Japan seems to be increasing the number of WiFi spots around the country partly because of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The best part is…they are free! The catch? They are not exactly user-friendly: unstable connections, specific WiFi areas, time limits, registration requirements etc, you will be better off getting a personal pocket WIFI or a data SIM card, but with so many options, which one is best for you?

Take the quiz below and find out!

Pocket WiFi vs. Data-SIM in a nutshell:

Pocket WiFi rental Data SIM
Unlimited WiFi? Yes, though may have slow speeds at times Depends on operator/brand.
Cost Cost divided by no. of persons Individual cost

May also increase depending on the amount of wifi

Technical settings – sim card availability No restrictions Depends on operator/brand
Local calls* N.A. but you can use Whatsapp/Line/KakaoTalk etc to make phone calls Data only


*Due to the cell phone fraud problem in Japan, a law that prevents short-term foreign visitors in Japan from buying sim cards with phone calls capacity was implemented. If you really need to make local calls for i.e. reservations, you can get the hotel concierge to help you, or perhaps search for an online alternative. Otherwise, you can also rent a cellphone – some may even allow international calls (if you really need to do so). Cellphone rentals are available at international airports, so you don’t have to worry!

Then again, you can just use your smartphone’s apps to make free calls with WiFi, so why bother with renting an old model – except for novelty?




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