Free Wi-Fi: Staying Connected in Japan

Free Wi-Fi: Staying Connected in Japan

Update: 28 December 2017

Despite Japan’s reputation as a country on the cutting edge of technology, travelers to Japan may find that the nation is not as generous with Wi-Fi accessibility compared to other major tourist destinations.

One thing that you will notice about Wi-Fi in Japan is that is as although there are many available hotspots, places will often require registration (either with an e-mail address or social networking account) as well as the use of a password. Additionally, if it is your first time connecting to a public hotspot, note that you will want to connect to the SSID indicated and then navigate to a website in your browser to complete registration.

As Tokyo prepares to welcome more tourists leading up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Japan is working on ways to alleviate Wi-Fi connectivity problems by updating its citywide Wi-Fi network and making access to Wi-Fi hotspots as smooth as possible. In addition, multi-lingual directions and support are available in a variety of languages including English, traditional and simplified Chinese, Korean, and Thai.

For information on Wi-Fi apps, city-wide Wi-Fi hotspots, pocket Wi-Fi, and sim cards, use this guide to help you connect during your stay in Tokyo!

At the Airport

At the Airport

Once you’ve landed in Japan, you might be eager to Tweet, update your Facebook status, or simply let your loved ones know that you’ve arrived safely. Visitors to Tokyo can rest assured that free Wi-Fi spots are available in both Haneda and Narita Airports.

Narita Airport

Anywhere in Terminals 1, 2 and 3

SSID: FreeWiFi-NARITA
Registration: None required

Pocket Wi-Fi and SIM Cards

Consider picking up a pocket Wi-Fi or SIM card before leaving the airport. Many companies provide services that will deliver the device to your hotel or to a post office—or one can be picked up from the airport. Other companies will even ship the device to your home before your departure!

Pocket Wi-Fi

Pocket Wi-Fi are a convenient choice because you can travel just about anywhere while still having access to the internet. The only drawback is that this service is slightly more expensive and one must be mindful of the battery-life of the device.

SIM Cards

SIM cards are another option for travelers. However, you may find that your device is not compatible with a Japan SIM Card and your device must be unlocked.
Travelers to Narita airport can purchase data-only SIM cards at vending machines. Some vending machines accept credit cards while others are cash only. These vending machines are already available at Kansai International Airport and in Odaiba, Tokyo. SIM cards are priced by weekly use or per gigabyte. One week typically cost around 2,500 or more yen while 1.2 GB will cost around 3,500 yen.
Cheaper options for SIM cards can be found at electronic stores such as BicCamera and Yodobashi Camera. A 1 GB card can cost around 3,000 yen; a 3 GB card will cost around for 5,000 yen.

On the Go - Wi-Fi on Public Transportation

On the Go - Wi-Fi on Public Transportation

Keikyu Free Wi-Fi

You can use Wi-Fi at 69 stations on the Keikyu Line, including the major hubs of Shinagawa, Yokohama, and Haneda Airport International Terminal Station. Each session is limited to 15 minutes of Wi-Fi access for up to 3 times per day.

SSID: KEIKYU_FREE_Wi-Fi
Registration: Register with e-mail address or social networking account

Keio Free Wi-Fi

Keio Free Wi-Fi is available at Keio Line stations and Inokashira Line stations allowing to stay connected as you explore western Tokyo. You can use the internet for 30 minutes per session, for unlimited times, for a three week period.

SSID: KEIO_FREE_Wi-Fi
Registration: Register with e-mail address

Keisei Free Wi-Fi

Once registered, you will be able to access Wi-Fi at 15 stations served by Keisei Electric Railways. You can have up to 5 thirty minute sessions per day.

SSID: KEISEI_FREE_Wi-Fi
Registration: Register with e-mail address

If taking the Narita Skyliner, inform the ticket agent at Narita Airport that you would like to use Wi-Fi. You'll be given an ID and password that can be used for up to six hours once you log in.

Odakyu Free Wi-Fi

The Odakyu Free Wi-Fi App is required to use Wi-Fi at locations such as Odakyu Line Shinjuku Station, on the Limited Express “Romancecar” trains, and train stations, ports, and sightseeing cruise ships in Hakone. You can also use this app to stay connected as you explore Enoshima and Kamakura.

SSID: -
Registration: Register with Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounti

Seibu Free Wi-Fi

You can use Wi-Fi at 23 stations on the Seibu Railway connecting Ikeburkuro and Shinjuku to Tokorozawa and other areas of interest in Saitama Prefectures. Its free Wi-Fi is also available on select models of trains (40000 Series and Red Arrow Limited Express).

SSID: SEIBU_FREE_Wi-Fi
Registration: Register with e-mail address

TOBU FREE Wi-Fi

TOBU FREE Wi-Fi can be accessed on Tobu express trains as well as many train stations served by Tobu Railways. You can also connect at all Tobu business areas such as Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Solamachi, Sky Arena, Tobu Tourist Information Center Asakusa, Asakusa station building Ekimise, and Tobu World Square.

SSID: TOBU_Free_Wi-Fi
Registration: Register with e-mail address or social networking account

Toei and Tokyo Metro Free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available at 210 subway stations in Tokyo designated by the mark. These stations include all Tokyo Metro stations, (Ginza, Marunouchi, Hibiya, Tozai, Chiyoda, Yurakucho, Hanzomon, Namboku and Fukutoshin lines) and select stations on the Toei Shinjuku, Mita, Asakusa and Oedo lines.

SSID: Metro_Free_Wi-Fi or Toei_Subway_Free_Wi-Fi
Registration: Register with e-mail addressi

Tokyo Monorail Free Wi-Fi

The Tokyo Monorail links locations on the Yamanote Line to Haneda Airport. Complimentary Wi-Fi can be used at all Tokyo monorail stations and its cars.

SSID: 00_Monorail_Free_WiFi
Registration: Register with e-mail address or social networking account

Around Town - A List of Hotspots Across Tokyo

Around Town - A List of Hotspots Across Tokyo

BicCamera

BicCamera makes it easy for you to stay connected in Japan. With 48 stores across the nation stocking the latest Japanese gadgets and best-selling cosmetics, BicCamera also provides complimentary Wi-Fi service. Simply connect to the SSID “Bic_Free_WiFi”, accept the Terms of Agreement, and you’re done!

Yodobashi Camera

Yodobashi Camera

As its same suggests, Yodobashi Camera specialises in cameras and photographic equipment, but it also sells electronics. It has 23 shops across Japan, all offering free Wi-Fi service. You’ll have instant access after connecting to the SSID “Yodobashi_Free_WiFi” and accepting the Terms of Agreement.

Starbucks Wi-Fi

Starbucks Wi-Fi

Fans of Starbucks (and non-smoking cafes and restaurants) will be pleased to know that Starbucks Japan offers Wi-Fi. However, you must register online at http://starbucks.wi2.co.jp while in a Starbucks location; you cannot register prior to arriving in Japan.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s

With a number of branches located near train stations open 24 hours a day, McDonald’s is a great option for a late night bite to eat—and accessing free Wi-Fi. Simply connect to the SSID “00_MCD-FREE-WIFI” and register your e-mail address or SNS ID.

Convenience Stores (Family Mart, 7-Eleven, Lawson)

Convenience Stores (Family Mart, 7-Eleven, Lawson)

With more than 55,000 stores across Japan, you can always pop into a convenience store if you need free Wi-Fi. Do note that the registration process can be cumbersome. Both Lawson and Family Mart registration requires an email address and password while 7-Eleven requires users to pre-register with its 7SPOT or Omni 7 member service before accessing Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Apps

Wi-Fi Apps

The following apps have been developed to help you connect during your stay. Registration and signup vary so please check the details of each individual app.

Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi

By registering via QR code, Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi gives its users have access to nearly 150,000 Wi-Fi hotspots such as airports, stations, tourist information desks, and other facilities across Japan. Signing up for this app gives you access to hotspots that require registration.

Travel Japan Wi-Fi

Touted as the number one free Wi-Fi connection app for visitors to Japan, Travel Japan Wi-Fi allows users to connect to over 200,000 hotspots across Japan. You may find this app particularly useful as there is no need to log in; the app connects to hotspots automatically.

Odakyu Free Wi-Fi

This app is aimed at tourists who intend to do sightseeing in Shinjuku, Hakone, Enoshima & Kamakura and can be used to connect to Wi-Fi inside the Odakyu Romancecar as well as shopping malls and buildings owned by Odakyu.

JAL Explore Japan Wi-Fi

The newest Wi-Fi connectivity app available to tourists in Japan is brought to you by Japan Airlines (JAL). Users of the app can automatically connect to more than 200,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the country. Note that linking a social media account such as Facebook, Google+ or Weibo is required as part of the signup process.

Internet Cafes

Internet Cafes

A final option for travelers is getting connected at an internet café. You may consider them a unique cultural experience and may also find the services at internet cafés extremely useful. Along with comic books, magazines, and computers, internet cafés often offer complimentary drinks, have DVD players and DVDs, game consoles with the latest games, along with an extensive food menu. You may even come across an internet café with a shower and toiletries! These cafés go by several names: “intaanetto café,” “netto café,” or “manga kissa.”

Do note that in accordance to the government’s “Ordinance on regulation of the Internet terminal use business,” internet café customers must show a legal ID or a member’s card before using their services.

Written by:

Teni Wada

Teni Wada

American by birth, Japanese by choice, and traveler at heart, Teni Wada is a Tokyo-based content creator who enjoys browsing combini shelves for limited edition drinks and snacks. Find out more about her Tokyo life and travels over at Instagram @wadateni and blog babykaiju.com.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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