During your trip in Japan, it would make sense to stay connected with the world and upload your pictures via social media to make all your friends jealous. Besides from some café, bars, and your hotel room, free Wi-Fi locations can be hard to locate even in Tokyo. The best options for having internet on the go will be Wi-Fi only sim cards and pocket Wi-Fi. With only two options to choose from, all the plans and accessibility can actually get pretty confusing, ranging from where to purchase or rent one, to how to return the device when the trip ends. Here is an overview of why pocket Wi-Fi would be the better choice.
Wi-Fi only sim cards can be purchased at vending machines in various airports and large retail electronic shops like Bic Camera. It is very convenient for single travelers who are tech savvy. Just swap out your sim cards and you should be able to connect to Wi-Fi, but not all devices are compatible. Not only do you have to make sure you have an unlocked device, but also in most cases, have to reset all of the Access Point Name (APN) in order to get the internet working. Expect to pay around $28 USD for a 1GB plan and about $55 USD for a 3 GB plan. If all the data is used up, normally you can recharge for more data for around $15 USD per GB, which can get pretty pricey. It would be unpleasant if you spent the money and realized your device isn’t compatible, and refunds are not available.
Pocket Wi-Fi can be rented at most large airports with easy sign ups and return policies. Each device can connect up to 10 devices and is guaranteed to work, just power the pocket Wi-Fi and connect your device without changing any settings. This makes connecting to Wi-Fi so much easier without worrying about hardware not meeting requirements. Most pocket Wi-Fi plans also offer unlimited data plans a day just under $15USD. Unlimited data gives you more freedom to upload more pictures and videos, upload speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 37.5Mbps, and download speeds of 165 Mbps to 187.5Mbps. Take advantage of the device connectivity and unlimited data, either connect to multiple devices for yourself, or share with the entire family. If you are traveling to a rural area of Japan, the pocket Wi-Fi also provides a much more stable internet connection compared with Wi-Fi only sim cards. When it’s time to say goodbye to Japan, you can return these devices either at the airport, or pay a small fee of around $5 USD to have it shipped back to the company.
With the comparison above, if you’re a tech savvy single traveler not using too much data, the SIM card would work right for you, but if you like the freedom of data with a cheaper price without having to worry about tech issues, the pocket Wi-Fi would be the way to go.