Guide to au HIKARI | Prices, Reviews and How to Apply

au HIKARI is a fiber-optic internet service operated by KDDI CORPORATION, one of the three largest mobile carriers in Japan.

Because au HIKARI is a service provided by such a large telecommunications company, there are probably many who have heard of or are interested in it.

However, the au HIKARI website is only available in Japanese, making it difficult to understand the specifics of the service. Many individuals are likely struggling to make sense of it all.

In this article, we will be going through everything you need to know before deciding on au HIKARI (connection speed, prices, English support, installation fees, customer reviews, etc.).

Even if you don’t know much about telecommunications, we will be explaining these topics with as few technical terms as possible.

Let’s get started!

In this article, we’ll cover

  1. What is au HIKARI?
  2. Plans and pricing
  3. Connection speeds and allocated data
  4. Coverage
  5. English support
  6. Installation process
  7. Reviews
  8. How to apply
  9. Summary: Pros and cons of au HIKARI
  10. If you are looking for fiber internet as an international resident in Japan

Related Article

For those who want to read about the best internet services for international residents, check out the following article. We compared a variety of internet services including, but not limited to au HIKARI here:

1. What is au HIKARI?

au homepage
Photo courtesy of au HIKARI

au HIKARI is a fiber internet service operated by the telecommunications company KDDI. KDDI is one of the three biggest mobile carriers in Japan, and they are most well-known for the au brand.

The most notable aspect of au HIKARI is that if you are also using a smartphone from au, you can receive a discount on your phone bill. Being eligible for this discount can save you up to 1,100 JPY per month.

Additionally, au HIKARI is known for being fast. Unlike other services, au HIKARI uses its own network, meaning that fewer people are using the network at a time which allows for faster speeds. You can see this reflected in the actual measured speeds, which are faster than those of NTT FLET’S Hikari.

Unfortunately, there are also a few downsides to au HIKARI. For example, the covered area is smaller compared to other services, and you are going to need Japanese when applying.

Below are the basic details of au HIKARI.

Outline of au HIKARI

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URLhttps://www.au.com/internet
Plans and
Pricing (tax incl.)
Initial fees (Installation + Registration fee)
  • Single-Family House Plan: 44,550 JPY
  • Apartment Plan: 36,300 JPY

Monthly fees
  • Single-Family House Plan: 5,720 JPY (For a 2-year contract)
  • Apartment Plan: 3,740 ~ 5,500 JPY (Price will
    change depending on your apartment)
Maximum
Connection Speed
Single-Family House Plan
  • Upload/Download: 1 Gbps

Apartment Plan
  • Upload/Download: 100 Mbps ~ 1 Gbps
Average
Connection Speed
Download: 376.12Mbps
Upload: 271.75Mbps
Allocated DataUnlimited
Minimum Contract
Length
2 years
(terminating your contract before the 2-year mark
will result in a penalty, 10,450 JPY for the Single-Family
House Plan and 7,700 JPY for the Apartment Plan)
English Support
  • English available over the phone and through online chat
  • Website in Japanese
Covered AreaAs of July 2021, the area covered by au HIKARI is as follows

Single-Family House Plan
  • The following areas are NOT covered:
    Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo,
    Nara, Wakayama, Fukui, Gifu,
    Aichi, Shizuoka, Mie, Okinawa

Apartment Plan
  • Available nationwide
# of Installations1

Average connection speeds as recorded on the website minsoku on July 6th, 2021.

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2. Plans and pricing

Smartphone
Again, below is a rundown of the fees involved when applying for au HIKARI.

Plans and
Pricing (tax incl.)
Initial fees (Installation + Registration fee)
  • Single-Family House Plan: 44,550 JPY
  • Apartment Plan: 36,300 JPY

Monthly fees
  • Single-Family House Plan: 5,720 JPY (For a 2-year contract)
  • Apartment Plan: 3,740 ~ 5,500 JPY (Price will
    change depending on your apartment)

The initial fees are a one-time fee that you pay at the beginning of the contract.

Monthly fees will change depending on what kind of home you live in. If you live in a house, you will be paying the fees attached to the Single-Family House Plan. Likewise, if you are living in an apartment, you can expect to be paying the Apartment Plan fees.

In the case of the Apartment Plan, the monthly fees vary from 3,740 ~ 5,500 JPY depending on your apartment. This is because each apartment has different types of appliances for fiber internet connection.

These appliances cannot be changed by individuals. You will get to know your exact monthly fee after you apply for au HIKARI.

When applying for the au smartphone discount (1,100 JPY/month)

For those who are thinking of applying for the discount that allows you to save money on your phone bill when you use au HIKARI, there is one thing to take note of. In order to be eligible for this discount, you will need to also apply for a landline from au.

By applying for a landline, there will be an extra 550 JPY added to your monthly internet bill.

This means that the money that you save every month will actually be 550 JPY.

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3. Connection speeds and allocated data

For those who need unlimited, fast internet | Get fiber internet
The au HIKARI connection speeds and allocated data are as follows.

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Maximum
Connection Speed
Single Family-House Plan
  • Upload/Download:1 Gbps

Apartment Plan
  • Upload/Download:100 Mbps 〜 1 Gbps
Average
Connection Speed
Upload: 271.75Mbps,
Download: 376.12Mbps
Allocated DataUnlimited

Average connection speeds as recorded on the website minsoku on July 6th, 2021.

Both the upload and download speeds of au HIKARI are at maximum 1Gbps, but this is only the fastest speed in theory. To get a grasp of the actual connection speeds, you should refer to actual customer reviews.

Although entirely in Japanese, the site “minsoku” is a good reference for actual internet speeds. You can find over 13,000 customer reviews for the speeds of au HIKARI. According to the data from Minsoku, the average upload speed for au HIKARI is 376Mbps and the average download speed is 271Mbps.

These average speeds are generally very fast. With this, you will be able to participate in Zoom conferences and play online games without any problems.

The possibility of slower connection speeds with the Apartment Plan

With the Apartment Plan, the appliances for internet connection in your apartment will play a part in determining your internet speeds.

You should expect your maximum internet speeds to be anywhere between 100Mbps and 1Gbps.

Your internet speed may seem slow if your maximum connection is 100Mbps.

Sadly, because internet speeds are decided by these pre-installed appliances, you will be unable to change this aspect of your environment.

Speed comparison of au HIKARI with NTT FLET’S Hikari

For your reference, below is a comparison of the speeds of au Hikari to NTT FLET’S Hikari.

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Max. Upload SpeedMax. Download SpeedAve. Upload SpeedAve. Download Speed
au HIKARI1Gbps1Gbps271 Mbps376 Mbps 
FLET'S Hikari1Gbps1Gbps187 Mbps249 Mbps

Average connection speeds as recorded on the website minsoku on July 6th, 2021.

In addition, the following is a chart that shows the activities that can be completed with different internet speeds.

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ActivityNecessary Internet Speed
4K Videos/Online Games25 Mbps
Online Meetings10 Mbps
Video Streaming (1080p)5 Mbps
Video Streaming (720p)3 Mbps
Web Browsing/Emails/LINE1 Mbps

If you compare the average connection speeds, you will find that au HIKARI is a bit faster than FLET’S Hikari.

However, FLET’S Hikari is very fast so you should not have difficulties with either service. There is not a very noticeable difference between au HIKARI and FLET’S Hikari, but if you are concerned about having the fastest internet possible, we suggest that you get au HIKARI.

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4. Coverage

Japan globe map

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Covered AreaAs of July 2021, the area covered by au HIKARI is as follows

Single-Family House Plan
  • The following areas are NOT covered: Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka,
    Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama, Fukui, Gifu, Aichi, Shizuoka,
    Mie, Okinawa

Apartment Plan
  • Available nationwide

The Apartment Plan is available all over Japan, but the Single-Family House Plan has areas that are not covered. You can find which prefectures are not included in the above table.

Before applying, be sure to check that the area you live in is covered by au HIKARI.

There are cases in which you cannot apply for the Apartment Plan

Although the Apartment Plan is available nationwide, depending on the apartment you live in, there is a possibility that the necessary appliances are not installed. Without them, you will not be able to apply for the Apartment Plan.

If you are interested in whether au HIKARI is available in your apartment, please contact au HIKARI in advance.

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5. English support


au HIKARI has English customer support over the phone and through online chat. However, the website is almost completely in Japanese, and you are going to need Japanese during the application process and when looking at your bills and receipts.

We suggest that you get the help of someone who can speak Japanese if you are not confident in your own abilities.

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6. Installation process


When you apply for fiber-optic internet, an installation is going to be necessary.

The following is the amount of time that you can expect installation to take for au HIKARI and NTT FLET’S Hikari.

  • au HIKARI: 2 weeks ~ 2 months
  • NTT FLET’S Hikari: 2 weeks ~ 1 month

During Japan’s moving season (March ~ April, August ~ September), there is a possibility that the schedule will be packed and the installation process will take even longer.

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7. Reviews

Twitter
In this section, we will introduce both good and bad reviews from Japanese customers.

Positive Reviews

  • Connection speeds are fast

I was fed up with the slow speeds of WiMAX and decided to switch over to au HIKARI. My internet is now 20 times faster than it was before.

I could have saved a lot of stress if I had just switched over earlier.

Goes to show that you shouldn’t be afraid of change and just go for it.

  • If you use an au smartphone, you will receive a discount on your phone bill

Blessed because I have au HIKARI so my phone bill is discounted 500 yen.
The speed isn’t too bad either.

Bad reviews

  • There is a rental fee for the wireless router

I changed my phone to BIGLOBE Mobile from au and the free router rental went away. Now the router rental costs me 500 yen per month. I’m debating whether or not to just buy a router myself… The rental router is an NEC Aterm, by the way.

  • When canceling the Single-Family Home Plan, the appliance removal fee costs 31,680 JPY

Since my smartphone is au I thought that maybe I should get au HIKARI, but I stopped researching as soon as I found out the removal fee is over 30,000 yen.😑

I’m using FLET’S Hikari through OCN right now so maybe I should apply for the smart value package through So-net Hikari instead…?

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8. How to Apply

You can apply from the au HIKARI official website!

1. There are two ways to begin your application. The option on the top allows you to receive a phone call from an au operator, and the option on the bottom will take you through the steps needed to complete your application online.

au Application 1

2. By choosing the option to get a call from au, you will be taken to a page to fill out information such as your name and address. At the bottom of the page, there is a collection of days and times that you can choose as your preferred time to receive the call.

AU application 2

3. Choosing the online application option will also bring you to a page to input information such as the type of home you live in and your address. With this information, you can check to see if au HIKARI is available in your area. After confirming that au HIKARI can be installed in your place of residence, you will be prompted to choose your plan and finish your application through the internet or by phone.

au application 3

Check out au HIKARI’s homepage here ↓

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9. Summary: Pros and Cons of au HIKARI

We know that was a lot of information about au HIKARI, and we hope you have a better understanding of the services that they provide!

Finally, a summary of the Pros and Cons of au Hikari compared to similar services.

Pros:

  • au HIKARI uses its own network, making connection speeds fast
  • If you are an au smartphone user, you can receive a monthly discount

Cons:

  • The area where you can use au HIKARI is limited
  • If you live in an apartment, there is a large possibility you cannot use au HIKARI
  • The application processes require Japanese

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10. If you are looking for fiber internet in Japan


Are you having any of these thoughts on your search for home internet?

  • The contract details of fiber internet are complicated and I want to have English support available just in case I need help
  • I don’t want to have to deal with a 2 to 5-year contract
  • But I also want the fastest connection speeds possible

If any of these apply to you, we suggest that you get Sakura Fiber Internet.

Features of Sakura Fiber Internet

  • Fast Internet Connection
  • No 2-Year Binding Contract
  • Reliable English Support
  • Simple, Stress-Free Installation
  • Various Payment Method

Sakura Fiber Internet’s monthly fees are 6,480 JPY/month, which is slightly more expensive than other providers. However, you will have access to English customer support 365 days a year and there is no 2-year contract commitment.

Additionally, because Sakura Fiber Internet uses NTT FLET’S Hikari’s network, the maximum connection speed is 1Gbps and the coverage is over 90% of the populated area of Japan.

The connection speed is a little slower than au HIKARI, but you will not have any issues when trying to participate in Zoom video calls or play online games.

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Max. Upload SpeedMax. Download SpeedAve. Upload SpeedAve. Download Speed
au HIKARI1Gbps1Gbps271 Mbps376 Mbps 
FLET'S Hikari1Gbps1Gbps187 Mbps249 Mbps

If you are interested, please check here for more details.

Related article

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