Travel essentials of people nowadays have changed and one of the significant changes is the need to be online and to have access to the internet. There are still people who travel with booklets as travel guide and bring with them a handy map for directions, however, most tourists now travel with smartphones or tablets with mobile apps that allow them to check and recommend accommodation, dining and transportation options, and contact emergency and security hotlines, among others.
When you travel to Japan, one of the things you’re probably interested with is knowing how you can surf on the internet during your stay. If you’re a first-time traveler, worry not because Guidable has listed down ways you can do and options for you.
1.Wireless Hotspots (Wi-Fi).
There are hotspots that are publicly accessible at train stations, airports, restaurants, cafes and hotels, and there are paid ones, too. When in Japan, you can enjoy free wi-fi access wherever you go by downloading free mobile apps like the Travel Japan Wifi, which allows user to have free internet access in around 200,000 plus wi-fi spots. This app also gives notifications and information about nearby tourist attractions. It is available on iOs and Android and it supports languages like English, Chinese, Korean, and Thai. It is also highly recommended that you download this app before you leave your country
Another app you can download is the Japan connected-free Wi-Fi. When you launch the app and tap “Connect” button, you will be online automatically. All of the features of this app is free and registration is done once. It also supports more than 10 languages, like English, Chinese, Korean, Thai and French, among others.
You can also download the Free Wi-fi Passport, a free wi-fi service provided by SoftBank. It allows tourists to use SoftBank’s more than 400,000 wi-fi hotspots at restaurants, cafes, major train stations, hotels and other locations. The user can use this for two weeks and can continuously use the app after obtaining new password. Pre-requisites in using this service include a mobile phone number and a password and it can be used by up to five devices.
However, many tourists also prefer paid wi-fi, considering the high-speed connections requirement. Some of the paid wi-fi hotspots you can check out are docomo Wi-Fi for visitor, Wi2, Softbank Wi-Fi spot, and Skype WiFi.
2.Smartphone rental and sim cards.
If you don’t want to rely on free wi-fi connections, you can actually either rent smartphones that already include unlimited data or buy sim cards with plan options that suit your needs. You can rent iPhone or Android model phones or buy your sim card at airports or even at your hotels.
3. International roaming.
If you are after of convenience, this is your best option, however, it could be very expensive. Before you leave your country, check with your local provider first for specific details, plans and rates that will suit your need during your trip.
4. Internet cafes and kiosks.
In Japan, there are internet cafes (netto café) near airports and train stations, too. Some of these cafes are open 24-hours and require tourists to sign up for membership and registration. You can also look for coin–operated kiosks that accepts 100 yen coins for every use.
5. Pocket Wi-Fi.
During my last visit in Japan, I opted for this one as it was the most practical for me. I rented a pocket wi-fi at Narita airport and it only required me to fill-out an application form, pay for insurance, and put into detail the number of days I would have to rent the item.
It’s up to you which of these options you find most convenient, affordable, practical and most suitable, considering also your need and use of it, as well as, your length of stay in the country. Enjoy your trip and happy browsing!