Internet Access in Japan
In Japan, there are several locations where you can use free WIFI for tourists. You can mainly find these free WIFI spots on trains or in train stations or in commercial establishments such as cafes or restaurants and convenience stores. Almost all hotels have free WIFI for their guests as well. If you, however, want to be connected to the internet at all times so you can, for example, use Google maps while on the go or check your emails at all times, then you can use one of the services listed below.
Data-Only SIM Cards in Japan
You can easily buy data-only SIM cards in Japan at major airports like Narita and Kansai, and at larger electronic shops in any city. It is not necessary to show your ID to do so. Some cards require a brief registration process but it’s usually fast and it can be done on your phone. They usually come with sufficient data to last for the trip.
There are many companies that offer these services. These two options can be used as a reference to choose the desired plan:
1- IIJmio Japan Travel SIM
IIJmio offers two types of prepaid SIM cards to travelers in Japan:
– 1GB/valid for 30 days (¥2460 at Bic Camera stores)
-2GB/valid for 3 months (¥3790 at Bic Camera stores)
These SIM cards can be bought at Bic Camera stores, which can be found in most major Japanese cities. Especially in Tokyo, there are many Bic Camera stores.
Once you found a branch of Bic Camera, you need to find the sign saying ‘Bic SIM’ inside the store (usually on the ground floor near the entrance). Usually is someone there who speaks English to help you. If you pay an extra ¥480, the shop employee will install the SIM and do the APN settings for you.
2- B Mobile Visitor SIM
This company also offers a SIM card for travelers in Japan:
– B Mobile Visitor SIM: 1GB/valid for 14 days (¥3980 purchased online)
While this plan offers less data than the IIJmio Japan Travel SIM, it can be purchased online or in shops here in Japan. If you buy one online, they can ship it to your hotel or to a post office at the arrival airport where it will be held for the customer until their arrival and it can be picked up there.
Pocket WIFI Rental
Another great way to stay online wherever you go in Japan is to rent a pocket WIFI (also known as a portable wifi router). These are an especially great option for families or groups since multiple people can log onto the same unit at the same time. They’re usually fast and they offer a lot more data compared to a SIM card. Pocket WIFI devices can be rented from various companies in Japan, who can deliver the device to the first night’s accommodation or to the arrival airport. It can be also rented one from counters in the arrivals halls of major airports like Narita and Kansai.
One of the most recognized companies in this market is Ninja WIFI. These are 2 plans that are available from Ninja WIFI, so you can compare them to the plans of other companies you can find online.
1-Unlimited Plan (Softbank)
-9 hours of continuous internet usage.
-Concurrent connection of 5 devices.
-Maximum Download speed at 187.35Mbps.
Price: ¥900 + tax / day
2-1GB per day plan (Softbank)
-1GB per day
-Latest Technology, fast and reliable connection.
Price: ¥800 + tax / day