Free Wifi in Japan Or Lack Thereof

When traveling to Japan it helps to have an internet connection. But one of the biggest challenges when traveling there is the lack of free Wifi. When the family and I travel there yearly to see relatives, we lose our cellular service of course, and rely more on Wifi than usual. We could get an international SIM chip, or maybe a rent a Mifi access point at the airport, but usually after flying 10+ hours and carrying two kids, we’re usually pretty tired, and it is pretty late in the evening. 

So, if you’re like me, and you’re in Japan with no cellular and you’re looking for free Wifi, here’s some travel tips:

  • Starbucks is one the few companies to consistently offer free Wifi in japan to customers.  Plus, they’re easy to find in any metropolitan area.  If unsure, head to the nearest train station and you’ll probably find one.
  • Shopping malls and such usually have Wifi, but it requires a registered account.
  • JR Rail has also started implementing free Wifi in train stations and such.  The range is limited only to the stations themselves, and only major stations. The service is good though for what it’s worth. 
  • Don’t be fooled by “free” services from people like Softbank and such.  Usually these groups require a registered account with them.  The hassle usually isn’t worth it.  
  • Sometimes you will also find large metropolitan areas offering free Wifi too.  These are usually pretty minimal quality, slow, and still require you to agree to some Legal terms.  Consider them a last resort.  Also, there range is pretty limited to the immediate area, so if you go down side streets and such, you may lose connection, then have to sign in again after you get back in range.

Hope these tips prove useful.  Feel free to offer your own!

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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