Guide to NURO Hikari | Prices, Reviews and How to Apply

Guide to NURO Hikari | Prices, Reviews and How to Apply

Are you thinking of getting NURO Hikari?

NURO Hikari is an internet service that is popular because it places emphasis on fast connection speeds.

However, the website is completely in Japanese, making it difficult to understand the specifics of the service and the details of the contract. You might be having a bit of trouble.

In this article, we will be covering everything you need to know about applying for NURO Hikari (connection speeds, prices, English support, installation fees, customer reviews, etc.).

For those who aren’t too familiar with fiber internet, we will be explaining with simple words so it is easy for everyone to understand.

Let’s get started!

In this article, we’ll cover

  1. What is NURO 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 NURO 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 NURO Hikari here:

1. What is NURO Hikari?

What is NURO Hikari?
Photo courtesy of NURO Hikari

NURO Hikari is a fiber-optic internet service supplied by SONY Group’s internet service provider, “So-net.”

The most notable feature of NURO Hikari is its connection speeds. At its fastest, NURO Hikari can reach up to 2Gbps download speed and 1Gbps upload speed. You could easily consider it the fastest fiber internet service in Japan.

In addition, if you are a SoftBank user, you can receive a 550 JPY/month discount on your cellphone bill by getting NURO Hikari.

As for the biggest downsides of NURO Hikari, the coverage area is smaller and the installation process is longer than other providers.

Below, we have summarized the basic information about NURO Hikari.

Outline of NURO Hikari

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URLhttps://www.nuro.jp/hikari/
Plans and PricingInitial fees
  • Installation fee: 44,000 JPY
  • Administrative fee: 3,300 JPY

Monthly fees
  • Single-Family House Plan: 5,217 JPY
  • Apartment Plan: 2,090 ~ 2,750 JPY
Maximum Connection
Speed
Upload: 2Gbps, Download:1Gbps
Average Connection
Speed
Upload: 404Mbps, Download: 469Mbps
Allocated DataUnlimited
Minimum Contract
Length
2 years
  • *You must pay a 10,450 JPY penalty for
    cancelling the contract early

English SupportNone
Covered AreaCovers about 40% of Japan
As of June 2021, the specific prefectures are as follows:

  • Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama,
    Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Aichi, Shizuoka,
    Gifu, Mie, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Shiga, Nara,
    Hiroshima, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga
  • *Please note that even if you live within the covered areas, there
    is a possibility you will not be able to install the internet if you
    live in an apartment

# of Installations2

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2. Plans and Pricing

Again, below are the fees that you will need to be aware of when applying for NURO Hikari.

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Plans and PricingInitial fees
  • Installation fee: 44,000 JPY
  • Administrative fee: 3,300 JPY

Monthly fees
  • Single-Family House Plan: 5,217 JPY
  • Apartment Plan: 2,090 ~ 2,750 JPY

The initial fee is a one-time payment that is completed when you apply.

Monthly fees will change depending on what kind of building you live in. If you live in a house, you will be charged the price of the Single-Family House Type, and the price of the Apartment Type if you live in an apartment.

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3. Connection speeds and allocated data

The connection speeds and data limit information for NURO Hikari are as follows:

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Maximum Connection SpeedUpload: 2Gbps, Download: 1Gbps
Average Connection SpeedUpload: 404Mbps, Download: 469Mbps
Allocated DataUnlimited

*The average connection speeds written above are the latest as of June 17th, 2021

Connection speed

2Gbps for download and 1Gbps for upload are the maximum speeds for NURO Hikari. However, these are only the highest speeds in theory; you will not actually reach these speeds while using the internet. If you want to know the exact numbers, you will need to look at customer reviews.

The site “minsoku” is a good reference for internet speeds. This site is only in Japanese, but it has actual reviews from users about many different internet services. Judging from over 20,000 reviews, the average upload speed that users experience is 404Mbps and the download speed is around 469Mbps for NURO Hikari.

These are high numbers, and with this speed, you will be able to play online games and participate in zoom calls without any problems.

Why is NURO Hikari so fast?

NURO Hikari is fast because it uses its own network. This means that there are fewer people using the network at once, causing it to be less crowded and allowing for faster speeds.

On the other hand, most other services like SoftBank Hikari and Sakura Fiber Internet use the NTT FLET’S Hikari network. Because so many people are constantly using the same network, it becomes crowded more easily.

A speed comparison of NURO Hikari with FLET’S Hikari

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

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Max. Upload SpeedMax. Download SpeedAve. Upload SpeedAve. Download Speed
NURO Hikari2Gbps1Gbps404Mbps469Mbps
FLET'S Hikari1Gbps1Gbps184Mbps243Mbps

*The average speeds are numbers as of June 17th, 2021
*Data taken from: Minna no Net Kaisen Sokudo (みんなのネット回線速度)

Additionally, here is a chart that shows what you can do 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

Although not as fast as NURO Hikari, you should not have any issues with FLET’S Hikari. If internet speed is your top priority, however, it might be wise to go with NURO Hikari.

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4. Coverage

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Covered AreaCovers about 40% of Japan
As of June 2021, the specific prefectures are as follows:

  • Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama,
    Chiba, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Aichi, Shizuoka,
    Gifu, Mie, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Shiga, Nara,
    Hiroshima, Okayama, Fukuoka, Saga
  • *Please note that even if you live within the covered areas, there
    is a possibility you will not be able to install the internet if you
    live in an apartment

The coverage of NURO Hikari currently spans about 40% of Japan. Before you apply, check whether or not the area you live in is covered by NURO Hikari.

Take note: You might not be able to install internet in your apartment

If you are planning on using NURO Hikari in your apartment (Apartment Plan), you are going to need a check to see whether certain equipment is already installed in your apartment.

If the equipment is not already in your apartment, you are going to need to install it. This tends to be very complicated, with strict regulations surrounding the installation.

Conditions that need to be met in order to be able to install NURO Hikari

  • Get permission from the owner or company managing your building
  • Find at least 3 other people in the same apartment complex who are willing to or are already contracted with NURO Hikari (If you are planning on getting the Apartment Plan)

For apartments, it is not uncommon to be unable to receive the permission you need to install the equipment.

Furthermore, finding at least 3 others in the same apartment complex who are willing to contract at the same time as yourself is almost impossible.

If you are living in an apartment without the necessary equipment, there is a high possibility that even if you are in an area covered by NURO, you will not be able to have it installed. Make sure to check with NURO beforehand and make sure.

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5. English support

Unfortunately, NURO does not have English support available. If you are not comfortable with Japanese, you should have a friend who speaks Japanese help you out.

There are going to be many instances where you need Japanese:

  • When you apply
  • During installation
  • When changing your plan or cancelling your contract
  • If you have connection issues

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6. Installation process

Because NURO Hikari uses its own network, it is faster than its competitors. However, the installation process takes a very long time, which is one of the biggest cons of the service.

With NTT FLET’S Hikari, the installation should finish in one go. NURO Hikari, on the hand, requires two separate installations.

Here is an idea of the difference between the two services.

  • NURO Hikari: 1 ~ 3 months
  • NTT FLET’S Hikari: 2 weeks ~ 1 month

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7. Reviews

Next, we are going to be going through some reviews of NURO Hikari. We have gathered both positive and negative reviews.

Positive reviews

  • Connection speed is fast

“I just got NURO set up so I tried a speed test.
I used a cat7 cable.
Windows 10 (Corei7-6700, memory 16GB machine)“

  • The internet router is free


Person A: “I have to get rid of my current garbage WiFi and get something new so that I can play Animal Crossing to my heart’s content”
Person B: “I use NURO Hikari and it’s cheap and fast. Plus they lend you the router for free so I’m satisfied.”

Bad reviews

  • It takes a long time for the internet to get set up

”NURO Hikari,
Your installation process takes way too long…

It’s been a month since my internal installation and just when I thought the external installation had come, they left in about 10 minutes saying there was something that they hadn’t checked beforehand and I had to reschedule the installation. It’s been another two months since then and even when I ask about the situation they just say that they’re making ‘arrangements’…

Apparently the internet speed is fast, but if you take into account the time it’s taking just to get set up, maybe it’s pretty slow after all?”

  • It is difficult to get a hold of customer support

”NURO Hikari’s customer service number doesn’t connect at all~
I put the phone on speaker and waited for an hour. When I finally got on call it was only 5 minutes long. For real??

The customer service representative on the other line didn’t enunciate AND spoke really fast—the worst combination.

That was exhausting.
At least I got what I needed.”

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8. How to apply

You can apply from NURO’s official website!

1. Choose your plan; on the left, you can select a three-year plan, and on the right you can select a two-year plan. After you have made your selection, click the “Apply” button in the middle.

How to apply 1

2. Input your postal code, the rest of your address, and choose whether you live in an apartment or a house.

How to apply 2

You will be directed to a page where you can choose the details of your plan and set up installation dates. Then your application is complete!

Check out NURO Hikari’s homepage here ↓

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9. Summary: Pros and cons of NURO Hikari

Pros:

  • Internet connection speeds are the fastest in Japan
  • If you are a SoftBank user, you are eligible to receive a 550 JPY/month discount
  • The WiFi router comes for free

Cons:

  • The coverage rate is low and if you live in an apartment, there is a large possibility you will not be able to use the service at all
  • No English support
  • There is a 2 year contract (and a 10,450 JPY penalty if you cancel early)

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If you are looking for fiber internet as an international resident in Japan

We suspect that if you are an international resident in Japan, you might be thinking some of the following:

  • “The contract details for fiber internet are complicated and I want access to English support just in case I have trouble.”
  • “I want to avoid the commitment of a 2 year contract.”
  • “But I also want the fastest internet possible.”

If any of these apply to you, we recommend getting Sakura Fiber Internet.

Features of Sakura Fiber Internet

  • Maximum connection speed of 1Gbps
  • No 2-Year Binding Contract
  • Reliable English Support
  • Simple, Stress-Free Installation
  • Various Payment Methods

The monthly fees for Sakura Fiber Internet are 6,480 JPY/month, which is not necessarily the cheapest out there. However, you will have access to English customer support 365 days a year and there is no 2 year contract.

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

Sakura Fiber Internet is slower than NURO Hikari, but it is still more than enough to participate in online meetings and play online games.

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Max. Upload SpeedMax. Download SpeedAve. Upload SpeedAve. Download Speed
NURO Hikari2Gbps1Gbps404Mbps469Mbps
FLET'S Hikari1Gbps1Gbps184Mbps243Mbps

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

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

Related articles

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