Today we are talking about whether you should get a pocket Wi-Fi in Japan.
The answer is yes! We actually bought our own because it is so important for Japan.
Wi-Fi Availability in Japan
While in Japan, hotels are your best source of reliable Wi-Fi. Nearly every hotel has free Wi-Fi for guests staying at the hotel. However, once you leave the hotel, things start to get a little spotty.
The major sightseeing areas, JR train stations, and even some JR trains have Wi-Fi these days, but they require you to register for an account. As you can imagine, each of these has a separate registration form.
They’re not as simple as just entering your name and email address. You also need to confirm your email address, which can take some time. In addition, some areas are limited to only one hour of internet usage before you get booted off.
You can also connect at some cafes and at Starbucks, but there is the long registration process and limited usage. If you just want to do a couple of searches on the internet, then this works fine. But if you’re walking around town trying to find a shop or restaurant, then you’ll be without internet.
T-Mobile customers get free 2G in Japan, but it’s not very fast. Google Maps doesn’t load and it can get very frustrating. Even WhatsApp and text messages can take hours to get delivered.
What is a Pocket Wi-Fi?
Well, a pocket Wi-Fi is basically a portable router that uses a SIM card to connect to the internet. It’s your personal hotspot that you can carry around with you. It’s very fast and you can use it on trains and to access Google Maps.
You don’t have to worry about finding free Wi-Fi areas, doing the long process of registering for an account, and then having a limited amount of time to use the internet.
We turn ours on in the morning and leave it on all day, so we can connect to it freely.
Most of the pocket Wi-Fi in Japan have very high internet speeds and unlimited data, so you can use it as much as you like, all day long.
The battery lasts pretty much all day, usually about eight to ten hours. Then, you can charge it at night, which usually takes about three hours.
Number of Devices
The great thing about having a pocket Wi-Fi is that it’s basically a mobile router, and you can connect all your devices to it. If you’re traveling with friends or family, you can connect up to five devices at one time.
You can connect your phone, tablet, computer, or anything that requires Wi-Fi. Everyone in your family can be connected and do everything that they need to do on the internet.
Cost of Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan
Generally, you rent a pocket Wi-Fi on a daily basis. They are about ten dollars a day on average. It is about 75 to 80 dollars for a one-week rental, and 100 to 150 dollars for a two-week rental.
Compared to international roaming rates, this is actually quite inexpensive. For example, AT&T and Verizon charge about 10 dollars per day per phone for international roaming. That’s 70 to 80 dollars for one week for just one phone! With the pocket Wi-Fi, you can connect up to five devices for the same price.
Where to Rent
There are many websites online where you can rent a pocket Wi-Fi. We recommend reserving it in advance because they do sell out at the airport.
Once you land in Japan, you simply pick up your pocket Wi-Fi at the airport and you’re ready to go online. It’s that easy!
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