Get more out of your Japan trip by utilizing the powerful combination of your mobile device and the “FREE Wi-Fi” service
Traveling is a treasure trove of new discoveries and surprises like “Just saw Mt. Fuji!”, “Found a great restaurant in Shibuya”, “Couldn’t believe how good hot springs are”. There are many people out there who would like to put these experiences and impressions into words or with photos as well to share with their friends and family in real time. And there are probably more than just a few people these days who want to “Check-In” at various locations in Japan as well. At these types of places, what will help enable you to do all these things you want to do is a powerful Wi-Fi service to help you smoothly connect your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device to the internet.
Of course, a Wi-Fi environment is required to be able to get useful information such as guidance to your destination via map apps, guide maps for when you’re walking around town, train and transportation access information, and local restaurant information. Even in local towns these days, information is being made available in other languages such as English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and Korean. Now, as another example of Japan’s hospitality, systematic upgrades to Wi-Fi spots in cities and tourist destinations are being carried out, so you’ll definitely want to make use of the improved service.
With that in mind, we’d like to recommend the “FREE Wi-Fi” service provided by NTT East. NTT East is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTT and is one of the largest telecommunications carriers in the world. NTT East’s fiber-optic network services have over ten million subscribers with a market share that exceeds seventy percent. As their service is built on their superior technological expertise and reliability, you can use it with confidence. On top of that, FREE Wi-Fi is an exclusive service for foreign tourists to use. NTT is glad to be your partner helping you have an even more enjoyable trip in Japan.
14 day unlimited free Wi-Fi coverage in cities and tourist destinations continues to expand
The best thing about NTT East’s FREE Wi-Fi service is that you can use Wi-Fi spots throughout Japan for a whole 14 days from the day of registration for absolutely nothing! The number of Wi-Fi spots you can make use of is currently over 40,000 (from the end of December 2013). As you can see from the map, the network broadly covers about half of Japan, and while including Tokyo of course, also covers many top destinations like Hokkaido and Tohoku which have become more popular in recent times. And on top of that, you use the same ID in every single area. You don’t have to constantly change ID, so that makes using the service stress free.
The registration process for FREE Wi-Fi is very simple. First, all you have to do is visit the special counter at any airport such as Narita, Shin-Chitose or Haneda or at one of the 300 tourist information centers in East Japan, and show them your passport. You don’t need to fill out any annoying application forms or anything.
For registration, when you are in range of an NTT East Wi-Fi access point (0000FLETS-PORTAL), enter the ID and password written on the special card (FREE Wi-Fi card) you receive according to the instructions on the screen and you’re done. Make sure you check out NTT East’s special FREE Wi-Fi web page, where you can easily find details on usage instructions, locations of Wi-Fi spots, and places where you can obtain the special cards.
At the end of March, the site will be revamped so that you will be also able to conduct searches for Wi-Fi spots by store genre (dining, hotel, etc.) which will make things more convenient.
For NTT East’s FREE Wi-Fi, you don’t even need to send a blank email at the start. Also, it doesn’t matter what your carrier or type of Wi-Fi enabled mobile device that you have is. With over 40,000 access points available domestically all connected via fiber optic cable, fast and stable access is always possible. You’ll be able to make SNS updates and upload all your photos with ease.
With a new service that allows you to get your ID before departure and also provides offline search for spots, FREE Wi-Fi keeps getting better!
As of this spring, another convenient service has been added to NTT East’s FREE Wi-Fi service. Within the “NAVITIME for Japan Travel” app, which is an English navigation service for foreign tourists in Japan, there is a function included that allows users outside Japan to obtain their FREE Wi-Fi ID and password for free. In other words, if you use this app, you can get your ID and password before you come to Japan. Within NTT East’s area of coverage, you can start using the service from when and wherever you want.
It also has a feature included where you can do offline searches for Free Public wireless LAN, which is useful for travel planning. Also, with the “AR mode” which uses augmented reality technology, If you search for a free Wi-Fi spot near your current location or a station of your choosing in “AR mode”, which uses AR technology, you can get the distance and direction from your current location shown in the actual scenery. You can use it like you would use Street View, which makes it useful for street navigation.
Go and download this useful app which will be your reliable travel partner for Japan right away!
Get the information you want on nature, hot springs, walking through town, dining, and places to visit
In co-operation with various regional governments, NTT East is in the middle of expanding the availability of their FREE Wi-Fi service. We’d like to introduce a few examples of this to you.
In Tokyo, which has many places to visit, there are many Wi-Fi spots available. For example, in Akihabara, which is currently getting a lot of attention from around the world, at famous electronics stores and other shops there are 25 places in total where you can obtain a Free Wi-Fi card. They can even help you search for Japanese anime and game related goods, as well as give you advice on shopping for electronic goods. You’ll be able to instantly upload photos of your time in Akihabara to various social networking services.
Also, even in Ginza, which is a storied shopping area in Japanese history, the number of Wi-Fi spots is increasing. You can even use Wi-Fi at Japan’s representative department store Ginza Mitsukoshi. While shopping at brand name shops and stores that stock traditional Japanese goods, you’ll be able to get useful information on high class dining and traditional Japanese restaurants in the area. Why not make use of the Wi-Fi spots and share your amazing discoveries from Japan with your friends and family?
In Hakone, which is known for its beautiful natural scenery and hot springs, the number of Wi-Fi spots is increasing. From Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto, which is the gateway to sightseeing in Hakone, it’s an easy 1 hour and 20 minutes via the Limited Express “Romancecar” train. There are plenty of things to see and do, like visiting Owakudani, where the hot springs flow out onto the bare mountainside, or enjoying a sightseeing cruise across Lake Ashi. By the way, the location of “Tokyo-3” in the popular Japanese anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion” was Hakone. As such, there is a FREE Wi-Fi card with that as its motif.
Sapporo / Otaru
Hokkaido’s largest major city, Sapporo, gathers all the seafood caught from each region in Hokkaido as well as all the fresh fruit and vegetable produce in the one place. As such, it’s very popular with gourmet lovers. You mustn’t miss seeing Odori Avenue Park, the old Hokkaido Government Building and other sightseeing spots. In Otaru, where canals run through the center of town, you’ll feel a sense of nostalgia from somewhere. The local specialty is “Kaisen-don” (seafood bowl), which is prepared with an abundance of varieties of seafood. If you visit Hokkaido which is full of attractions and hot springs areas such as world heritage listed Shiretoko Peninsula, the lavender fields of Furano as well as Jozankei Spa, there are over 5,000 Wi-Fi spots available, so you should definitely make good use of them.