There may be a lot of things that you want to check out through the internet after you arrive at Japan, for example, tourist information and transportation. You may also want to use social media to share your great memories of the trip via a smartphone. But what about the wireless LAN environment in Japan like? Recently, the environment has become more convenient. Free wireless LAN services have been set up for tourists who are visiting Japan, and the areas for the services have been expanding.
Basically, there are three ways to use wireless LAN in Japan. Firstly, by using Wi-Fi routers, etc. that have a wireless LAN function. They utilize a high speed line, and it can be used whenever and wherever you want. The best advantage is that you can use it while in your transportation. You should apply for a device when you want to use it in Japan. You can receive it at the airport or the hotel you’ll be staying. You may need to pay 1,050 yen or more per day, plus a basic charge, a delivery cost or commission fees. Please contact the companies.
Rental for Wi-Fi devices
You can also rent a smartphone or a cell phone from some companies, so please make good use of the service. Note that if you have a SIM Lock Free smartphone, you can use the SIM card rental plans below.
Secondly, you can use the wireless LAN provided by facilities such as hotels, cafes, and tourist information centers. If a facility provides a wireless LAN, you can ask the clerks or persons in charge for the password. (Please note that some facilities don’t provide security like WEP.)
Free wireless LAN is provided at the main airports such as Tokyo (Haneda) International Airport, Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport, and Central Japan International Airport, as well as at coffee shops (pre-registration is needed), etc.
In addition, Yamanashi Prefecture issues a free wireless LAN ID/Password to tourists from foreign countries that they can use for two weeks. You can get it at tourist information centers. Kyoto City and Fukuoka City have also started to provide free wireless LAN services for tourists.
The East Japan Railway Company plans to start free wireless LAN services for tourists from foreign countries at 13 chief stations in Tokyo and at the JR EAST Travel Service Center (Service starts from October 1, 2012).
Some facilities that don’t have an independent wireless LAN environment provide a free wireless LAN service called FREESPOT. You need an e-mail address to register, and it is better for you to resister beforehand.
Paid wireless LAN
docomo Wi-Fi for visitor
“docomo Wi-Fi for visitor” covers all of Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa. The service uses approximately 150 thousand Wi-Fi hotspots across Japan, the most among any public Wi-Fi service in the country. An additional convenience is that users can log in with the same ID/password anywhere and there’s no need to go through the trouble of changing ID/password for each area.
You can register for a paid wireless LAN service and then use the service at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, at stations, airports, etc. everywhere all over Japan, at your convenience. The charge is, for example, 350 yen per 6 hours, 800 yen per 24 hours, 2000 yen per week, etc. depending on the plan you use.
WIRE AND WIRELESS (Wi2) “Wi2 300”
Welcome to Japan! Wi-Fi Campaign with Visa is now underway. Visa cardholders can enjoy 1-day free wireless LAN service! Cardholders can also enjoy discount price for following days. Please refer to the official website for details. (From August 30, 2012 to August 29, 2014) (Only apply for Visa cards issued outside of Japan)
Share your WOW! -Japan Photo Contest
Japan Tourism Agency is now launching “Share your WOW! -Japan Photo Contest-”. 10,000 participants will receive a 1-week Wi-Fi pass free of charge which can be used on their visit to Japan. Check it out!
Let’s find a wireless LAN that fits your traveling style and enjoy your trip to the full!
* In some cases you may need to use either a Japanese mobile phone or data communication in order to activate the service for you, so please carefully check the description that your business operator will provide.
*The above information is as of September, 2012.