Wi-Fi for travelers in Japan: At the airport (1 of 2)
With the ubiquity of smartphones nowadays, the first thing many travelers want to do when reaching their destination is turn on and check in. Whether it is a mail to a loved one or boss, a check in with Facebook or Foursquare or a quick look at the news, flipping on your device and logging on is almost as common place as waiting for your luggage at a baggage carousel.
However, even in today’s ultra-connected world, roaming charges abound and that’s no different here. Just turning on your home country unit in Japan can result in some serious international fees. Fortunately, Japan offers a host of reasonable wi-fi options to take the edge off of being connected here.
First things first: Regardless of your device, make sure you are in airplane mode when you turn your unit on. The second your device comes on, it will try to connect with a signal. Depending on your home carrier, you may incur roaming charges even if just one packet of data hits a receiver in Japan.
Airport Wi-Fi Overview
All three of Japan’s major gateway airports (Narita, Haneda and Kansai) offer free wi-fi access to get you started. Please note that the services detailed below are available only on airport premises.
Haneda’s free service has a network ID of “HANEDA-FREE-WIFI”. No WEP key or password is needed, but you will need to register your email address through a browser before you start. Wireless Internet access is available in most areas of the terminal buildings. However, if you transfer between buildings, you will lose the service while you are in transit.
Narita Airport’s free network has a network ID of “Free Wifi-NARITA” available on either side of passport control, but the signal is quite poor in the baggage claim area. It seems that way by design. A spokeswoman for Narita stated, “We prefer that customers login after they have cleared customs.” Like Haneda’s service, you have to register your email address through a browser session in order to use the service.
Kansai Airport has a free service ID of “FreeWiFi@KIX” on the 1st and 2nd floors of Terminal 1, and the 1st floor of Terminal 2.
That should get you going. Now...what do you do once you leave for the hotel? You can't that airport wi-fi in your pocket. Or...can you?