Narita Airport WiFi Rental: Comparing the Best Deals

narita airport departure board

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?

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 of 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.

CompanyPlan NameData CapThrottlingNetworkBattery LifeDevice ConnectionsData SpeedNarita Hours
Air’sMobile WiFiUnlimitedNoau / KDDI12 hours104G LTE7:00-21:00
G-CallRental WiFi Router??au / KDDI??4G LTE7:00-22:00
SoftBankMobile WiFi Router Rental3 GB / 3 DaysYesSoftBank10 hours104G LTE6:30-21:00
(depending on
terminal and
counter)
Telecom SquareCity Type?Yes?9 hours104G LTE9:00-20:00
(Weekdays);
10:00-18:00
(Sat., Sun.
& holidays)
Wide Type6-13 hours9–10

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.

CompanyPlan NameData CapThrottlingNetworkBattery LifeDevice ConnectionsData SpeedNarita Hours
Sakura MobileLite300 MB / DayYesSoftbank20 hours154G LTE6:30– last
flight
(Narita
Airport
luggage
counter)
Regular600 MB / Day
Deluxe3.0 GB / Day

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 unless you’re planning for only a 1 or 2-day rental, you begin to save by Day 3 when renting with Sakura Mobile (see prices highlighted in green).

CompanyPlanOne-Time FeeDaily Fee1-Day Rental2-Day Rental3-Day Rental4-Day Rental5-Day Rental6-Day Rental7-Day Rental30-Day Rental
Air'sPlan-¥1,500¥1,500¥3,000¥4,500¥6,000¥7,500¥9,000¥10,500¥45,000
G-CallPlan¥1,000¥900¥1,900¥2,800¥3,700¥4,600¥5,500¥6,400¥7,300¥28,000
SoftBankPlan¥315¥1,290¥1,605¥2,895¥4,185¥5,475¥6,765¥8,055¥9,345¥39,015
Telecom SquarePlan-¥1,400¥1,625¥3,250¥4,875¥6,500¥8,125¥9,750¥11,375¥48,750
Sakura MobileLite-Varies¥3,700¥3,700¥3,700¥4,010¥4,320¥4,600¥4,870¥11,450
Regular¥4,450¥4,450¥4,450¥4,880¥5,390¥5,790¥6,190¥15,290
Deluxe¥6,100¥6,100¥6,100¥6,880¥7,590¥8,190¥8,990¥20,680

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 include tax.

Sakuramobile WiFi router

Buying a Data SIM Card 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 device with you and you know that it’s compatible with a Japan SIM card (for iPhones, check here), then you also have the option of getting a data SIM card at Narita Airport.

We researched the Data SIM Card options available for same-day pickup, and separated them into two categories: Fixed Data and Unlimited Data. (If you would like to learn more about which option is best for you, read our article Japan Prepaid SIM Data: Fixed vs. Unlimited Plans.)

Fixed Data SIM Card Rentals

The great thing about fixed data is that you never have to worry about your data speed slowing down, also known as “throttling.” While you do need to pay attention to how fast you are using your data (and there are several free data monitoring apps available), most plans will allow you to add additional data after you run out, which is called a “top up.”

When comparing fixed Data SIM Card plans available for same-day pickup with Sakura Mobile’s plans available for easy pickup at Narita Airport’s luggage counter with advanced booking, you can see that Sakura Mobile can offer you the best value for price-per-gigabyte (GB), whether your renting 3 GB or 50 GB.

CompanyPrice / GBListed PriceOne-Time FeeRental FeeData AmountExpirationNetworkTop UpNarita Hours
JAL ABC¥2,460¥2,460--1 GB30 Days??6:00–last flight
¥1,203¥6,0185 GB30 Days
XCom Global¥2,334¥2,400--1 GB7 Days??7:00–21:00
¥1,166¥3,5003 GB15 Days
Sakura Mobile¥1,464¥3,500-¥50 / Day3 GB90 DaysDocomoYes6:30–last flight
(Narita Airport
luggage counter)
¥1,078¥4,5005 GB
¥913¥5,5007 GB
¥789¥7,00010 GB
¥597¥17,00030 GB
¥558¥27,00050 GB

Note: All prices do not include tax.

Sakuramobile SIM Card

Unlimited Data SIM Card Rentals

The benefit of unlimited data is that you never have to worry about running out. However, that doesn’t mean that your speed won’t slow down once you reach a certain limit. Throttling is when the service provider puts a cap on how much data you can use in a day (or in the case of SoftBank, 3 days). Once you have reached your daily limit, your speed slows down considerably. This option is good for travelers who do a lot of planning before their trip or tend not to use their smartphones for anything other than looking up Google maps, checking e-mails and using a text translator (once you begin watching YouTube or Skyping, you can easily reach your limit for the day).

CompanyPrice / DayListed PriceOne-Time FeeRental FeeData AmountThrottlingExpirationNetworkNarita Hours
JAL ABC¥564¥3,950100 MB / DayYes7 DaysDocomo9:00–18:00
(Weekdays)
¥354¥4,95014 Days
SoftBank¥970¥315¥110 / Day1 GB / 3 DayYesSoftBank6:30–21:00
(depending on
terminal and counter)
U-Mobile Prepaid SIM¥258¥1,800--200 MB / DayYes7 DaysDocomoVending
Machine
¥187¥2,80015 Days
¥117¥3,50030 Days

Note: All prices do not include tax.

While Sakura Mobile doesn’t offer an Unlimited Data SIM Card, it’s worth noting that our plans are actually equal or better value per megabyte (MB) than what U-Mobile currently offers with their prepaid SIM. Below is a comparison of U-Mobile’s 7-day Prepaid SIM and Sakura Mobile’s Fixed Data SIM. While a direct comparison is difficult, we have broken down our plans based on a 7-day rental to show you the cost per 100 MB of data.

Company Data Amount Listed Price + 7-Day Rental Fee Price / Day Data Amount / Day Price / 100 MB
U-Mobile Prepaid SIM 1.4 GB ¥1,800 ¥258 200 MB ¥129
Sakura Mobile 3 GB ¥3,500  ¥350 ¥550 428 MB ¥129
5 GB ¥4,500 + ¥350 ¥693 714 MB ¥97
10 GB ¥7,000 + ¥350 ¥1,050 1,,428 MB ¥73.5

Note: All prices do not include tax.

Save on Your Narita Airport WiFi Rental by Booking Ahead

narita airport departure board
Photo by i nao on Flickr

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!

Sakuramobile SIM Card
Sakuramobile WiFi Router

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