Most foreigner-targeted housing companies provide internet as standard, whether as a line connection in your room/apartment, a shared wi-fi network or a portable wi-fi device. If you are renting independently or have specific requirements and want to have your own connection, there are a number of options available.
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Fiber to the Home (FTTH)
Optical fiber transfers data at the rate of 10Mbps to 100Mbps so it is extremely fast. Sometimes, this service is limited in certain areas. Line construction work is necessary, so if you live in an apartment, you will need to get permission from the owner as well as the real estate agency.
Cable Television Line (CATV)
By using Cable TV, you may be able to use the same line to connect to the Internet. Please check with the cable company to see if the area in which you live has Internet via CATV capability.See also: our “Media” page for more information.
ADSL is high-speed Internet that uses a fixed telephone line that you can have installed quickly and economically.
Enables you to use the Internet anytime and anywhere with your laptop, tablet or PDA. Most smartphone contracts will charge a flat rate for monthly internet usage, though may include a fair usage policy that will cap speeds if download limits are exceeded. A number of companies also offer monthly data sim cards for sale.
The Wi-Fi environment is improving in Japan with the rapid increase of smartphone usage. Though some spots charge access fees, more and more places offer free Wi-Fi, such as airports, train stations, some tourist attractions, convenience stores as well as cafes and restaurants. There are also mobile applications and services to assist in finding and connecting to public networks.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots
Many other rail services and cities have information about free wi-fi availability in English so it’s worthwhile to check before you travel.
Internet Service Providers (ISP)
Many providers offer a variety of Internet plans. Refer to the list below of Internet providers which offer services in English.
There are a number of companies that rent data sim cards and portable wi-fi devices to long-term residents. A range of data sims are available at major electronics stores, but there are a number of online services as well.