Looking for reliable and fast internet to help you with Google Maps or uploading updates on social media during your stay in Japan? Here’s a list of the best pocket Wi-Fi in Japan.
When it comes to choosing the best pocket Wi-Fi, speed, coverage, and battery life are crucial to ensuring you get your money’s worth. A company might offer 50mbps of speed but doesn’t have enough internet towers, leaving you without connection while exploring a forest, for example. Therefore, these three aspects should meet your expectations and requirements for a pocket Wi-Fi to be genuinely worthwhile.
We’ve personally tried Mobal services for a data + call sim card and were satisfied with the experience. One advantage Mobal has is its super easy application and termination process. You don’t need a Japanese bank account, a residence visa, and the like to get approved. Mobal also offers a Wi-Fi router and not the typical pocket Wi-Fi device, so you can expect faster speeds, even in low-speed mode.
Mobal has gained a reputation for being the network carrier of choice for those who plan to stay in Japan for over a month. The pocket Wi-Fi, for example, is yours to keep after the three months, plus the rates are lower than competitors when it’s for a long-term stay.
Another carrier we tried when we first arrived in Japan years ago was Sakura Mobile. This is another company that offers easy application and English support. Even though we stayed in a farther-off province, we still had a reliable service connection because the carrier is backed by Docomo, Japan’s biggest network.
Looking at Sakura Mobile’s website now, they’ve added a few more perks, such as airport or hotel pickup. Now you can quickly connect to the world the minute you arrive in Japan! It’s also easier to configure everything because all users have to do is connect to the pocket Wi-Fi network and you get an Internet connection; no need to tweak your phone’s settings.
Returning the pocket Wi-Fi was also convenient because the company gave us a return envelope when the device arrived, so all we needed to do was put it in, seal and drop it at any mailbox. Even the shipping details were already filled in.
Another noteworthy company is Japan Wireless, known for offering the fastest speeds at reasonable rates. If you’re a heavy data user and need to stream or upload videos or play games, then Japan Wireless is your top choice because there’s no data cap. Moreover, the device comes with a power bank for extended use. You can even order the pocket Wi-Fi a day before your arrival, unlike other companies that need at least three days to process your request.
Here’s a quick comparison of some of the most popular pocket Wi-Fi in Japan based on their coverage, speed, price, the maximum number of devices it can handle, and battery life, among others. The list only includes companies that offer hotel or airport pickup and easy return of the device through mailing (through mailboxes across Japan, post offices, or some convenience stores), as these services should be expected from the best companies.
|Carrier||Sakura Mobile||Mobal||Japan Wireless||Ninja Wi-Fi|
|Best for||Easy application, lightweight device||Long-term stays, still reliable low speed modes||Fastest speed, long battery life||Largest number of pick-up counters, cost effective rates with insurance options|
|Coverage||99% of national population||99% of national population||100% of national population||99% of national population|
|Average LTE speed||20-40mbps||Up to 50mbps||Up to 187.35mbps||Up to 187.35mbps|
|Low speed mode||128kbps||384kbps||Not stated||Not stated|
|Number of concurrent devices||15||10||10||5|
|Battery life||20 hours||12 hours||20 hours (comes with power bank)||9 hours|
|Payment methods||All major debit/credit cards, PayPal||All major debit/credit cards, PayPal||All major debit/credit cards, PayPal||All major debit/credit cards, PayPal|
|Contract/termination||No contract/free termination||3-month contract/¥3,000 early termination||No contract/free termination||No contract/free termination|
|Website||Sakura Mobile||Mobal||Japan Wireless||Ninja Wi-Fi|
If these four brands don’t suit your requirements, here are a couple more companies to consider: CDJapan, Japan Wi-Fi Rental, or Wi-Fi Rental Japan
Going beyond the stated perks and capabilities mentioned by the companies, you can do more research by reading reviews or other write-ups from users on a specific company. For example, reviews would mention hidden fees or taxes that were otherwise excluded or not clearly stated on the website. Others might have experienced issues while claiming or returning the device.
Looking for the right pocket Wi-Fi company now can be pretty overwhelming, as there are over 20 options to choose from. Hopefully, we’ve streamlined the process for you and sifted the information to show only the aspects that truly matter. Although each one has something excellent to offer that others don’t, the final decision still lies on what and how you plan to use the pocket Wi-Fi. With that said, enjoy your vacation in Japan!