Internet Access In Japan (Wi-Fi, SIM, Phones)
What to do about internet access in Japan is one concern many people have.
There are several options for you so you can stay connected during your travel in Japan.
There is a lot of free Wi-Fi access points in Japan for you. Wi-Fi can be found at airports, hotels, stations, restaurants, department stores and on some train lines.
Narita International Airport might be your starting point in your trip to Japan.
The airport has free Wi-Fi access: FreeWiFi-NARITA
Haneda International Airport also has Wi-Fi access in all terminals: Haneda-Free WIFI
Mobile Phone and Tablet Applications
There are several free Wi-Fi applications that locate internet connections for you.
Japan Wi-Fi auto-connect is by NTT, the biggest telephone company in Japan.
In Osaka and Kyoto, you can download the application KANSAI Free Wi-Fi.
Your hotel most likely will have Wi-Fi access in the lobby, restaurants, and rooms. A good idea is for you to check the hotel website to see what is offered.
Some stations will have Wi-Fi access. Japan Railways East (JR East) provides free Wi-Fi at most of its stations in Tokyo. Just look for: JR-EAST Free Wi-Fi.
Japan Railways West (JR West) has a similar set-up for Wi-Fi access at stations throughout its service area. You can look for: JR-WEST_FREE_Wi-Fi
Both subway train companies in Tokyo offer free Wi-Fi services at stations and on trains.
Toei subway lines: Toei_Subway_FreeWi-Fi
Metro subway lines: Metro_Free_Wi-Fi
For other train lines in Tokyo and the surrounding area, you can check the train cars and signs around the station for the SSID connection.
JR East does not have Wi-Fi on any of its trains. Japan Railways West (JR West) has free Wi-Fi on shinkansen (bullet trains) going from Tokyo to Osaka, Kyoto and further.
In Osaka and Kyoto, the following offer free Wi-Fi service.
Hankyu Railways: Hankyu-Hanshin Welcome Wi-Fi
Keihan Railways: Keihan Free Wi-Fi (90 minutes free access)
Most chain restaurants have started offering Wi-Fi services for free.
International chains such as Starbucks and McDonald’s have Wi-Fi available for you.
Family restaurant chains (Denny’s, Gusto’s, etc.) and Japanese restaurants such as Tenya and Ootoya have Wi-Fi services. Each store may have time limits, depending on the location.
Stores and Department Stores
The big department store chains generally offer complimentary Wi-Fi. This includes the restaurant floors.
Chain stores such as Uniqlo have Wi-Fi as well.
At the airports, you can pick up a portable Wi-Fi machine. This is a small device that you can bring around and connect to the Internet wherever you are.
There are counters from different companies. They all have different packages and plans depending on how long you will stay and where you will visit in your trip.
Some can be sent to you before arrival. Most, however, can be picked up at the counter.
The counters are located outside of customs.
Some companies that offer portable (pocket) Wi-Fi devices are Japan-Wireless, Easy-GoJapan, Sakura Mobile and Mobal.
The same goes for SIM cards. You can pre order and pick up at the airport upon arrival. You can also get in your home country before coming to Japan.
Sakura Mobile, Mobal and Softbank all have SIM cards at different data amounts and time limits.
It is important to make sure your mobile device is compatible with SIM cards in Japan.
Data Plans From Home Country
Before coming to Japan, you can also check your current mobile phone provider about coverage in Japan.
If you are visiting from the US:
- Verizon Travel Pass $10/day (USD)
- AT&T International Travel Pass $10/day (USD)
- T-Mobile ONE Plan, Magenta, Simple Choice
If you are visiting from Canada:
- Telus Easy Roam $14/day (CND)
- Rogers International Roaming $14/day (CND)
If you are visiting from the UK:
- Vodafone UK £25 for 4GB (GBP)
If you are visiting from Australia:
- Optus $10 for 1GB/$50 for 5 GB (AUD)
Staying connected to the Internet during your travel in Japan is easier than you think. You have many options, from free Wi-Fi connections to portable devices and roaming plans. You can now enjoy your trip wherever you go in Japan.