Having internet connectivity while exploring Japan is fairly easy as there are several options available for tourists to gain access to the web while travelling.
Most hotels, hostels, inns, and other accommodation all over Japan provide free WiFi services to their guests, 24 hours a day. Many of them even have desktop computers and laptops for guest use.
When outside, there are train stations and establishments that offer free WiFi. You simply have to look for a “Free WiFi” sign and ask an employee or staff member for the password to get connected.
Paid WiFi services are more commonly found around Japan, in comparison to free WiFi, and they are offered by different companies such as:
To gain access, you need to register an account and pay a fee. Some offer 24-hour access that may cost between 500 yen and 800 yen, one-week acess for about 1,000 yen, and three-week access for 1,500 yen.
If you wish to use your own smartphone or tablets for internet use, you can purchase or rent a SIM card once you arrive in Japan. These SIM cards are available at airports, train stations, and other stores. They can also be ordered online before you head to Japan and have them delivered to your hotel.
Smartphones for rent
There are Japanese telecommunications companies that offer rental smartphones to foreigners who want internet connection throughout their stay. These phones come in Android and iPhone models, and they can be rented online for delivery to your accommodation, or at some airports. They can be used as your personal internet source or as a hotspot if you are travelling with other people.
If you have a laptop with you, consider renting a USB modem to be able to connect to the internet. USB modems are generally cheaper, and they are much easier and more convenient as they do not need to be charged every few hours. However, they can only be connected to one laptop at a time.
Before you fly to Japan, check with your local carrier if their internet data service can work in Japan and what the costs of international roaming are for your trip. This method tends to be quite expensive, so make sure you don’t get caught out with a huge bill on your return to the UK.