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If you’re planning a trip to Japan, there’s a good chance your final destination will be landing at Narita International Airport (NRT), just 60 kilometers east of Tokyo. And seeing how as much as 50% of all international travelers use this hub for entering and leaving Japan, it’s no wonder there are so many services and amenities catering specifically to international travelers at the airport. One such service—and an important one for your trip—is picking up a portable WiFi rental, which can easily be found at various rental counters around the airport.
But with so many companies to choose from, how do you know you’re getting the best deal on Pocket WiFi at Narita International Airport? We’ve taken the time to put together an easy-to-understand comparison to help you decide which company offers the best value for your money.
What we cover:
- Do You Need to Rent WiFi in Japan?
- Comparing Narita Airport WiFi Rentals
- Price Comparison for Japan Pocket WiFi at Narita Airport
- Price Comparison for Japan SIM Cards at Narita Airport
- Picking Up Your WiFi Rental at Narita Airport
Do You Need to Rent WiFi in Japan?
The question many tourists ask when planning a trip to Japan is whether or not renting portable WiFi is even necessary. While you may think that the world’s most “high-tech” country would offer free WiFi hotspots throughout city hubs and possibly even in rural areas, this is not the case. Furthermore, if you plan on bringing your smartphone with you, be aware that you won’t be able to connect to the country’s 4G LTE network without incurring some jaw-dropping data charges.
Fortunately, portable WiFi is relatively easy to rent with many companies vying for your business, even at Narita International Airport.
Comparing Narita Airport WiFi Rentals
For many, the thought of disconnecting from the Internet for even a moment can cause the body to shudder, and while this might not be you, having WiFi available as soon as possible after landing in a foreign country is likely a good decision. For your convenience, Narita Airport’s website offers a list of WiFi rental companies located within the airport terminals that can rent you a Pocket WiFi before you head off on your Japan adventure.
To help you understand what’s available for immediate rental at the airport, we’ve researched their list and compared the rental plans of companies that offer same-day pickup.
|Company||Plan Name||Data Cap||Throttling||Network||Battery Life||Device Connections||Data Speed||Narita Hours|
|Sakura Mobile||Unlimited||Unlimited||Yes||SoftBank||20 hours||15||4G LTE||7:00– last
|Air’s||Mobile WiFi||Unlimited||Yes||au / KDDI||12 hours||10||4G LTE||7:00-21:00|
|SoftBank||Mobile WiFi Router Rental||3 GB / 3 Days||Yes||SoftBank||10 hours||10||4G LTE||6:30-21:00
|Telecom Square||City Type||?||Yes||?||9 hours||10||4G LTE||9:00-20:00
|Wide Type||6-13 hours||9–10|
|Wide Type||6-13 hours||9–10|
|JAL ABC||WiFi Router||Unlimited||Yes||?||10 hours||10||4G LTE||7:00~21:00|
Note: While KDDI, JAL ABC, Sky, and Xcom Global, Inc. are listed on Narita Airport’s website as having “Same Day Pickup,” we could not find information on each company’s respective websites to accurately compare their service and device features.
What you may notice about the companies that we could compare WiFi rental plans for is that finding detailed information on the company website isn’t always easy, as with G-Call and Telecom Square, or not available at all, as with KDDI, JAL ABC, Sky and Xcom Global, Inc. Also, apart from Telecom Square, each company offers only one Pocket WiFi plan, leaving you with few options if the plan doesn’t match your data needs. Finally, it’s important to know that during Japan’s peak tourist seasons, the service counters often run out of available WiFi devices, leaving you with no other option than to figure out how to rent a Pocket WiFi until after you arrive at your hotel room.
Of course, renting a Pocket WiFi at one of Narita Airport’s service counters is a good option if you find yourself in an emergency situation, but with the convenience of same-day pickup, you will almost always pay premium dollar without the benefit of great features. So is there another option?
Picking Up Your Japan Pocket WiFi Rental at Narita Airport’s Luggage Counter
If you’re reading this 12 hours before your flight to Japan, then there’s still time to rent a Pocket WiFi router in advance and have it ready for you to pick up at Narita Airport’s luggage counter after your flight lands. Unlike waiting until you arrive at the airport to see what kind of rental plans are even available, you can guarantee what you will be getting by renting a Pocket WiFi in advance with Sakura Mobile.
|Company||Plan Name||Throttling||Network||Battery Life||Device Connections||Data Speed||Narita Hours|
|Sakura Mobile||Unlimited||Yes||Softbank||20 hours||15||4G LTE||7:00– last
While Sakura Mobile doesn’t have a service counter at the airport, we can easily fulfill your request to have your Pocket WiFi shipped to either of Narita Airport’s terminals; when it’s time to return your device, simply drop it into one of Narita Airport’s post boxes before going through the security checkpoint.
Narita Airport Terminal 1 Luggage Counter
Narita Airport Terminal 2 Luggage Counter
Price Comparison for Japan Pocket WiFi at Narita Airport
But is it any cheaper to rent your Pocket WiFi in advance instead of renting one once you get to Narita Airport? When comparing prices of companies that provide same-day pickup with Sakura Mobile, you’ll see that you can save by Day 3 when renting with Sakura Mobile (see prices highlighted in reds).
|Company||Data cap||3-Day Rental||6-Day Rental||10-Day Rental||15-Day Rental||30-Day Rental||60-Day Rental||90-Day Rental|
Renting your Pocket WiFi in advance and shipping it to Narita Airport’s luggage counter for easy pickup provides you with the same convenience as same-day pickup, but with better features, better prices, and guaranteed availability!
Note: All prices do not exclude tax.
Price Comparison for Japan SIM Cards at Narita Airport
Renting a Pocket WiFi isn’t always the best option, especially if you’re only bringing your smartphone with you. If you’re planning to only bring one your phone with you and you know it’s unlocked, then you have the option of buying a data SIM card at Narita Airport.
We researched the Data SIM Card options available for same-day pickup for the Unlimited Data SIM card.
Best Unlimited Data SIM Card Rentals at Narita Airport
The benefit of unlimited data is that you never have to worry about running out of data.
Since unlimited SIM is so great, the next thing you need to worry about apart from choosing it is the price and the availability.
There are certainly multiple choices of unlimited SIM card at the airport. For those who prefer to plan ahead to get the cheapest deal possible, you can see that Sakura Mobile is the one that stands out. (due to the limited choices of companies, it may cost more to purchase upon arrival) It is generally speaking the most affordable option with the longest spam of operating hours from 7:00 – last flight, and the counter even waits for you if the flight has been delayed. And the most important thing is that it never runs out of stock.
|Company||Expiration||Listed Price||Network||Narita Hours|
|Sakura Mobile||8days||¥4,500||NTT Docomo||7:00–last flight(Narita Airport luggage counter)
The counter even waits for you if the flight has been delayed
|XCom Global||7days||¥3,800||NTT Docomo||7:30-21:00|
More comparison between Data SIM Cards at Narita Airport (Fixed v.s. Unlimited)
The above section has claimed that the ‘’Unlimited’’ is better than the ‘’Fixed’’, which this section provides the explanation.
While traveling in a foreign country, being connected is definitely one of the most important things you will need and care about. This rule also applies to Japan. Locating yourself on google map, sharing your moment on Instagram, or even entertaining yourself by viewing Youtube while you are on the train. You need to stay connected every single second in order to ensure the precious time in Japan. And all this can be achieved by pre-ordering with that little extra coins. The unlimited plan is certainly attractive even for those willing to restrict themselves with data usage to reduce expenses.
Finally, it is needless to say that the basic advantage of having no cut-off, daily cap, and surely not need to Top Up.
|Company||Expiration||Listed Price||Fixed Data Amount||Cut Off||Online Top Up||Network|
|Sakura Mobile||8days||¥4,500||Unlimited||No||Not needed||NTT Docomo|
|Telecom Square||7days||¥3,800||2 GB||Yes||Yes|
|AnyFone Japan||7days||¥4,500||1 GB||Yes||No||?|
|XCom Global||7days||¥2,400||1 GB||Yes||No||NTT Docomo|
Note: All prices do not exclude tax.
Save on Your Narita Airport WiFi Rental by Booking Ahead
All of the plans compared here will keep you connected during your trip to Japan, but be careful with the “convenience” of companies that offer same-day pickup at Narita Airport. They may work in a pinch, but if you plan ahead by just a few days, you’ll find that you can get more data and better features at a lower price.
Now that you’re armed with the information you need to navigate WiFi rentals at Narita Airport, be sure to read our guide to getting from Narita Airport to Tokyo. Best of luck on your journey, and welcome to Japan!