Renting a Pocket WIFI while in Japan

Most tourists want to call home at least one time while they are traveling in Japan but this is not always easy or cheap. Below are 5 options but we recommend renting a pocket WIFI hot spot as having access to the internet while sightseeing will make things easier for you.

Most Important Points

Option 1 – Use your cell phone in Japan

Some non-Japanese phones do not work in Japan and the ones that do can be very expensive to use. We recommend you to keep your smartphone on “airplane mode” and only use it to connect to the internet by WIFI or a pocket WIFI hot spot. Free WIFI is getting more common but it is not always available.

Note: Please read all the fine print from your home carrier and understand what the actual costs are.

Option 2 – Use your hotel phone

Nowadays the in-room phones are mostly used for room service, wake-up calls, and emergencies. For an international phone call, this option would work but this will be very expensive so we do not recommend it.

Option 3 – Renting a Pocket WIFI Hot Spot in Japan

Renting a pocket WIFI Hot Spot is easy and cheap. You can connect your smartphones which will give you access to internet maps and all the other services you normally use at home. We recommend you download a translation app and give that app access to your camera. This way you can simply point your phone to a sign in Japanese and it will give you a rough translation. You will need to reserve your pocket WIFI hot spot before you travel to Japan and we recommend JRPass. You can also purchase your JR Rail Passes from them.

Option 4 – Use Skype, Facetime, or similar service to call…

If you are at a WIFI spot you can use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to make free calls to others while on Skype, Facetime, or other apps. You can also use Skype to make cheap calls to landlines around the world. At Japanese Guest Houses and Rediscover Tours we use Skype to contact each other between the US and Japan. It works great and if the person you are calling has Skype then it is all free.

Why Reserve Your Ryokan with JGH

  • Curated Ryokan Selection
  • Personal Reservation Service
  • Ryokan Reservation Experts

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