Traveler Essentials

Wi-Fi and electrical outlets in Japan


Wireless hotspots are popping up all over major cities in Japan, but if you’re moving a lot and visiting remoter areas free Wi-Fi can be hard to find.

Public Wi-Fi

Hotels, most coffee chains, and some restaurants will have free Wi-Fi and even some trains and buses, but when walking on the streets and trying to find information online, you hardly ever come across Wi-Fi. Some cities do have public Wi-Fi in their shopping mall areas and streets (shōtengai商店街) so you can use it when you’re around that area. Many of the free Wi-Fi services do require some sort of signing in process: through email or just clicking to agree to their terms and conditions.

Pocket Wi-Fi or a SIM card

For more reliable access to the internet, you could rent a personal hotspot or portable Wi-Fi. They are especially good for groups travelling together since one pocket Wi-Fi can power more than one phone and that way you can also split the cost. Rental kiosks are located at all major airports, available at competitive rates. Alternatively, make a prior reservation via the internet and have your device delivered straight to your hotel.

Another option is to simply get a SIM card or eSIM plan that allows for internet access via the cellular phone network. A wide array of plans are available to foreign tourists, most of them data-only. Plans differ on connection speeds, network used and data transfer limits. They are typically available for a specified time (e.g. one week) or for a specified maximum amount of data (e.g. 3 GB to be used within a certain time period). SIM cards are available at airports, selected retailers in Japan or via the internet. Your phone must be unlocked to be able to do this.

Electrical outlet

Japan uses Type A and Type B electrical outlets with a voltage of 100V. Bring a travel adapter if your devices use a different plug type or require a different voltage.

Where to buy an adapter

Even if you forget to bring your own, some hotels offer adapters and you can buy one from an electrical store or even a 100yen store.