WiFi in Japan: Traveling and Long Stay

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The Internet in Japan: WiFi, Prepaid SIM

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The Internet in Japan: WiFi, Prepaid SIM

The Internet in Japan: WiFi, Prepaid SIM

Do you know how to access the Internet in Japan? Actually, a lot of people are not sure about it. If you stay only less than 90 days due to sightseeing, shopping, or short-term study, you had better choose prepaid SIM cards or renting pocket WiFi routers. There are two reasons for the choice. One is that you do not have to pay for the cancellation fees. The other reason is that there is no restriction on the contract period.

However, if you plan to stay for a long time due to business or study abroad, you had better contract WiMAX. So you can use the Internet for a long time at a low price.

This article reveals the recommended way to use the Internet in Japan. It explains the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each Internet usage method. Also, we picked up the recommended prepaid SIM, pocket WiFi, and WiMAX services for you. Let's find the most suitable way and spend your Japanese life with a speedy and comfortable Internet.

Contents

The Internet in Japan for a Long Stay

The greatest point of WiMAX is that you can use the Internet easily without any complicated settings. Although it is hard to get accessed in the mountains and the basement of buildings, it can be connected without any problems because it covers over 99% of major cities throughout Japan. If you stay in an urban area, you can save money as using WiMAX instead of fixed-line. Moreover, you can cut the cost of a smartphone bill as using the cheap SIM/smartphone, and use WiMAX to watch videos or download large files.

Normally, you need to contract 2-3 years to use WiMAX. If you cancel in the middle of the period, you have to pay a cancellation fee. Therefore, it is for people who stay in Japan for over 2 years.

Recommended WiMAX Plan for a Long Stay

Kashimo WiMAX logo

Kashimo WiMAX

Kashimo provides a cheaper price plan compared to other WiMAX providers. Terminal charge (about 20,000 yen) is free, including the shipping charge. The monthly fee is also very reasonable. You can connect to the Internet as soon as the device arrives because WiMAX does not need any construction to enable to use of the Internet. When making a new contract, you can choose from two plans: (1) a Giga unlimited plan with unlimited data communication capacity, (2) a light plan with high-speed data communication up to 7GB per month. The price plan can be changed for free. You can switch it from the following month by applying it online by the 15th. However, campaign discounts are not applicable when changing plans.
If you want to save on the Internet charges, Kashimo WiMAX is the best choice because it is the cheapest. You can save up to 69,103 yen in 3 years.

Kashimo WiMAX Giga Unlimited Plan (3 years)
1st month 1,518 yen per month (tax included)
2nd to 36th month 3,971 yen per month (tax included)
Kashimo WiMAX Light Plan (3 years) *7GB monthly limitation
1st month 1,518 yen per month (tax included)
2nd to 36th month 3,289 yen per month (tax included)
  • The price reflects Kashimo Discount, Kashimo Long-Term Use Discount, and Kashimo Campaign Discount.
  • The Giga Unlimited Plan and Light Plan are automatically renewed with a three-year contract. If you cancel the first year, the cancellation fee is 20,900 yen. If you cancel from the 13th month to the 24th month, the fee is 15,400 yen. In the case of cancellation after the 25th month excluding the contract renewal month, it will be 10,450 yen.

Visit Kashimo WiMAX (in Japanese)

shibarinashi WiFi logo

shibarinashi WiFi

shibarinashi wifi (meant unlimited WiFi) is a WiFi service that can be canceled at any time after just one month of use. There is neither restriction on the contract period, nor monthly data communication capacity limit. However, if you use a lot in a short time, the speed may be temporarily limited.
The terminal device is free. It is sent free of charge throughout Japan. Besides, shibarinashi wifi adopts a simple rate plan. No matter how much data communication you use, there is no additional charge. In addition to the “shibarinashi plan” that can be used in a short period, there is also a “shibattyau plan” that reduces the monthly fee by contracting for a long period. You can choose freely according to the length of the stay in Japan.
The users of the Shibarinashi WiMAX Plan paid with a credit card can use the device at monthly 550 yen (tax included) during a state of emergency.
*The price turns into the normal one from the next month of the end of the state.
*This promotion may be finished without any notice in the case of reaching the maximum application number.

Shibarinashi Plan (unbounded)
Service start month Daily charge from the terminal arrival date
From the next month
  • 30GB Plan :Monthly 3,366 yen (tax included)
  • 50GB Plan :Monthly 3,575 yen (tax included)
  • Regular Plan :Monthly 3,630 yen (tax included)
  • WiMAX Plan :Monthly 4,730 yen (tax included)
  • Cancellation fee None
    Shibattyau Plan (bounded for 1 years)
    Service start month Daily charge from the terminal arrival date
    From the next month
  • 30GB Plan :Monthly 3,190 yen (tax included)
  • 50GB Plan :Monthly 3,278 yen (tax included)
  • Regular Plan :Monthly 3,300 yen (tax included)
  • WiMAX Plan :Monthly 4,378 yen (tax included)
  • Cancellation fee There is no penalty for cancellation in the 12th month. If you cancel your contract outside of renewal months, the cancellation fee is 5,500 yen.
    Shibattyau Plan (bounded for 3 years)
    Service start month Daily charge from the terminal arrival date
    From the next month
  • 30GB Plan :Monthly 2,926 yen (tax included)
  • 50GB Plan :Monthly 3,025 yen (tax included)
  • Regular Plan :Monthly 3,080 yen (tax included)
  • WiMAX Plan :Monthly 3,960 yen (tax included)
  • Cancellation fee There is no penalty for cancellation in the 36th month. If you cancel the first year, the cancellation fee is 33,000 yen. If you cancel from the 12th month to the 35th month, the fee is 27,500 yen. In the case of cancellation after the 36th month excluding the contract renewal month, it will be 10,450 yen.
    • The terminal arrival date is counted as the start date, and after the 37th month, it is automatically renewed every 36 months. There is no penalty for cancellation in the renewal month.

    Visit shibarinashi wifi (in Japanese)

    The Internet for a Short Stay or Tourists

    There are two ways in which tourists visiting Japan and foreigners staying in Japan for a short period can use the Internet. One is to connect a prepaid SIM to a SIM-free device. The other one is to connect to the Internet via a pocket WiFi. Those advantages and disadvantages of each are as follows.

    Prepaid SIM for Tourists

    The greatest point of prepaid SIM cards is that you can easily purchase and use it immediately. If you have a credit card, you can purchase it online and pick up at a Japanese airport or designated location. You can use the Internet as soon as you insert your prepaid SIM card into your smartphone and complete APN settings.

    Advantages

    • Simply insert a prepaid SIM card into your smartphone. No need to carry around any connected devices.
    • If the specified data communication capacity is used up or the usage period expires, the service is automatically canceled. There is no cancellation procedure, and also you do not have to return connected devices.
    • You can select the data communication capacity and availability period after considering your needs.

    Disadvantages

    • You may not be able to use your smartphone. Check the list of devices that have been confirmed to operate on websites selling SIM cards.
    • Although APN setting is not difficult at all, you will not be connected to the Internet if you make a mistake.

    Pocket WiFi Router for Tourists / Visitors

    A feature of pocket WiFi for visitors is that multiple devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets can be connected simultaneously. By sharing with family and friends, you can use the Internet at a more reasonable price. Also, it is recommended for those who use the Internet frequently in Japan because there is no limit on the data capacity. However, if you use a large amount of data in a short time, the speed may drop.

    Advantages

    • You can connect to the Internet with a simple WiFi device setup.
    • You can share with family and friends.
    • You can use it without worrying about the data traffic because the capacity is large.

    Disadvantages

    • You always have to carry the pocket WiFi.
    • Due to the limited quantity, it is necessary to reserve early.

    Prepaid SIM / Pocket WiFi Router Recommended for Foreigners: Tourists and Short-term Stay

    Wi-Fi RENTAL Store logo

    Wi-Fi RENTAL Store

    Wi-Fi RENTAL Store is a recommended WiFi rental service for foreigners. The service is available from 390 yen per day to 5,850 yen per month. You can easily apply from the official website, and there are no additional fees such as initial fees, administrative fees, and contract cancellation fees. We would especially recommend it to foreigners who plan to stay in Japan for a short time. If you order until 5 p.m. (JST), the WiFi terminal will arrive at the specified location the next day at the earliest (except for some parts of Hokkaido, Okinawa, and Kyushu). WiFi terminals can be picked up at hotels, airports and Akihabara stores in Japan. The returning process is also very easy. All you have to do is put it in a letter pack and mail it to any post in Japan. The help center supports Japanese, English, and Chinese.

    Main rate plans
    • 601HW (Softbank): 390 yen per day (tax included), 5,850 yen per month (tax included)
    • WiMAX WX05: 490 yen per day (tax included), 7,350 yen per month (tax included)
    • 809SH (Softbank): 590 yen per day (tax included), 8,850 yen per month (tax included)

    *Extension fee: If you apply for the extension in advance, you can extend it at the normal price. If you do not apply in advance, it costs 880 yen (tax included) per day.

    Option
    • Additional battery rental: 50 yen per day (tax included)
    • Security compensation service: 550 yen (tax included)
    • Tablet set rental: 250 yen per day (tax included)
    Shipping
    • Delivery / Return: round-trip shipping 1,100 yen (tax included)
    • Pick-up at airport counter / store: 550 yen for the return (tax included)
    Fees Airport post office / delivery counter pick-up: 550 yen (tax included)
    Application deadline
    • Pick-up at the post office or courier counter at the airport: Until 5 p.m. (JST), 2 days before the desired date of receipt (*Chitose Airport and Fukuoka Airport: 5 p.m. (JST), 3 days before the desired date of receipt)
    • Home delivery: Until 5 p.m. (JST), one day before the desired date (* Hokkaido, Okinawa, and some parts of Kyushu are until 5 p.m. (JST), 2 days before the desired date)
    • Akihabara store pick-up: Until the day of the desired pick-up date
    Speed
    • Downloading speed (Max) SoftBank 4G 612Mbps WiMAX WX05 440Mbps
    • Uploading speed (Max) SoftBank 4G 37.5Mbps WiMAX WX05 70Mbps
    Pick-up / Return location
    • Airport counter: Narita International Airport Terminal 1 Post Office or JAL ABC counter, Narita International Airport Terminal 2 Post Office or JAL ABC counter, Haneda Airport Terminal 3 JAL ABC counter, Kansai International Airport JAL ABC counter, Chubu International Airport JAL ABC counter, New Chitose Airport Post Office, Fukuoka Airport courier counter, Naha Airport Post Office
    • Airport courier counter: Sendai International Airport courier counter, Fukushima Airport courier counter, Niigata Airport courier counter, Komatsu Airport courier counter, Osaka International Airport courier counter, Okayama Airport courier counter, Hiroshima Airport courier counter, Kitakyushu Airport reception counter, Nagasaki Airport courier counter, Kagoshima Airport courier counter.
    • Delivery service: hotel you plan to stay in, address in Japan
    • Akihabara store  *Please wear a face mask in order to prevent COVID-19.

    *As of June 2021 (contents may have changed).

    Visit Wi-Fi RENTAL Store (in Japanese)

    NINJA Prepaid SIM logo

    NINJA Prepaid SIM

    There are two types of SIM cards; 3GB and 7GB, that can be used for 30 days. It is good for those who stay in Japan for a short time. You can buy it at a Japanese airport, or Japanese electronics retail store. Also, you can buy it at yodobashi.com. Even if you use up the data capacity, you can purchase additional data from My Page. The support center is available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.

    Main rate plans
    • 3GB: 3,300 yen (tax included)
    • 7GB: 5,500 yen (tax included)

    * Additional charge (1GB): 2,200 yen (tax included)

    SIM card size Nano / Micro / Standard
    Expiration date "30 days from the start of user registration.
    * In the case of additional charge, it will be extended from the day of additional charge to the after 31 days.
    Speed
    • Downloading speed (Max) 375Mbps
    • Uploading speed (Max) 50Mbps
    Selling location
    • Airport: Kansai International Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport
    • electronics retail store: Bic camera, yodobashi camera

    *As of June 2021 (contents may have changed).

    Visit NINJA Prepaid SIM (in Japanese)