. You can pay by creadit card.
To use prepaid / Rental SIM cards, your device has to meet requirements.
Your device must be UNLOCKED.
The device must support one of the following frequency
4G(LTE) : Band 1 (2100MHz), Band 19 (800MHz), Band 21 (1500MHz)
3G(W-CDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA): Band 1 (2100MHz), Band 19 (800MHz)
In Japan, frequency bands is not the same all places.
Your device does not suppurt freaquency of place, you might not get connected.
If you are not familiar with phone settings, Rental Portable WiFi is one of choice.
Portable (Mobile) wifi can be picked up airport , or arrangements can be made for delivery to your accommodation in Japan.
There are 5 major network for Pocket Wi-Fi.
Unlimited data, covering local areas! SoftBank is a parent company of Y!mobile, and they offer the network wider than Y!mobile's. Available with the areas compatible with 4G LTE, and the data communication is available in the areas as wide as ones offered by docomo and au. Some WiFi routers provided by SoftBank offer unlimited data services, and which are said not to be limited on the data much. However, they offer only a few as a rental service for travelers.
Unlimited data, covering local areas! KDDI is a parent company of WiMAX, and accordingly you can use the 4G LTE by au in the areas covered by WiMAX 2+, which is wider than that of by WiMAX. Also the downloading speed becomes faster accordingly. If you go to local areas, the trouble of unconnected with the internet will be decreased as you can use WiFi via the network by KDDI.
Unlimited data, recommended for use in urban areas! Y!mobile offers a service called unlimited data advanced mode, which is available only with devices compatible with it. It enables you to connect with the internet without worrying about the data capacity and the transmission speed. Although the service does not available in many rural areas yet, you can use it in urban areas without any problems. Regular mode covers area wider than that of with the advanced mode, however, if you over the data capacity of 7GB, the transmission speed decreases to 128kbps. Note that if you change the mode to the advanced in that situation, the speed does not be changed until that month is over.
Unlimited data, recommended for use in urban areas! UQ WIMAX offers a plan, allowing you to use the data up to 3GB in 3 days. It is well connected in urban areas, however, it may have trouble in some rural areas yet. You don't have to worry about it too much if your connection is limited after you over the data capacity. Because their official website announces that even in that situation, they offer the internet speed allowing you to watch YouTube relatively smooth.
The largest network coverage! Usable in various places, even in subways! docomo's mobile Wi-Fi uses their network, which covers the largest areas in Japan and is stable and consistent. With their network, you can connect with the internet even you are in buses, trains, and subways. Although they don't offer any unlimited data plans, considering using it mainly for SNS or Google Maps, their offerings are just sufficient for your needs.
|Global Advanced Commnication|
|Wi-Fi RENTAL Store|
|Tocoo! Wifi Rental|
|Japan WIFI Rental|
If you rent a pocket WiFi router, you might think that it is good to select a plan giving you much data amount because you must not want to worry about data limitation.
Yes, there are lots of service plans described as "unlimited data."
However, there are almost no plans that actually provide you "unlimited data."
Most services limit data speed when you over a certain amount of data capacity.
Although those limits are vary depending on sales efforts by each company, it can be said that you can believe a certain range of data capacity will be assured when a company shows their data limitation policy fairly like "The data speed will be limited if you spent over 3GB per day."
If you want to use much data, it is good to understand such limits.
Research results by OCN (the largest Japanese internet service provider) show that 90 percent of Japanese consumes only within 100MB/Day (or 3GB/Month).
Although international travelers to Japan may spend much more than that, 200-300MB/Day (or 6GB-10GB/Month) is 2-3 times larger than that of average Japanese consumption.
So, we can say that 200-300MB/Day will be sufficient for single use.
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Renting a pocket WiFi router can be the best choice for using it with several people because you can share the data.
Most of WiFi devices can be connected with around 10 devices at the same time such as mobile phones and tablets for sharing the data.
Let's share the data with your family and friends.
A WiFi plan with 3GB/Day will be sufficient for that purpose.
You can rent a pocket WiFi router at airports.
At the popular airports such as Narita and Kansai, lots of people use counters specializing in rental WiFi devices and a tremendous number of people waiting in a long line to sigh up.
Therefore, using such counters take much time and even when your turn comes, you might not be able to rent any pocket WiFi router if their stock are run out.
Furthermore, renting a portable WiFi router through such counters will cost you more than that of standard rental services because they include applicable governmental fees and airport taxes on their prices.
To avoid such bad experiences, we highly recommend that you make pre-order a pocket WiFi router online before you arrive in Japan.
If you have a plan to use a pocket WiFi soon after arriving at a airport, pre-order it through online.
Although you can receive it at customized counters at airports, we recommend you to use online rental services which deliver it to a post office at airports.
They can offer their rental services at resonable prices because they can reduce cost of placing customized counters at airports.
In either way, they can deliver a portable WiFi router to various places such as an office and an accommodation in addition to a post office at airports.
Receiving a pocket WiFi at a post office in an airport is very easy.
If you pre-order it online, a rental service company notifies you a tracking number for a packet containing a WiFi device.
All you have to do is: Go to the post office on the date you specified, and show them your ID along with the tracking number.
Its procedure will be done soon, compared to that at the airport's WiFi rental customized counter.
*The name of the packet must be exactly the same as the recipient's name on the ID.
Sourced from ：LightPocket
Terminal 1, 4th Floor (Departure Lobby)
Open: 8:30 - 20:00 (All year round)
3rd Floor (Departure Lobby)
Open: 8:30 - 20:00 (All year around)
Please use the post office in Terminal 2
Terminal 1 Bldg., 2nd Floor South
Open: 9:00 - 17:00 (All year around)
In case of you can not receive your pocket WiFi router at a post office in an airport because your flight arrives early in the morning or late at night - outside business hours of the post office -,
let your portable WiFi router to be delivered to your hotel or other places when ordering it online.
Some WiFi rental customized counters might be waiting until your arrival, and it would be good to confirm it in advance.
In case of you can not receive your pocket WiFi router due to the delay of your flight, contact a rental WiFi company. Some of them can transfer the WiFi router and can cancel your order or give you a full refund.
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