One of my favourite things about visiting Japan is this handy little box, the Pocket Wifi. You can rent one from a few different companies and most will let you pick yours up from the post office at the airport or deliver it to your hotel.
Included in the package are instructions, packaging for when you return the device and of course the device itself.
The one we got worked a bit like your router at home would. The instructions will tell you the name of the wifi and the password will be stuck on the device somewhere.
Once you’re connected, that’s it! You’re free to surf the internet to you heart’s content. It’s tempting to make jokes about all those Snapchats and Instagram posts but honestly, Google maps will be your lifeline.
One thing to bear in mind however, is the fact that the device has to be carried around with you. If you’re in a group this isn’t normally a problem as the radius is pretty decent. The only time it might be a problem is if your group splits up or if the person carrying it decides to run off when they spot something exciting.
It’s easy to forget that your connection relies on your vicinity to the device, especially when you’ve been using it seamlessly for a couple of days. So before you end up on your own in the middle of Tokyo without Google maps, make sure you have a plan in case you split up.
There are a few different companies renting out the portable wifi boxes. The Japan Rail Pass actually has a page where you can request one.
Each company will offer something a bit different, so I recommend shopping around and checking the download speed and how the pricing works. Is it a flat fee or are you charged for the data you use?
There are also data Sim cards for your phone. As I mentioned already, we were travelling as a group so the portable wifi made sense for us but if you’re an individual or couple, the sim cards might be worth a look