Translated by GonzalezLaura
Rental mobile Wi-Fi you say? A PUPURU you say?
Free Wi-Fi spots are not as easy to come across as one would think. We're introducing an inexpensive way to stay mobile during your travels.
Written by Keisuke Yamada
When traveling abroad, it goes without saying you need your passport, money, credit cards, and cellphone amongst other things. If you have at least these four items, you can probably somehow manage to enjoy your vacation. But, if you'd really like to enjoy your vacation, you can't do without some good old fashion Wi-Fi. If you could just get onto the internet, you can look up restaurants, upload pictures you've taken onto your social networking sites, and you can even learn about unique Japanese culture in real time.
In Japan though, access to free Wi-Fi spots is not as easy to come by as one would think. (Present Summer 2015) There comes in PUPURU. The inexpensive pocket Wi-Fi you can rent, is easy to use, and just as easy to return.
How to rent Pocket Wi-Fi
You can reserve a PUPURU pocket Wi-Fi unit from before you come to Japan, making the pick-up process run all the smoother. Here's a link to the page you can reserve the unit. In addition, prices start from 400 yen a day and can vary depending on the service you choose.
You can pick up the mobile Wi-Fi unit at service counters after arriving in Narita. From Narita Terminal 1, you can use the home delivery service "Q Liner" located in the first floor arrivals (can be found in both North and South wing).
Here you'll find at which airports you can pick up the Wi-Fi unit, as well as where the service counters are located in the airports. In addition to having pick-up locations in several airports, there are pick-locations in nationwide hotels and private lodges.
Tokyo Tried and Tested
This time around, we had Vicky and Hollie help us try this Wi-Fi while touring around Tokyo. First, after arrival, they'll go to rent their Wi-Fi units at the designated counter.
After getting their hands on it, they take the train headed towards a spot well-known to foreign travelers: Asakusa. This time around, they'll be taking the Keisei line out of Narita airport and getting off at Asakusa from the Toei Asakusa line.
Upon getting on the train, our enthusiastic travelers open up the package. Inside there is a cord, a charging unit, an envelope for return use, and an instruction booklet.
First, they connect to the internet to check if the device is functioning properly. The unit password and ID are located on the back of the device, and it seems they were able to connect easily.
The two then begin looking up information on their first target location, Asakusa, and start formulating plans. The pair has decided to first take a commemorative picture at the Kaminarimon, or "Thunder Gate". Next, they plan to check out the Asakusa Temple, and last, the plan is to take a look at the Asahi Beer Building.
Arriving in Asakusa
First, as planned, they take a commemorative shot in front of the Kaminari Gate. Asakusa is very popular amongst tourists and is full of visitors regardless of weekdays or weekend.
Asakusa Temple's red gate is just one of those landmarks that really emanates that feeling of "I'm in Japan now". This is a "must see" attraction when coming to Tokyo.
They were lucky enough to have their picture taken for them, so they hurry to share it on their social networking sites. They're connected to the internet so they could share the shot instantly.
By the way, the Kaminari Gate is less than a 3 minute walk from Asakusa station. There are some spots which you can only enjoy on the way leading up to the Kaminari Gate. Below is a link containing further details.
Next, they head off to Asakusa Temple to first draw their fortunes. Vicky isn't exactly sure of how to draw her fortune, or in Japanese "omikuji", so she looks it up on the internet.
After the two take a look at the temple, they head towards Sumida Park to take a picture of the Asahi Beer building. This is, as the French like to call it, an "objet'd art". It is also more commonly known as "The Golden Turd".
Vicky locates the only spot where she can get this shot: a picture of her grabbing the golden monument. She quickly uploads the picture to her social networking sites.
Having had their fill of Asakusa hot spots, the two then excitedly make their way to Akihabara.
Arriving in Akihabara
Akihabara is 5 minutes away from Asakusa on the Tsukuba Express, which you can take at Asakusa Station. If you're coming on the Ginza Line then it's 5 minutes to Ueno Station, and then you change to the Yamanote Line, arriving at your destination in 4 minutes.
Having arrived in Akihabara, the two then seek out their intended locale: where they can try their luck at gachagacha, or Japanese "capsule toy machines". It appears that a place called "Gachapon Hall" is quite popular in Akihabara.
After a brief 5 minute walk, they arrive at Gachapon Hall.
Inside, the store is jam packed with all kinds of capsule toy machines.
Vicky chose to see what she'd get from the onigiri, or Japanese "rice ball" capsule toy machine.
And the results are: An onigiri with a tempura sticking out of it! This is called a tenmusu.
After that, they've come all the way to Akihabara, so they figured they'd go to the KOTOBUKIYA figure shop. Of course, they came across this find with the aid of the internet, and were able to find the locale with no issues.
In the store there are plenty of figurines, be they of American or Japanese origin, on display, as well as for sale.
Inside, the two were taken aback by the legion of neatly lined up Star Wars figures. This was quite the surprise indeed!
A whole hour passed by in no time while the two were taking in all the figures. And it's no wonder, it is Akihabara after all.
Finally, to Ginza!
Taking the Yamanote Line from Akihabara Station, it'll take you 6 minutes to get to Yurakucho station. A brief walk from that station will take you to a street looking similar to New York 5th Avenue; you have now arrived in Ginza!
Our travelers, growing hungry, have decided to look into some exquisite sushi shops nearby.They find a sushi shop a 3 minute walk from their current location. Not entirely sure how to get there, the two head towards the shop with map, retrieved from the internet, in hand.
The pair arrive at the shop without a hitch.
"Yup, this is Japan"! There's plenty of sushi which you can only try in Japan.
There's a plate of scrumptious looking sushi just waiting to be devoured... but before that, just one picture... Of course this superb sushi was also instantly shared on their social media sites.
After the sushi has been uploaded, our two travelers then thoroughly relish the tastes of sushi, miso, and green tea, in the home of Japanese cuisine.
Returning the Device
Incidentally, returning the rental Wi-Fi unit is quite easy.
First, you'll put the rental unit inside of the envelope provided in the bag which the rental unit came in.
Next, you just need to insert the envelope into any nearby post box. (The left and right sides are different in size, so make sure to insert the package into the larger side.)
There's a post box in the airport also, so you can return the unit just before going back home.
So how was it?
The Wi-Fi rental unit is reasonably priced, can help you have an even more enjoyable trip, and usage is not solely confined to Tokyo, making it a worthwhile investment.
One of the things really convenient about the unit is that you pick it up at hotels nationwide, and private lodgings amongst other locations.
Not to mention in some of Japan's main airports:
・Narita Airport First Terminal
・Narita Airport Second Terminal
・Haneda Airport Terminal
・Kansai International Airport
・Chubu Centrair International Airport
So how's it sound? How about using PUPURU's rental Wi-Fi next time you come to Japan?