Tuesday, June 2, 2015

WiFi Internet Mobile Phone Access in Tokyo, Japan

WiFi will make traveling in Japan easy. You will need WiFi to check map/location, direction, train schedule, and restaurant reviews. WiFi will also enable you to check in on Facebook and stay in touch with your family and friends back home. 

Staying connected to the internet while traveling in Japan could be challenging. I have listed some of the best options for WiFi internet connection in this blog post. With the intention of attracting more international travelers to Japan, there had been campaign to provide free and affordable WiFi to foreign visitors. 
Rental pocket wifi hotspot in Japan. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
Rental pocket wifi hotspot in Japan





-To read about how much to budget for your trip to Tokyo, Japan, visit Budget: How much does it cost to go to Tokyo?
-To read about how to save money when you are planning to visit more than two cities in Japan, visit: Japan Rail Pass
-To read about one of the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo, visit: Sushi Dai - One of the most popular sushi restaurants in Tokyo
-To read about where you can find the best Ramen in Tokyo, visit: Best Ramen in Tokyo





Portable/Rental Pocket WiFi Hotspot devices or cellular phone rental device in Tokyo Japan
Being able to surf the internet while riding trains in Japan is an enjoyable experience
I have used the service from Global Advanced Communications in 2012. I made a reservation online and had them mail the rental iphone 4 to the hotel, where I picked up from the front desk staff. The phone was returned by dropping off the phone in the provided envelop in the mail box at Tokyo Haneda airport. It cost me around $100 USD for my 2-week vacation in Japan. Similar Pocket WiFi companies such as Ninja WiFi offers great discounted prices and reliable services for international visitors.

There are also many internet WiFi rental counters such as Docomo located inside of both Narita and Haneda airport. I recommend visiting the official website for price comparison before placing orders. Early reservation is highly recommended due to high demand of pocket WiFi among foreign travelers in Japan.

Advantage:
-Very reliable
-Options of pocket WiFi; SIM card; rental phone.
-It is possible to be connected at all times.
-Easy to provide hotspot for more than one user if you are traveling with a group of friends.

Disadvantage:
-Cost could be relatively high for short trips
-Extra device to carry with you while traveling
-Battery power could run out quicker than you expect.
-Some of the pocket WiFi might limit your daily usage to 300-500 megabytes.




Free Wifi services in Japan

Free wifi options in Japan; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult.
Free wifi options in Japan
With the intention of attracting more travelers to Japan, the campaign has been initiated to provide free WiFi to visitors. Many of the Japan Railway stations and Metro/Subway stations are now providing free WiFi to visitors. Airports typically offer free WiFi to visitors as well. Many of the major department stores and shopping streets/arcades also offer free Wifi.

Japan Connected Free WiFi: Free App available.
FREESPOT: May require prior registration.
Free 7-11 Wifi: Usually do not require prior registration.
Internet Coffee Shop: Not every coffee shops will provide WiFi to their customers. 
Starbucks: Starbucks are everywhere in Japan. Requires prior registration.
Hotel free wifi: majority of the affordable hotels I listed in this blog post offer free wifi at the hotel lobby or inside of the hotel room.

Advantage: 
-Free of charge.
-7-Eleven WiFi hotspots are everywhere in Japan.

Disadvantage: 
-Least reliable when compared to other paid services. 
-Not all 7-Eleven will work with your wireless device.
-Wi-Fi is only available when you are nearby the free hotspots.





Paid Wifi services

Docomo Wifi for Visitors: Costs around $9 USD for 1 week or $13 USD for 3 weeks.
Wi2 300: Costs around $18 USD for 1 week.

Advantage: 
-Relatively inexpensive. 
-Many hotspot points in urban areas.

Disadvantage:
-Quality of WiFi could be hotspot dependent.






International Roaming Plan via your phone carrier such as: AT&T Passport.

International roaming plan ATT Passport; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult.
International roaming plan ATT Passport
Please subscribe by visiting your own cellular carrier's homepage for international roaming options.

Advantage:
-Most reliable option in my opinion. 
-It is possible to be connected at all times.
-You get to use your own cellular phone or device.
-Free access to participating AT&T international wifi hotspots.
-Allows you to access roaming data in more than one country even if you are planning to visit more than Japan within the duration of the roaming subscription.

Disadvantage:
-Relatively expensive, costs $30 USD for 120 megabytes for AT&T.


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