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.

Recommended WiFi Plan for a Long Stay

Rakuten WiFi Pocket is a Japanese WiFi service provided by Rakuten Mobile in Japan. It's unique feature is the pay-as-you-go billing system. For usage between 0GB to 3GB, the monthly fee is 1,078 yen (tax included). When using between 3GB to 20GB, the monthly fee is 2,178 yen (tax included). Once usage exceeds 20GB, you can use as much as you like for a monthly fee of 3,278 yen (tax included). The monthly fee is automatically selected based on monthly usage, so there's no need for any changes or procedures.
Among pocket WiFis with unlimited usage, Rakuten WiFi Pocket is one of the most affordable. Foreigners who are looking to reduce internet communication costs in Japan should definitely consider it. Moreover, while many pocket WiFi services charge a contract fee of 3,300 yen upon signing a contract, Rakuten WiFi Pocket offers it for free. Additionally, there are no minimum contract period obligations, and no cancellation fees. If you don't want to use Rakuten WiFi Pocket anymore, you can cancel it for free at anytime.
Currently, Rakuten WiFi Pocket is running a promotional campaign. By applying for both "Rakuten WiFi Pocket 2C" and the "Rakuten Mobile Ultimate Plan", you can purchase a WiFi router, which usually costs around 8,000 yen, for just 1 yen. Rakuten WiFi Pocket is highly recommended for foreigners seeking affordable WiFi services in Japan.

Visit Rakuten WiFi Pocket (in Japanese)

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 WiMAX offers lower fees compared to other WiMAX providers. The delivery fees are free of charge, and same-day shipping is available. The low monthly cost is also attractive. There is no need to install an Internet connection; you can connect online as soon as the device arrives. There is only one price plan, the 5G "no strings attached" plan. It is no limit on monthly data capacity, so you can use it as much as you want. Be careful to use a large amount of data communication within a short period; the company may limit the communication speed during busy times.
When newly subscribing, you can choose from two types of devices: a portable one, which is available at home or outside, or a stationary one for use at a fixed location. As the device installment payment support (36 installments), the monthly fee becomes free*1.
If you want to save on Internet charges during your stay in Japan, Kashimo WiMAX, the cheapest in the industry, is one of the best choices.

Kashimo WiMAX 5G Unlimited Plan (portable)
The first month 1,408 yen per month (tax included)
From 2nd month 4,818 yen per month (tax included)
Communication data capacity no limit*2
Cancellation fee None
Kashimo WiMAX 5G Unlimited Plan (stationary)
The first month 1,408 yen per month (tax included)
From 2nd month 4,818 yen per month (tax included)
Communication data capacity no limit*2
Cancellation fee None
  • If you use the device installment payment support, you will be charged the remaining balance when you cancel the contract.
  • If you use a large amount of data communication within a short period; the company may limit the communication speed during busy times.

Visit Kashimo WiMAX (in Japanese)

Mobal WiFi logo

Mobal WiFi

It is a WiFi service for foreigners staying in Japan provided by Mobal: a telecommunication company in the UK, Japan, and the US. The most remarkable feature is that you can sign up even if you do not own a Japanese credit card or a bank account. It supports Paypal, credit cards, and debit cards issued in other countries. Therefore, it is easy to sign up for non-Japanese people.
If you sign up through the official website, they will deliver WiFi devices all over Japan at no charge. Mobal WiFi plan price; the monthly fee is 4,980 yen for 100GB of high-speed data communication capabilities. It is also available with low speed when you use all the data allowance.
Customer support is available in English and Chinese. The minimum usage period is three months. After the period, you can cancel at any time for free. The cancellation fee is 3,000 yen during the minimum usage period. Mobal is one of the recommended WiFi services for foreigners who stay in Japan short time: short-term study abroad/business trip, or working holidays. If you sign up for both a Mobal SIM card and Mobal WiFi, the monthly fee of Mobal WiFi will be 10% off. This promotion is applied automatically each month, for as long as you own the SIM active.

Mobal WiFi Monthly Plan
The first month Daily rate from the date of the device's arrival to the end of the month
From the next month 100GB plan (100GB per month): 4,980 yen per month (tax included)
Data allowance 100GB*
Minimum usage period 3 months
Cancellation fee 3,000 yen (tax included) if canceled in less than 3 months
(*After 3 months, you can cancel for free anytime)
WiFi device's price 6,980 yen (tax included) *Full payment
Special offer Get 10% off the Mobal WiFi monthly fee by contracting Mobal SIM and Mobal WiFi together.
  • Even if you use up 100GB data allowance, it is still available with low speed.

Visit Mobal WiFi

Shibarinashi WiFi logo

Shibarinashi WiFi

Shibarinashi WiFi (meant unlimited WiFi) is a WiFi service that allows you to cancel anytime without an extra cancellation fee after using it for a month. There are four rate plans: 10GB, 30GB, 60GB, and 90GB, with reasonable monthly fees of 2,178 yen (including tax), 3,278 yen (including tax), 4,103 yen (including tax), and 4,818 yen (including tax) per month.
There is no charge for the device. They will send it to any location from Hokkaido to Okinawa with no delivery charge. In addition to credit cards, you can also set up automatic bill payment. Therefore, those who do not have a credit card can also sign up. Besides, you can use the device in 106 countries without any modification by purchasing overseas data from My Page. It is convenient for an overseas business trip, overseas travel, or temporarily returning. This service is recommendable to foreigners staying in Japan for a long time.

Shibarinashi Plan (unbounded)
Service start month Daily charge from the terminal arrival date
From the next month
  • 10GB Plan (10GB per month): 2,178 yen per month (tax included)
  • 30GB Plan (30GB per month): 3,278 yen per month (tax included)
  • 60GB Plan (60GB per month): 4,103 yen per month (tax included)
  • 90GB Plan (90GB per month): 4,818 yen per month (tax included)
Cancellation fee You receive discounts for up to 5 months starting from the first month! (*The end date is undecided)
  • If you cancel in less than a year, some special offers are not available.
Recharge Plan (prepaid)
usage fee
  • 5GB Plan(365日に5GB):980 yen (tax included)
  • 10GB Plan(365日に10GB):1,480 yen (tax included)
  • 20GB Plan(365日に20GB):2,400 yen (tax included)
  • 50GB Plan(365日に50GB):4,200 yen (tax included)
  • 100GB Plan(365日に100GB):5,580 yen (tax included)
Minimum usage period 365 days *When you've used up all your data, you have the option to purchase additional data.

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

Shibarinashi WiFi Short-Term Rental logo

Shibarinashi WiFi Short-Term Rental

Shibarinashi WiFi Short-Term Rental does not require a long-term contract. You can sign up only for the period you wish to use the WiFi. The fee plan is simple: 473 yen per day (tax included) for 14 days and a flat rate of 7,095 yen (tax included) from 15 to 31 days. It automatically extends the contract after 32 days. The extension fee is 228 yen per day. It is convenient to use the service without any procedures when you postpone to return. After completing the application by noon, they send a WiFi device on the same day at the earliest so you can use it in two days. You can use up to 10GB a day to enjoy watching videos and playing online games. This service is one of the recommendable WiFi rental services for foreigners staying in Japan for a short time.

Price plans
  • 1 - 14 days: 473 yen per day (tax included)
  • 15 - 31 days: 7,095 yen (tax included)
  • after 32 days: 7,095 yen (including tax) + 228 yen (number of days used - 31 days)
Option Compensation Option: 44 yen per device per day (tax included)
Free replacement when a WiFi device malfunctions due to damage, water damage, etc.
Postage Delivery: 660 yen (tax included) per device
*The contractor is also responsible for shipping costs when returning the device.
Application deadline Home delivery: You should complete the application by noon (JST) two days before the desired pickup date.
Delivery Area Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Niigata, Nagano, Yamanashi, Aichi, Shizuoka, Gifu, Mie, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Shiga, Nara, Wakayama (*area gradually expanding!)

*As of February 2024 (contents may have changed).

Visit Shibarinashi WiFi Short-Term Rental (in Japanese)

Wi-Fi RENTAL Store logo

Wi-Fi RENTAL Store

It is the best customer satisfaction of WiFi router rental shop in Japan. It is one of the best choices for foreigners who plan to rental WiFi because there are various plans 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
  • 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

*As of February 2024 (contents may have changed).

Visit Wi-Fi RENTAL Store (in Japanese)

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