Guide to Using Pocket WiFi in Japan

Did you know that Japan has the world’s 3rd fastest Internet Speed Connection?
If you’re planning to get Pocket Wi-fi in Japan, here’s a guide on how to use and enjoy all the benefits!

Pocket wifi japan

The average broadband speed for downloads in the United States is 8.6 Mbps while on a smartphone, it is about 1 to 5 Mbps for 3G and 5 to 17 Mbps for LTE. In Australia, Internet speed is often described as tricky because although there are companies marketing Internet speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps, the Akamai State of Internet Report reveal that Australians are only getting an average of 4.2 Mbps. In Japan, the same group puts Japan as the country with the 3rd fastest Internet speed of 52 Mbps trailing behind South Korea (63.6 Mbps) and Hong Kong (65.4 Mbps).

This means when you travel to Japan and rent a pocket Wi-Fi device, you’re going to be able to connect online so fast, you’ll probably be spoiled for life. However, there are a few tricks on how to stay connected in Japan with the pocket Wi-Fi that you may find useful:

  • There are some companies offering pocket Wi-Fi that do not cover all areas in Japan which means you will experience weak signals in some rural or remote areas. Before signing up with any rental company, do try to match your itinerary with the coverage area to avoid inconveniences.
  • Some pocket Wi-Fi companies base their rates on the number of devices that can be hooked up to the device which means you should plan around this when booking your Wi-Fi router
  • Consider buying or renting an extra battery
  • Some companies have a cap on Internet speed which can mean a slow signal for browsing and VOIP at the same time

Finally, it’s also important to buy insurance for the pocket Wi-Fi just in case you misplace it during your trip or damage it while in a theme park or climbing a mountain. The insurance is worth it because you are in a foreign country that does not use English as its main language so it would be a good idea to pad your rental with protection – just in case.

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WiFi Speed & Other Details About Pocket WiFi Rental in Japan

More and more Japanese visitors and short-term travelers are opting for the pocket Wi-Fi rental Instead of paying up to 800 yen a day for a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Wi-Fi hotspot comes with so many troublesome requirements like a Japanese interface and a Japanese credit card. With the pocket Wi-Fi, the minute you enter Japan, there are stations that offer the pocket router or pocket Wi-Fi for reasonable prices.

Japanese Pocket WiFi Facts

There are 3 common options for Internet access: Wi-Fi, router, and mobile phone configured in English. You can rent all 3 gadgets and pay using your international credit card. You can also order your rental gadgets online and the company will deliver them to your temporary residence while in Japan.

Japanese companies do not accept cash payments because the credit card is one way they can trace the person renting their appliances and charge them for loss or extended rent. Returning the devices is done by mail so guests to Japan are not inconvenienced at all.

It is possible to rent based on a prepaid plan which means that once all credits have been used, the Internet and mobile phone access is stopped by the company. The person renting has a choice of buying more credits or returning the phone to avoid further expenses.

In Japan, the Internet speed is one of the fastest in Asia and ranks third in the world according to Akamai and this is due to the country’s fiber optics, which delivers 52 Mbps.

FiberOptic

The size of the pocket Wi-Fi is similar to a mobile phone and it creates a personal Wi-Fi zone of about 10 meters. With this pocket Wi-Fi, you can connect several devices at the same time which makes it practical for a group of travelers.

The pocket Wi-Fi makes more sense once you understand that only legal residents can buy prepaid SIM cards and not all international mobile phones can be used in Japan. It also gets complicated because if you are thinking of renting a mobile phone, you might get a culture shock because not all mobile phones are synched in the English language.

The difference between renting and buying is the contract period because providers will not sell mobile phones with open lines. You will be required to sign up for a plan and pre-terminating the plan will add costs to your trip.

The pocket Wi-Fi does not come with insurance but you can buy insurance from the rental company which is a good idea if you plan traveling around the country.

Still not sure what to expect when you come to Japan? Read our other article for more information about wifi in Japan here!

 

Here are some Icons you may see that indicate free wifi all over Japan!

001 icon_hillswifi icon_jr-central icon_jr-east icon_mitsubishi icon_fukuoka icon_jatco icon_narita

 

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Comments

  1. Charlie says

    I will probably be visiting Japan later in the year and I was wondering,can the Pocket WiFi that I use here in Aussie be able to be used in Japan,I see a lot of adds about rental but not one about my question,Thanks Charlie.

    • admin says

      It is unlikely that the pocket WiFi you use in your home country will in Japan. However, it is possible that there is an agreement between your WiFi carrier in Australia and on of Japan’s big 3 (Docomo, SoftBank, and AU). We suggest contacting your pocket WiFi provider in Australia before deciding whether or not to rent one while visiting Japan.

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