Travel to Japan: How to Stay Connected to Internet Anywhere Anytime
*At the bottom of this article there is a link for a pocket Wi-Fi rental at 15% off the normal rate. It will be useful when you travel in Japan!
Japan – commonly referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun, well known for its many unique characteristics: from its beautiful nature with Mt. Fuji and Cherry blossoms, to its modern advances in technology where many countries can only dream of. However, it is a country which also lacks in many free Wi-Fi hotspots for travelers to connect to the Internet.
In fact travelers in Japan often find it difficult to go online, surveys have revealed having no free Wi-Fi hotspot as the hardest thing about traveling in Japan. Even if travelers find these hotspots there are other difficulties they might come across. For instance, many of these free hotspots will ask you to register, and many of the forms are available in Japanese only. On top of this, even if you do manage to connect to it you get limited data and/or limited time on it that it may not be worth the hassle in the first place.
Top 3 things travelers found frustrating in Japan
This might be the biggest concern when you travel in Japan.
How hard is it to find good Wi-Fi in Japan?
It has only been very recent that the number of these hotspots to connect travelers to the Internet rose. Despite the best efforts presented by the Japanese government and its people, there are simply not many places where you can surf the Internet freely in Japan.
Although many places now say they have free Internet access, sometimes these Wi-Fi SSID and password details are not easily found in restaurants. Or you might need to ask the staff for the details which is hard to understand.
On top of this, there are also risks with some “fake” free hotspots. These hotspots can be found in cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, where the hotspot does not have a password attached to it, but turns out to be subscription Wi-Fi service by Japanese carriers like Softbank and DoCoMo.
What’s the solution to this problem? Does this mean I have to give up my connection on the go?
There is good news for you – there are 2 main options for you to choose from:
1. Purchasing a prepaid SIM card or
2. Renting a pocket Wi-Fi
The biggest difference between the two is that with a pocket Wi-Fi you can share it with your friends to make the rental fee cheaper, compared to buying several individual SIMs.
1. SIM Cards
Purchasing a prepaid SIM card is one solution – SIM card is a great solution if you are an individual traveler and you do not use much data. However you might want to be aware that Japanese prepaid SIM cards are not as easy as “insert SIM and go online”. The SIM card will require you to configure some settings and register depending on the product. Also take note that you may need to pay extra for telephone and/or text message services.
2. Pocket Wi-Fi
The other option which is less known but I recommend here is to rent a pocket Wi-Fi, as it is convenient for a group of travelers. A pocket Wi-Fi or portable Wi-Fi router, Mi-Fi device, Wi-Fi Egg, mobile router depending on your region, is a small portable device which acts as a Wi-Fi router that can connect your devices to the Internet if it has Wi-Fi function. It has fast connection as it uses 4G or LTE connection, and depending on where you rent it from, it may come with unlimited data for you to do anything.
You can see other major differences in the table below.
There are many companies that provide the service of pocket Wi-Fi rental, but I highly recommend Wi-Ho! for the readers of Goin’Japanesque! because it is convenient and their service is flexible. Unlike SIM card it doesn’t require you to configure any complex settings, and on top of this you can contact the support team 24/7 and they provide service in English, too.
Want more reason? Goin’Japanesque! team arranged with Hi-Ho! to offer anyone who is reading this article a 15% discount! Just click here to find more information about it.
When you decide to travel to Japan I advise strongly to consider two potions I explained; rent a pocket Wi-Fi or buy a SIM card. If you are with friends or family, pocket Wi-Fi rental is the way to go.