Japan is quite possibly the most instagrammable country on the planet but what good is this if you can’t connect to the Internet and share your pictures with the world? Luckily Japan is a well connected city with several options to get you online. We will look at these in more detail below.
Throughout Japan you will find wi-fi hotspots everywhere. Major train stations, department stores, coffee shops and of course your hotel will all often have access to free wifi hotspots. Some will come without any time restrictions while others will have a 30 or 60 minute time limit with the option to pay a one off fee for longer access for a given time period. There is even an app called ‘Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi’ which is meant to provide tourists free access to over 150,000 hotspots, unfortunately in our experience this app never worked for us. Starbucks however, proved to be the ultimate reliable choice for wi-fi access and offered us a comfortable browsing experience in its many locations across Japan.
SIM cards are available for tourists which can go straight into your unlocked phone, just make sure you know whether your phone takes either a standard, micro or nano size card. SIM cards are available from the airport or from major electrical retailers in Japan such as Yodabashi or BIC Camera. If you are purchasing a Japan Rail Pass online from a company such as www.japan-rail-pass.co.uk you will have the option to order a SIM card before your trip so that you could pop in your new SIM card as soon as you land in Japan. Many companies online can also deliver your SIM card straight to your hotel in Japan which can be passed onto you at check-in.
You will be spoilt for choice with different brands offering different connection speeds, data limits or time limits. Be sure to read the back of the packet or research online to ensure you choose the one that best suits your needs. One factor that we at WAVE would insist on is that despite which brand SIM card you choose, make sure that it uses the NTT Docomo network which is Japan’s largest and has the most coverage.