Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan: Expert Advice for Choosing and Service Suggestions

Updated: 2024-03-06

Pocket WiFi rental is essential for a comfortable trip in Japan. Many people traveling with friends or family may consider purchasing SIM cards or eSIMs, but considering the hassle of smartphone setup and data capacity, renting one Pocket WiFi unit is both affordable and allows companions or family members to use the internet.
For researching, navigating, and communicating in emergencies while traveling in Japan, Pocket WiFi is an essential tool.
Here is what I know about renting a Pocket Wi-Fi at low price because I am experts in telecommunication services.

About me

I am Momo. 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.

I translate from Japanese to English using ChatGpt and DeepL because I am not so good at English. so my expressions may be rude or hard to read. if you find any inappropriate expressions, please let me know the correct English expression.

What is a Pocket WiFi device?

Japan pocket Wifi

A Pocket WiFi device, also known as a mobile WiFi hotspot, is a portable device that provides wireless internet access to multiple devices simultaneously. It works similarly to a traditional WiFi router but is compact and designed to be easily carried in a pocket or bag.
Pocket WiFi devices typically receive internet signals via cellular networks, such as 4G or 5G, and create a local WiFi network that other devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, can connect to. This allows users to access the internet on the go, regardless of whether there is a public WiFi network available nearby.
Even people who have smartphones that do not support Japanese frequency bands will be able to access the Internet in Japan with Pocket Wi-Fi.

Difference between Pocket WiFi and SIM card/eSIM in Japan

Network and Stability

Pocket WiFi utilizes networks from major telecommunication carriers, ensuring good communication quality and fast speeds. SIM card/eSIM, often provided by MVNOs, may have inferior communication quality compared to Pocket WiFi. However, using SIM cards or eSIMs with smartphones should pose no issues.

Data Capacity

Pocket WiFi is designed for hotspot use and typically offers larger data capacities, allowing multiple devices to connect to the internet with one device. SIM card/eSIM plans, geared towards single smartphone use, generally do not offer as much data capacity. Connection Method

Pocket WiFi is straightforward: simply power it on, and it connects to WiFi. SIM card/eSIM options vary, but they require some setup such as activation and APN configuration.
Aspect Pocket WiFi SIM Card/eSIM
Network and Stability Utilizes major carrier networks, stable, fast May have inferior quality, variable depending on provider
Data Capacity High, suitable for multiple devices Typically lower, designed for single device use
Connection Method Simple setup, connects to WiFi upon powering on Requires setup such as activation and APN configuration
Contract Type Rental Purchase
Return Policy Return required No return necessary

Criteria for Choosing Pocket Wi-Fi - An expert's perspective -

When it comes to selecting Pocket Wi-Fi, it's essential to consider the network and data capacity rather than the service provider. While browsing Reddit, you may come across recommendations for Nija WiFi or Japan Wireless, but both are just providers of Pocket Wi-Fi, not the actual network operators. They offer a rental service for Pocket Wi-Fi that they purchase from the network operaters. It is important to understand that they do not have any control over the essential quality of the communication. When buying an iPhone, the quality of the product is the same whether you buy it from Apple or Amazon. Similarly, when choosing a pocket Wi-fi, what matters is the network and data capacity, not the rental provider. off course, Both Nija WiFi and Japan Wireless are, of course, rental services that offer good products.

Network of Pocket Wi-Fi

When traveling in Japan, you will visit many places, so it is important to choose a network that is easy to connect to. In conclusion, choose a Pocket Wi-Fi using the docomo or Softbank networks. WiMAX and Rakuten Mobile offer services with unlimited data capacity, but there are many places where communication is not stable. For those who travel to different places, choosing the docomo or Softbank network will give you peace of mind.

Pocket Wi-fi data capacity

Many people are looking for a service that offers unlimited communication, but there are few Pocket Wi-Fi services in Japan that offer unlimited communication. Most services have a limit to the amount of data that can be transmitted. Some services that allow unlimited communication are very expensive. As described on this page, you should expect to use about 1GB of data capacity per day, The required data capacity for Pocket Wi-Fi is calculated by multiplying the number of days you stay in Japan by 1GB.
If you are going to stay in Japan for 15 days, you should have 15GB.
Considering that you will be using multiple devices, 30GB should be enough for 15 days.
Why waste time watching videos when you come to Japan on vacation?
There is no need to rent a pocket Wi-Fi with unlimited data at a high price.

Rental Rates for Pocket Wi-Fi at Airports

By understanding where the costs are for companies that provide Pocket Wi-Fi, you will be able to identify companies that can offer affordable rental rates.

Rental rates for Pocket Wi-Fi at airport stores are higher

Only a few companies are able to open stores at airports, making it difficult to compete on price with a small number of stores. In addition, the fees to use airports are high, and these fees are added to the rental price, making it more expensive.

Rental rates for Pocket Wi-Fi at airport post offices are low

On the other hand, airport post offices are public institutions that can be used by any company and do not have to pay expensive airport fees, making it possible to receive Pocket Wi-fi at airport post offices for a lower rental price. Also, with so many companies using airport post offices, price competition is fierce and rental prices tend to be lower.

At international airports in Japan, there are stores called JAL ABC counters where you can receive your baggage, Many companies that do not have their own stores at the airport have contracts with these stores to offer Pocket Wi-Fi.
The fee for using the JAL ABC counter is not cheap for companies that provide Pocket Wi-Fi.
Some services actually charge an optional fee along with the rental fee only for using the JAL ABC counter. To rent Pocket Wi-Fi on the same network with the same data capacity at a lower price, It is advantageous if you can determine if you are using a post office and not a pick-up location such as this one that charges a fee.

Rent a pocket Wifi that you can pick up at the airport post office

The following page surveys prices for pocket Wi-Fi at Narita Airport.
Pocket WiFi Rental at Narita Airport
In fact, as per this survey, If you rent the same quality pocket Wi-Fi on the same network at an airport store, the rental price may be about half the price if you reserve online and pick it up at the airport post office rather than renting at the airport rental stores.

Please Book online before you arrive Japan and arrange to pick up your pocket Wi-Fi at the airport post office.

Recommended Pocket Wi-Fi Rental Service

I have highlighted Pocket Wi-Fi rental services that meet the following criteria.

These service provides Pocket Wi-Fi with good communication quality and affordable price.



They provide Pocket Wi-Fi for Softbank and docomo networks. They deliver to the airport post office. Rental rates are also inexpensive. It is a new service and therefore not well known, but it is a good service.

CDJapan Rental

They provide Pocket Wi-Fi for Softbank networks. Services operated by CDJapan.

Japan Wifi Rental

They provide Pocket Wi-Fi for Softbank networks. It is relatively well recognized by the Japanese. The service introduced here is for travelers only.


They provide Pocket Wi-Fi for Softbank networks. Rental prices are a bit higher, but this service has been around for a long time. It was acquired by a major company in February 2024.

Global advanced Commnucation

The management company changed around 2018, and the website changed to a more animated design after Covid-19. The service itself has not changed, but the atmosphere has become fresher.

Choose the Right Pocket Wi-Fi and Stay Connected Japan

There are many wonderful places to visit in Japan. In order to have a variety of memorable experiences, it is important to minimize unnecessary expenses whenever possible.
There is no need to pay high fees at the airport to rent a Pocket Wi-Fi.
There is also no need to rent a Pocket Wi-Fi with too much data capacity.
Please Rent a Pocket Wi-Fi that's right for you.