Post Reply Renting Pocket Wifi in Japan: Good Idea?
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Posted 7/16/17
Hello, I am getting ready for a trip to Japan and I had read that because of roaming charges and limited public wifi hotspots, that renting a pocket wifi is needed. My trip is for 2 weeks and I will be traveling around the country with a tour group (Kyoto, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Tokyo). So is a pocket wifi really necessary? If so, which company is the best option, etc.?

Thanks in advance!
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37 / M / Shanghai China
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Posted 7/16/17 , edited 7/16/17
Having lived in Nagoya yes its a good idea there is almost no public Wi-Fi even Starbucks and McDonalds have no Wi-Fi access and there is almost no option for a mobile sim card its very difficult to get even from amazon before you go. If you are looking at this I would look at https://www.rentafonejapan.com/
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39 / M
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Posted 7/19/17 , edited 7/19/17
I visited a few weeks ago and we renting one of those; it was probably the best decision for the trip. It was about $50 for 2 weeks. I cant remember the vendor but I picked it up at the airport post office. It came with a self address return package as well. Crazy easy.
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29 / M / Glendale
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Posted 7/16/17
Visited a couple years ago and rented from Japan mobile rental. They have a branch in the Narita airport so you can pick it up before you have to leave the airport, and then drop it off when you fly out again. (Remember to reserve it in advanced though)

If you're sharing it as a group then its a great savings over getting a SIM card for your phone. We didn't really leave the urban areas and reception was great the whole time.

Only thing to be wary of is if you are the type who lives off your phone, its really easy to 1. Drain the battery on the hotspot, and 2. blow through the data allocation. We ended up using our powerbank to charge the hotspot more than our phones, and towards the end of the trip we actually went over the data cap from posting so much on social media and looking up things all the time.

The major downside to the thing is that you're tethered to whoever is carrying the hotspot. We had a group of 3 (and nobody spoke any Japanese), so it was tricky for people to go off on their own.

If you're traveling as an individual, its probably more worth it to just rent a SIM card for your current smart phone instead. When we were looking up pricing, it was about 1200 yen a day for the hotspot, and about 500 yen a day for a comparable SIM rental. Since there were 3 of us and we were being cheap about things, the hotspot won out. (ignore this if you don't have an unlocked phone of course)
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