How To Get Online In Japan! The 3 Best Methods

How To Get Online In Japan! The 3 Best Methods

2015.04.07

Everyone needs to stay connected when you travel - let's go over your internet options while you're here in Japan!

Translated by MATCHA_En

Written by MATCHA-PR

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This article was first published on March 18th, 2015, and has since been updated.

インターネット事情まとめ

As SNS and smart devices have become common in recent years, the internet is practically a daily necessity no matter where you are or what you are doing. A number of services aimed at tourists are available as the number of visitors rises, and will continue to rise, as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics quickly approaches.

Here are the three best ways to use the internet in Japan. Each has both advantages and disadvantages, so please use the means which best suits not only your internet usage, but your travel plans and budget as well.

1. Renting a Wi-Fi Router
2. Using Free Wi-Fi Spots
3. Making a SIM Card Contract

** Please note: The services introduced here are not the only ones available in Japan. MATCHA has simply chosen relatively reasonable services available to visitors from abroad.

1. Renting a Wi-Fi Router

WiFiルータをレンタルすると日本の旅行がぐっと楽しくなる

Using a pocket Wi-Fi router is ideal for those who want to use the Internet anywhere in Japan. Not only can you connect several devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, but also you can share the Internet connection with others. Many corporations set a fixed charge for the service. Moreover, there is a large amount of storage available, so those who use the Internet a lot do not have to worry about any restrictions or data throttling.

Application for Wi-Fi reservations can be made on the website of those companies that provide the routers. If you apply in advance, you may be able to pick-up or drop off your router at airports such as Haneda Airport, Narita Airport, Kansai International Airport, and others. Please refer to each website for details.

Advantages:
・Can be used widely across Japan
・Can be used by several people/devices
・Has a lot of storage

Disadvantages:
・You have to carry the device and the router together
・Stock is limited, so you have to reserve it early

MATCHA WiFi

MATCHA Wifi

Usage Fee: 700 yen a day
Speed: Best download rate at 165mbps
Plan: Fixed system
Speed Limit: None
Support Languages: Chinese (Traditional)
Airport Counter: Available
Apply Via: https://matcha-jp.com/tw/wifi/index.html

Ninja WiFi

ninjawifi

Usage Fee: 900 yen plus tax per day
Speed: from 75mbps
Plan: Fixed system
Speed Limit: 13GB/day
Support Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean Airport Counter: Available
Official Websites:
English: http://townwifi.com/en/
Japanese: http://townwifi.com/jp/
Traditional Chinese: http://townwifi.com/tw/
Simplified Chinese: http://townwifi.com/cn/
Korean: http://townwifi.com/kr/

WiFi-HIRE.com

wifihire

Usage Fee: 1-45 days Depends on number of days used, fixed system [ex: 6 days 4880 yen with tax; 15 days 10,380 yen with tax]
Speed: from 75mbps
Plan: Fixed system
Speed Limit: Unlimited (however speed may decrease with heavy usage)
Support Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)
Airport Counter: Available
Official Website: http://www.wifi-hire.com/

Telecom Square

Usage Fee: 1295 yen per day
Speed: from 75mbps
Plan: Fixed system
Speed Limit: 366MB/day, 10GB/month
Support Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)
Airport Counter: Available
Official Website: http://www.telecomsquare.co.jp/us/daus/

2. Using Free Wi-Fi Spots

フリーWiFiを利用して日本を旅行してみる

If you don't have to use the Internet that frequently in Japan, and only want to use it when necessary, using a Free Wi-Fi spot is recommended. Once registered, most of them can be used freely. Particularly in large cities, you can find spots everywhere, so it is convenient to register on these sites when traveling in major cities.

Advantages:
・Free of charge in most places
・Can use several devices

Disadvantages:
・Spots are mainly in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto
・Many spots require registration or certification before connecting
・Connection could be bad when many people are using the spot
・Security problems may occur in some of the spots

Japan Connected-free WiFi

Japan Connected-free Wifi

Number of Wi-Fi Spots: 1,400,000 spots
Registration: Required (free to use after registration)
Initial Cost: 0 yen
Support Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian
Official Website: Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi
Download URL: iOS Android

TRAVEL JAPAN WiFi

TRAVEL JAPAN WiFiでは, Wi2エリア, BBモバイルポイントエリア, UQ Wi-Fi エリアで使えます

Number of Wi-Fi Spots: over 200,000 spots
Registration: Required (free to use after registration)
Initial Cost: 0 yen
Support Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, Thai
Official Website: Travel Japan Wifi
Download URL: iOSAndroid

For more information, please check out: Free Wi-Fi Portal Application: Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi

3. Making a SIM Card Contract

SIMフリーの端末を持っているなら, SIMカードを利用することをおすすめします

As the price is set when you buy the card, these are recommended for those who need light communication by email only.

Advantages:
・Available if you have an unlocked phone
・Available widely across Japan
・Can choose one depending on speed, storage and the usable period

Disadvantages:
・Initial settings may be difficult
・Limited price, may cut off if over-used
・Cannot connect to the Internet if your device does not match standard specifications in Japan

PAYG SIM

音声通話対応PAYG SIM

Usage Fee: 9980 yen plus tax
Traffic: 3GB
Application/Use: Phone and standard data communication
Valid for: 7 days
Activation: Required
Support Languages: English, Chinese
Where to Buy: Yodobashi Camera (Electronics Store), Aeon (Supermarket), Dosupara (PC store), online stores
Official Website: http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/payg_sim/index.html

OCN Mobile ONE Prepaid SIM for Visitors

OCN mobile ONE Prepaid SIM for VISITOR 7days

Usage Fee: 7 days 2980 yen (with tax 3218 yen), 14 days 3500 yen (with tax 3780 yen)
Traffic: 100MG/day
Application/Use: Standard data only
Valid for: Depends on the SIM purchased (7 days or 14 days)
Activation: Not required
Support Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)
Where to Buy: Tokyo Station, electronics stores, etc
Official Website: http://service.ocn.ne.jp/mobile/one/visitor/en/

JAPAN TRAVEL SIM powerd by llJmio

Usage Fee: Set by retailer (on Amazon 1GB/30days only 2460 yen, 2GB/3months 4082 yen **prices are current to May 2017 only)
Communication Fee: 1GB/1month, 2GB/3 months (data quantity can be recharged)
Application/Use: Standard data only
Valid for: 1GB/1 month, 2GB/3 months
Activation: Not required
Where to Buy: Electronics stores, convenience stores in the city
Special Perk: Includes a Premium Code that can be used to connect to free Wi-Fi at over 200,000 stations in Japan
Official Website: JAPAN TRAVEL SIM powerd by llJmio

Getting Online in Japan - a Quick Summary

In short, free Wi-Fi is readily available, free of charge but can be slow, Wi-Fi routers are not free but can be used widely for rapid communication, and SIM Cards are relatively cheap but have a storage limit.

So it's recommended to have:
A Wi-Fi router if you want to see movies and maps.
Use free Wi-Fi when in certain, spot-heavy areas.
A SIM card for light communication like emails only.

Have a great trip, and enjoy being able to use the net in Japan!

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