Traveling to Japan will surely be an incredible experience. From delicious food to cities steeped in tradition like Kyoto and Nara, and the modern facets epitomized by Tokyo, there are numerous discoveries awaiting you.
However, accessing the Internet in Japan is not so easy. Free Wi-Fi is available, but there are restrictions on hours, locations, and access. Therefore, options for travelers to Japan to secure Internet access include purchasing a prepaid SIM card (eSIM) or renting a Pocket Wi-Fi.
Among these choices, the pocket Wi-Fi, known as a mobile Wi-Fi router in Japan, is immensely popular among travelers.
Where is the best place to rent a Pocket Wi-Fi?
Is it better to rent at the airport or use an online service?
This might not be immediately clear, especially for those traveling to Japan for the first time.
In this article, I'd like to explain whether it's better to make a reservation online or rent at the airport.
In conclusion, the most recommended way is to book your Pocket Wi-Fi through a Japanese online service before you arrive in Japan.
Book your Pocket wifi online
The reasons are as follows
Several companies catering to travelers coming to Japan arrange for the pickup of Pocket Wi-Fi at international airports like Narita and Haneda. You can receive it right after arriving at the airport.
If you arrive on an early morning or late-night flight when airport shops might be closed, it might be impossible to collect the Pocket Wi-Fi. However, online services can deliver it to your accommodation, allowing you to receive it when you check into your hotel.
Lightpocket also offers a service that transfers Pocket Wi-Fi from the airport to your hotel for those who opted for airport pickup but could not receive it at the airport.
Online Pocket Wi-Fi rental services are significantly cheaper when compared to airport stores and other physical locations. Airport rental services incur costs such as airport usage fees, which make them more expensive. Online services, without such costs, can offer the same Pocket Wi-Fi at lower prices. While it's possible to pick up at overseas airports, there may be different administrative costs, so in-country services are likely to be the most cost-effective.
When renting Pocket Wi-Fi in Japan, apart from airport rentals, there are very few other places where you can rent it. Therefore, if you haven't made a prior reservation, renting Pocket Wi-Fi at the airport is your best bet.
Renting Pocket Wi-Fi at Japan's airports can be convenient for those who suddenly find themselves in Japan. However, be aware of the following:
Companies offering Pocket Wi-Fi rentals at airports incur high charges due to maintaining shops at the airport, resulting in higher rental fees.
During peak travel seasons, airport Pocket Wi-Fi rental shops may run out of stock, leaving you unable to rent the desired device.
Renting Pocket Wi-Fi at airports involves procedures that can take time, especially during busy periods.
Pocket Wi-fi (Mobile WiFi) in Japan is a service that helps you connect to the internet using a small device called a portable WiFi router. It's really handy because you can access the internet even when you're out and about or traveling.
Here are some reasons why it's so useful:
Mobile WiFi is small and easy to carry around. You can take it with you wherever you go, and whenever you need the internet, you can connect. This means you're not limited to places that have public WiFi.
Most providers in Japan offer a fast and reliable connection. Especially in Japan, where people need fast and reliable internet, mobile WiFi is a popular choice because it meets those needs.
With a mobile WiFi router, you can connect multiple devices at the same time. This means you can use the internet on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other devices simultaneously.
2.Select the SSID from your device.
With these steps, you'll be able to access the internet in Japan.
Great for Tourists and Short Stays: It's also very convenient for tourists or people who are in Japan for a short time. Instead of getting a Japanese SIM card, using Mobile WiFi helps avoid the hassle of trying to set up your devices in Japan. Mobile WiFi is great for travelers, business people, or anyone who needs temporary Internet access in Japan.
Returning your Pocket Wi-Fi is easy: Here's how to return your Pocket Wi-Fi in the case of LightPocket:
1. place the Pocket Wi-Fi, AC adapter, and cable in the provided return envelope.
2. Drop it in a mailbox or return it from the post office.
That's all. Post boxes are part of Japan's infrastructure and are located near train stations and throughout the country. Of course, there are also post boxes at airports. You can return it anytime from anywhere in Japan. You can also pick up your Pocket Wi-Fi at Narita Airport and return it to a post box at Kansai Airport.
The cost for returning Pocket Wi-Fi varies by the company providing the rental service.
For LightPocket, the return of Pocket Wi-Fi is free.
You can return it for free from anywhere in Japan using the provided return envelope.