Japan Mobile Network Guide for Travellers and Tourists

For years Japan was the world leader in mobile phone technology. Japan’s mobile network was the first to go nationwide. Japan was also the first to have mobile internet, the first with color screens on phones and the first for a whole host of other things we now take for granted.

But while the Japanese were forging ahead and using technology unique to Japan, the rest of the world was developing standards that now define a somewhat common ground globally. Because Japan has created its own closed mobile ecosystem, termed “Galapagos syndrome” because it has made their technology perfect in-country but incompatible on a world scale, using foreign phones on the domestic Japanese networks has been always been a challenge.

With the advent of 4G LTE networks, this disparity is becoming less of a problem for foreign travellers. It may be awhile before compatibility becomes a simple issue, but in the meantime here is a Japan mobile network guide to show you how to best use your options (such as a SIM card from Sakura Mobile) to successfully use your cell phone in Japan.

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Internet in Japan for Tourists: Free WiFi and Beyond

WiFi can be a lifeline for travelers around the world, but especially in Japan where your regular cellular service is not available or will cost you in high roaming fees. When planning your Japan adventure be sure to bring a WiFi-enabled mobile device to help you get around. Wifi access will help you get the best value food and shopping, as well as to discover popular tourist spots and hidden gems on the go. You will be able to use your mobile device in diverse locations including airports, convenience stores, and even on many of the super-fast Shinkansen bullet trains. Read below to successfully navigate the sometimes confusing array of WiFi options and get internet in Japan for an even more wonderful trip!

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Buying a Phone in Japan: The Easy Way to Stay Connected

buying a phone in japan

Do you want to stay in Japan for an extended holiday, to study or to work, and you need a way to stay connected to the phone and Internet? Fortunately, Japan’s system of calling and data networks are regarded as being among the best and most reliable in the world-for some. Foreign visitors looking for mid- to-long-term phone and data plans will likely have a difficult time shopping around for several reasons. Keep reading to find out what you’re up against when buying a phone in Japan and discover an easy solution that will save you money and keep you connected throughout your stay.

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Skiing, Snowboarding and WiFi in Myoko Akakura Onsen

snowboarding, skiing, akakura onsen, myoko

In mid January three members from Sakura Mobile took a trip to the ski-resort, Moyoko Akakura Onsen in Niigata, to snowboard in the bliss of powder snow and to visit our friends who runs a lodge/restaurant ‘Edelweiss Akakura’. There we had a wonderful time learning how to snowboard (we can call ourselves intermediate now), enjoying hot spring, and also took the opportunity to test the connectivity and durability of our pocket WiFi and Sim card in the remote location that Akakura Onsen is. READ MORE

Is Free WiFi in Japan Safe?

We think Japan is one of the most friendly, welcoming places to take your next vacation. It’s regularly ranked among the safest places in the world to live and visit, and there is definitely truth to the story of lost wallets, passports, and smartphones regularly being turned into a local police officer or train attendant. There should be no fear in coming to Japan. However, there is one important question you need to consider before your trip to Japan. READ MORE

Japan WiFi Rental: The Essential 10-Minute Guide

wifi in japan

While ordering a Japan WiFi rental may be one of the last things you think about while planning your upcoming trip, it’s an essential consideration to make. And once you begin researching your WiFi options, it’s quite possible that figuring out which plan is best for your trip will be all the more confusing. Look no further than our Essential Guide to Japan WiFi rentals. In just 10 minutes you’ll arm yourself with everything you need to know about picking a great data plan that will keep you connected and worry free throughout your trip to Japan. Let’s get started! READ MORE

7 Great Ways for Saving Your Japan Mobile WiFi Data

When travelling to Japan, mobile WiFi data should be your last concern. Unfortunately, depending on which data provider you go with, you may just end up spending more time getting stressed out about saving data than worrying about choosing between sushi and ramen for lunch in Shibuya. Below are 7 great ways to make sure you keep your data for when you really need it! READ MORE

Apartments, Housing & WiFi in Tokyo: Best Options for Mid- to Long-term Stays

wifi in tokyo Thinking about living in Tokyo for a while? If you’re planning on staying for longer than a week or two, you may be wondering what the process is to arrange for long-term accommodations (1–12 months or more). Not to worry! Even if you don’t speak Japanese, there are several companies in Tokyo that can place you in foreign-friendly housing. So read on to find out where you can start your search as well as important advice on WiFi and housing that you may not yet have considered. READ MORE

Portable WiFi in Japan: 10 Reasons Why Data is King

Japan has the 6th fastest Internet speed in the world with an average of 30 Mbps compared to the US average of 10 Mbps, fantastic news for anyone coming to the country for a visit. The portable WiFi in Japan is royally awesome! Here are ten reasons why you simply can’t live without it. READ MORE

WiFi in Japan: Essential Apps for Traveling in Japan

wifi in japan

Towering skyscrapers, countless Michelin-rated restaurants, and a public transport system that can’t be beat. Tokyo has always had just about everything and anything a city lover could ever want except for free WiFi. While it may be good to travel without Internet for a few days, allowing yourself to get “lost in translation,” it’s likely that cutting the proverbial digital umbilical cord will begin to take its toll as you start to crave all the apps you left behind and the Japanese-specific apps that make travel oh-so-much easier. If what we’ve described is a little too uncomfortable to imagine (or sounds absolutely terrifying), then we suggest you take the necessary measures of obtaining access to a Japanese WiFi network READ MORE