Internet in Japan is fast and reliable and most accommodation for tourists will have internet access. If in doubt, confirm with your accommodation provider before reservation. For those who need access on the go, there are a number of options open to foreign travellers depending on their needs, from free wi-fi apps and hotspots to portable wi-fi devices and data SIMs.
Free Wi-Fi access
The number of free wi-fi hotspots in Japan is growing, and there are a number of apps and services available to help you get connected. While most free wi-fi hotspots can be accessed directly without these apps, they can make finding and connecting to access points simpler.
iOS/Android App. Basic (free) accounts offer access to 60,000 wi-fi hotspots across Japan for up to two weeks. Premium accounts (access codes distributed by Travel Japan’s partners) have access to over 200,000 wi-fi spots. The app also offers local sightseeing recommendations from the various hotspots.
iOS/Android App. Offers easy search and easy connection to existing Free Wi-Fi hotspots across Japan in over 130,000 locations.
Offers access to Wi-Fi hotspots through the NAVITIME for Japan Travel iOS/Android App, or through Wi-Fi access cards distributed at various tourist sites.
Softbank boasts more Wi-Fi hotspots than any other provider and offers free access to tourists on up to 5 devices.
Portable Wi-Fi Device/Sim Card rental
There are an increasing number of companies offering portable wi-fi devices and sim cards for tourists visiting Japan that can be picked up at the airport or delivered to your hotel/accommodation. Portable wi-fi devices have the advantage of being accessible on multiple devices at once, making them suitable for groups. However, as they must be returned to the company before departure, they must be treated with care. Sim cards are more suitable for solo travellers and, depending on the company, may be discarded after use.
The major airports for international travel in Japan have shops offering portable wi-fi, cell phone and sim card rental without prior reservation:
Many companies also offer reservation of devices and cards prior to arrival in Japan that you can pick up at the airport or have delivered to your accommodation, so you don’t have to wait around.
Mobal offers the only postpaid data and voice SIM that can be purchased without a residence card. Data is unlimited and cards are shipped free to anywhere in the world. Domestic voice calls can be made for as little as ¥29/minute when the prefix 0063 is used, and the majority of profits go to Seibo Japan, a charity that provides hot meals to school children around the world.
Offers a range of devices and sim cards that can be delivered to your hotel or picked up at the airport.
Japan’s biggest telecommunications company now offers pre-paid sims for delivery, airport-pickup, and also sell them through vending machines at Narita and Kansai airports, and at Tokyo’s Aqua City Odaiba.
Offers rental phones, portable wi-fi and USB plug-in devices and data sims. Orders can be picked up at the airport.
Like Japan Wireless, offers a range of devices and sim cards, with both airport pickup and direct delivery options available.
Offers rental phones and portable wi-fi devices. Orders can be picked up at Narita airport or delivered directly.
Prepaid data sims available for purchase at several airports and shops across Japan.
Prepaid data sims and portable wi-fi devices available for airport pickup and hotel/post office/residential delivery.
Prepaid data sims available for purchase at several electronics megastores, tourist information centers or Nissan Rent-A-Car service stations at major airports in Japan.