Wi-Fi for travelers in Japan: Getting out and about (2 of 2)
Wi-Fi In Your Pocket
So, you logged on and were able to touch base with home. Great. Now, you’re ready to leave the airport. What do you do? Well, keep your device in airplane mode. Remember, you will still be hit for international roaming charges if you go over the Japanese networks.
So, to answer the last question from part 1, yes, you can put that Wi-Fi in your pocket. Well, it won't be for completely free, but it can be for a very reasonable price.
Where and From Who Can I Rent?
Japan Wi-Fi Service has counters renting Softbank pocket routers at most airports through the country and offers a no-limit on Wi-Fi usage. Rental charges start at USD 70 for up to 10 days.
Global Advanced Communications also offers rental pocket wi-fi units as well as rental SIM/Data cards and rental iPhones/Androids in Japan.
Telco providers Softbank and Wi2 also offer rental pocket Wi-Fi units in Japan, while US-based Wi-Fi network service Boingo has quite a few participating stores and locations around the country.
Softbank: http://www.softbank-rental.jp/e/rental.php (iPhone SIM card, mobile Internet/Wi-Fi access rental, Japan mobile rental)
Most hotels in Japan offer in-house Internet. Cabled in-room Internet is everywhere, and most hotels offer it as a complimentary service. In-room Wi-Fi, however, is a less sure proposition. Most hotels in Japan offer complimentary Wi-Fi in their lobby and public areas, but for in-room service, it is best to check with the hotel beforehand.
Oh, and one note - the pocket wi-fi unit you will probably rent is fast and reliable in urban areas, but their performance tends to falter underground shopping plazas or subway stations.
I made a quick video about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPmyJ4wK1mA