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The Complete Guide to Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan for Foreigners!

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A computer with a wifi connection

Internet access is one of the most important issues when traveling or studying in Japan. Especially for foreigners who want to use smartphones just as they do in their home countries, how to set up an Internet environment is a major concern.

Free Wi-Fi spots are being developed in Japan, but they are not yet sufficient. In addition, some people may find it difficult to understand how to use Wi-Fi due to the language barrier.

This article therefore provides detailed information on how foreigners can comfortably use the Internet in Japan. From how to use free Wi-Fi services to how to choose pocket Wi-Fi and SIM cards, this article is full of useful information.

Goandup Picks Click here for recommended articles!

Free WiFi situation in Japan and how foreigners can use the Internet

Japan is one of the world's largest economies and one of the most technologically advanced countries. However, the penetration rate of free Wi-Fi in public places is still low compared to other developed countries such as Europe, the United States, South Korea, and China. According to a survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan's public wireless LAN coverage rate is the lowest among major developed countries.

Services such as Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi provided by the Japan Tourism Agency and Wi-Fi spots provided by major telecommunications carriers are available, but they are not yet sufficient. Especially in regional cities, it is sometimes difficult to find free Wi-Fi. For foreign travelers, this situation may seem inconvenient.

However, there are several other ways to access the Internet in Japan besides using free Wi-Fi. Here are four main ways for foreigners to use the Internet in Japan.

Use Japan.Free Wi-Fi provided by the Japan Tourism Agency

Japan. Free Wi-Fi" provided by the Japan Tourism Agency is a free public wireless LAN service for foreign visitors to Japan. It is available at more than 30,000 locations nationwide, including airports, train stations, tourist information centers, and commercial facilities.

It is easy to use, and the dedicated app "Japan Connected-free Wi-FiSimply download the "Wi-Fi Spot", launch the application, and agree to the Terms of Use. The app also includes a map function that displays available spots, making it easy to find a Wi-Fi spot.

However, there is a limit of up to 30 minutes of connection time at a time; after 30 minutes, you will be disconnected, but you can use it for another 30 minutes by reconnecting.

Reference:Free Wi-Fi

2. use the free Wi-Fi available at the facility

Many restaurants, shopping malls, and lodging facilities offer free Wi-Fi service. These establishments often have Wi-Fi information posted inside the store.

The connection method varies from facility to facility, but in general, you must select the appropriate SSID from the Wi-Fi settings screen and enter your password or register your e-mail address.

Some facilities offer free Wi-Fi services for foreign visitors. For example, "Lawson Wi-Fi" is a free Wi-Fi service available at Lawson stores and is known as a service for foreign visitors to Japan.

3. use Wi-Fi connection application 【 free or paid 】

There are also application services that allow you to easily search for and connect to free Wi-Fi spots in Japan. They range from free to fee-based services.

For example.Town WiFiis a free Wi-Fi connection application. It automatically connects to approximately 200,000 free Wi-Fi spots nationwide. It supports not only restaurants and commercial facilities, but also public Wi-Fi such as "XX City Free Wi-Fi" provided by the local government.

The paid application service is called "Wi2 300is a typical example. For 362 yen per month (excluding tax), you can use about 800,000 Wi2 spots nationwide. There is also a prepaid plan for foreigners, the Passport, which costs 1,340 yen (excluding tax) for 14 days.

4. use pocket Wi-Fi or prepaid SIM

If you have trouble finding free Wi-Fi or want a more secure and stable Internet environment, pocket Wi-Fi or prepaid data communication SIM cards are recommended.

Pocket Wi-Fi, also called a mobile Wi-Fi router, is a small device with a built-in SIM card that provides Wi-Fi connectivity using mobile data communications. It is a convenient way to connect multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs to the Internet while on the go.

A prepaid data communication SIM card is a service that allows you to purchase a data allowance in advance and use it only for the amount of data you need.

In Japan, there are companies that offer pocket Wi-Fi rental services and prepaid SIM cards for foreign travelers. Let's take a closer look below.

How much does pocket Wi-Fi cost in Japan?

There are two main options for using pocket Wi-Fi in Japan. One is to subscribe to a monthly service, and the other is to use a rental service for short-term use.

For monthly subscriptions, the price varies depending on the provider and device specifications, but plans with a data allowance cap range from 3,000 yen to 4,000 yen per month. Examples include UQ WiMAX and WiMAX2+ from major telecommunications carriers.

On the other hand, unlimited data plans generally cost between 4,000 yen and 6,000 yen per month. Examples of unlimited plan services include "Dokoyore WiFi" and "ZEUS WiFi," which will be discussed later in this article.

Pocket Wi-Fi rental services are often priced on a per-day basis. Rates range from 500 yen to 1,000 yen per day, and the longer the period of use, the lower the daily rate: around 4,000 yen for 7 nights and 8 days, and around 15,000 yen for 30 nights and 31 days.

WiFi Rental Dotcom and Global WiFi, which will be introduced later, are also popular Wi-Fi rental services for foreign tourists.

However, please note that some providers require a deposit at the time of rental, or may charge additional fees for optional services. It is important to carefully check service details and select a plan that meets your needs.

Pocket Wi-Fi or SIM card?

Pocket Wi-Fi and SIM cards are both convenient means of Internet access. Understand the features of each and choose the one that best suits your needs.

(data) itempocket Wi-FiSIM card
Priceexpensivecomparatively cheap
initializationeasysomewhat troublesome
Number of devicesMultiple connections possible1 device only
Battery ChargingCharging requiredunnecessary
Communication Area Coverageprovider-dependentprovider-dependent
Term of UseRental / MonthlyPrepaid/monthly
Foreigner SupportDepends on the vendorDepends on the vendor
Multi-country roamingnot allowedPossible (depending on vendor)

The biggest advantage of pocket Wi-Fi is that a single device can share a Wi-Fi connection with multiple devices. You can connect smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices in various situations on the go, such as at your lodging or in a moving car. Another key point is that it is easy to set up, so even people who are not familiar with the machine can use it. Even if you do not understand Japanese, you can rest assured that many services provide detailed explanations at the time of rental.

A SIM card, on the other hand, allows mobile data communication simply by plugging it into a smartphone, making it easy to use. Like pocket Wi-Fi, there is no need to carry around a separate device, and a single smartphone is all you need. Also, many of them are prepaid, so you can choose flexibly according to the amount of data you need. The fee structure is simple and easy to understand, so the risk of high bills due to overuse is minimized.

Nevertheless, each is not suitable for everyone, so the following points should be taken into consideration when making your choice.

Who is suited for pocket Wi-Fi?

  • Often works with a family or group rather than alone
  • I want to have internet access at my accommodation.
  • Frequent use of tablets and PCs in addition to smartphones
  • I want to focus on signal strength and speed.

Who the SIM card is suitable for

  • Traveling alone or traveling style with a lot of movement
  • I want to carry as little luggage as possible.
  • I want to use the Internet right away with a simple setup.
  • I want to freely choose the duration and the amount of communication.

We recommend that you take the above points into consideration and choose the one that best suits your travel style. Please also check the following article for a more detailed explanation of SIM cards.

[List of Prepaid SIM & SIM Cards with Unlimited Data in Japan for Foreigners]

[I want to use the cheapest SIM card in Japan! Introducing Recommended SIM & Prepaid SIM]


▼If you are interested in purchasing a SIM card, we also recommend this article★

Check the communication speed when choosing pocket Wi-Fi.

When choosing a pocket Wi-Fi, along with price and service area, communication speed is also an important point to check.

Pocket Wi-Fi speeds are expressed in two metrics: downlink (download) and uplink (upload). Generally, the downlink speed is more important than the uplink speed.

If you see the notation "00Mbps downlink," you can consider that to be the approximate download speed. The higher this number is, the faster you can download large amounts of data.

Pocket Wi-Fi tends to have faster downlink speeds than SIM cards.

However, the specific speed required depends on the usage scenario. Please refer to the following guidelines.

Online games require 30 Mbps or more

Online games that require real-time communication require fast and stable communication speeds. For competitive games in particular, a downstream speed of 30 Mbps or higher is desirable.

Upload speed is also important during gaming. Since operation information needs to be sent to the server quickly, the uplink speed should be at least 10 Mbps.

About 10Mbps to 20Mbps for video viewing and web conferencing

When using video streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix, or web conferencing such as Zoom and Skype, downlink speeds of 10Mbps to 20Mbps can be used without significant delay.

If you want to maximize the quality, an even higher speed is desirable, but for medium quality settings, this level of speed will work fine.

About 1 Mbps is sufficient for browsing sites, e-mail, and LINE.

If you are just browsing websites with mostly text and images, such as news sites and blogs, you should have no problem with a downlink speed of about 1 Mbps.

Communication tools such as e-mail and LINE also do not require very high transmission speeds if texting is the main focus.

While taking the above points into consideration, it is recommended that you choose a pocket Wi-Fi with sufficient speed for your needs, assuming the Internet services you frequently use.

Check not only the speed, but also the service area, price, and battery life comprehensively to find the right one for you.

9 Pocket Wi-Fi recommendations for foreigners

So here we are.Goandup PicksThe following is a list of recommended pocket Wi-Fi selected carefully by We will explain in detail the features, plans, fees, and foreigner support available for each, so please find the one that best meets your needs!

service namefeature
NETAGEIdeal for short-term rentals. No initial cost and no administration fee.
Global MobileUnlimited data usage. Up to 988 Mbps downstream.
Giga Wi-FiAvailable in 134 countries and regions worldwide.
WiFi Revolution SetUp to 20 units can be connected simultaneously. Large capacity of 500 GB per month.
WiFi Rental SiteAirport pickup and return available; ideal for 30 nights and 31 days.
Wi-Fi for EveryoneNo screening required. Only an ID and a bank account are required to sign a contract.
Prepaid WiFi more than anywhere elseAvailable for as long as you need. Excess gigs are refundable.
Recharge WiFiBuy-one-get-one-free. Charge and use when you run out.
Cloud WiFiFree replacement available in case of trouble with all models. Available in Japan and overseas.
ZEUS WiFiAvailable from 980 yen/month with the campaign.

1. NETAGE

NETAGE" has no troublesome two-year contracts or penalty fees. There are no initial fees and no administrative fees! You can easily apply online and start using the service as early as the next day.

The big attraction is that rentals are available in one-day increments, with rates starting at a few tens of yen per day. In addition, you can choose from a wide variety of Wi-Fi routers, including lines from SoftBank, docomo, au, and Ymobile, with capacities ranging from 3 GB per day to unlimited.

After use, simply drop it in a Japanese mailbox for easy return! NETAGE" is recommended for people staying in Japan for a short period of time, temporary returnees to Japan, as well as those who plan to be hospitalized or move to a new location, those who are planning to travel within Japan, and for business trips and events.

For more information: ▶︎ Rental is OK even from 1 day! For amazingly low-cost Wi-Fi rental in Japan,【NETAGE】is the place to go!

2.Global Mobile

Global Mobile" offers unlimited data usage for Pocket Wi-Fi using SoftBank's 4G LTE, with a daily rental fee of 432 yen (tax included), or an amazing 174 yen (tax included) per day with a monthly plan. The daily rental fee is 432 yen (tax included).

The greatest feature is unlimited data usage. No matter how much you use, communication never stops. In addition, a new 802ZT model with a maximum downlink speed of 988 Mbps has been added to the lineup, enabling continuous communication for approximately 12 hours. In addition, if you apply by 4:00 p.m. on the same day, the product can be shipped on the same day, and you will receive it as soon as the next morning.

Ideal for use in a variety of situations, such as remote work, living alone, domestic travel, and business trips. In particular, it is highly recommended for those who are concerned about data traffic due to watching videos, etc. It is also very popular with foreigners traveling to Japan, as they can easily rent the service. Global Mobile" is an affordable Internet environment for both short-term and long-term stays in Japan.

For more information: ▶︎ SoftBank Pocket Wi-Fi 501HW

3. Giga Wi-Fi

Giga Wi-Fi" has been the talk of the town on TV and has garnered much attention as one of the industry's cheapest cloud-pocket Wi-Fi systems. The most important feature of Giga Wi-Fi is its wide coverage area. It can be used not only in Japan but also in 134 countries and regions around the world. This is an extremely convenient service for those who frequently travel abroad or on business trips. In addition, the service offers ultra-high capacity SoftBank, Docomo, and au lines, so you can enjoy a comfortable Internet life without worrying about communication.

With same-day delivery at the earliest possible time, no troublesome installation is required, and there are no data limits such as 3G limit in one day or 10G limit in three days, which many Wi-Fi services suffer from. This makes it a particularly good choice for those who are not satisfied with their current pocket Wi-Fi or those who have trouble with data limits.

The benefits of this service include unlimited free access to weekly magazines and manga! This service is also attractive to those who want to use the Internet in a safe and secure environment while enjoying Japanese culture and entertainment.

For more information: ▶︎ One of the cheapest in the industry! Cloud Pocket Wi-Fi [Giga Wi-Fi

4. WiFi Rental Site

You can choose from 5GB to unlimited capacity, so you can choose the plan that best suits your needs.

The number of airports where you can receive and return WiFi is the largest in the industry! This is perfect for international travelers as they can receive WiFi and use the Internet as soon as they arrive in Japan. You can also pick up your WiFi at convenience stores and return it by mailbox, making it hassle-free.

Furthermore, "WiFi Rental Dotcom" does not require any troublesome procedures for rental extension! This is especially recommended for those who want to rent for a short period of time but do not have a definite number of days in mind. Also, there are no restrictions on the period of use, so you can apply when you need it and return it when you no longer need it, making it suitable for long-term use as well.

For more information: ▶︎ Wifi Rental Dotcom

5. Wi-Fi for Everyone

is an easy way to have a Wi-Fi environment without screening or credit cards. Anyone with identification and a bank account can sign up in their own name. There is no limit on daily data usage, and since the communication area is based on UQ WiMAX, the connection is stable.

The first is that it is a "one-stop shop". This allows those who have had difficulty signing up with other companies to immediately have a Wi-Fi environment. Also, no installation work is required, and with just a few simple procedures, you can use the Internet immediately. This service is very convenient for foreigners who have just arrived in Japan or do not have a credit card.

In addition, the company's mobile service allows you to have a smartphone in your name without screening.Mobile phoneto sign up for Wi-Fi for everyone at a discount. Check it out as well.

For more information: ▶︎ For unlimited WiFi, [Wi-Fi for Everyone

6. Prepaid WiFi more than anywhere else

Dokodemo Yori Prepaid WiFi" is an innovative prepaid WiFi service that purchases data for a specified usage period. There is no need for any pre-trial or troublesome procedures. The service also offers a wide range of payment methods, including direct debit, cash on delivery, deferred payment, and credit card.

You can choose the plan that best suits your usage, and there are no cancellation fees, so you can cancel at any time you like. Depending on your needs, we can also provide a pocket WiFi device included or prepaid SIM only. This service is ideal for those who want to avoid long-term contracts and use WiFi only for the period of time needed.

It is useful in various situations, such as business trips, working from home, temporary WiFi needs while traveling or on the road, or as a backup to your main line. Even foreigners who have been hesitant to sign up for WiFi because of the contract term, cancellation fees, credit card screening, etc. can use the service with peace of mind. Prepaid WiFi" supports your WiFi life more freely and comfortably.

For more information: ▶︎ Available from 98 yen per day! Prepaid WiFi than anywhere else!

7. recharge WiFi

Recharge WiFi" is also recommended as a buy-one-get-one-free option. No complicated contracts or returns are required, and there is no monthly fee. When you run out of gigs, you can purchase additional giga-charges at the official store as needed. Gigs are valid for one year after purchase, so excess gigs can be carried over to the following year.

Furthermore, with the purchase of an international recharge plan, you can use the service in 30 countries abroad and automatically switch to domestic communications upon your return. Payment options are also very diverse, and you can choose from credit cards, convenience store payments, bank transfers, Amazon Pay, and more.

It is especially recommended for those who cannot use up all of their monthly data with a flat-rate plan and have excess data. Recharge WiFi is flexible and cost-effective.

For more information: ▶︎ No hassle at all! + [Recharge WiFi

8. Cloud WiFi

With "Cloud WiFi," you can comfortably enjoy the Internet up to the monthly data capacity for each plan with no contract term restrictions and 0 yen cancellation fee.

The greatest feature is the handset warranty. There are plans that offer free replacement in the event of malfunction or water damage, as well as plans that cover all problems such as loss, theft, and battery deterioration, making it ideal for those who are worried about problems during use.

In addition, "Cloud WiFi" can be completed anywhere in Japan and overseas. In particular, it is highly recommended for those who need a communication environment for long-term stays or business trips in Japan or abroad, and it can provide a reliable Internet environment in any situation, from short stays to long stays.

For more information: ▶︎ Rent Cloud Wi-Fi for 135 countries worldwide with same-day shipping!

9. ZEUS WiFi

is celebrating the launch of its new plan by offering a substantial price discount for up to 24 months starting from the first month. This campaign is available at a monthly fee starting at 980 yen (contract term is tied), and the actual monthly fee after 2 years of use is more cost-effective than other companies, so it is recommended for foreigners who are "going to use it for 2 years! This campaign is recommended for foreigners who are willing to use the service for 2 years.

For more information: ▶︎ One of the lowest prices in the industry! Available from 980 yen/month! ZEUS WiFi

Useful information and support for living in Japan

Living in Japan is fascinating, but it is not uncommon to face many challenges due to language barriers and cultural differences. For example, you may encounter difficulties in all aspects of life, from using keigo (honorific expressions) in everyday and business situations, to difficulties in finding housing, using public services, preparing for the JLPT exam, and even meeting new friends and loved ones.

At such times, Goandup Salon will be your reliable partner!

Our community provides support and information to help foreign residents in Japan to make their life in Japan richer and more comfortable.

  • Japanese Language Studywill meet the needs of all levels, from daily conversation to the use of keigo in business situations, to efficient Japanese language learning methods and preparation for the JLPT exam.
  • livingaspect of the program provides concrete advice and information on how to establish a foundation for living in Japan, including explanations of Japanese culture and rules, finding housing, and how to contract public services and living infrastructure.
  • Jobs & CareersRegarding the "what if" section, we can help you find a job, change jobs, and understand Japanese business etiquette and workplace culture, which are key to a successful career in the workplace.
  • Travel & Dining Guidewill introduce you to hidden gems in Japan, must-try gourmet information, and other unique local attractions to help you experience Japan more deeply.

If you have any questions or concerns about life in Japan, Goandup Salon is here to help you! We will wholeheartedly support you to make your life in Japan smoother and more enjoyable.

For more information, click here ▼

summary

Pocket Wi-Fi is the recommended means of Internet access in Japan, but utilizing free Wi-Fi or using a SIM card are also options.

For short-term stays, such as vacations and business trips, pocket Wi-Fi rental services may be useful, especially for those who want to use the Internet at their Airbnb or other accommodations, or for those who often work in groups.

On the other hand, if you are traveling alone or staying for a long period of time, you may want to use a SIM card. You can choose flexibly according to the amount of data you need, and you should be able to find a plan that is cost-effective.

In addition, although free Wi-Fi in Japan is not well maintained, it may be available at tourist attractions, commercial facilities, and other places frequented by foreign travelers. By using the application, you can find free Wi-Fi spots more efficiently.

In order to have a good Internet environment during your stay in Japan, it is wise to make a good use of pocket Wi-Fi, SIM cards, and free Wi-Fi according to your own usage style. Please use this article as a reference to enjoy a comfortable Internet life.


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