Best Pocket WiFi Rental in Japan – 2021 Price, Data Limitation, Battery Life

Despite the booming tourism industry, Japan has fewer WiFi spots compared to other developed countries and the majority poses restricted time for usage. On the other hand, internet connection is crucial for travelers, not just to browse, post your photos on Instagram, and or talk to your friends and family. Imagine being lost in a public place, hungry, and can not find someone speaking English, a pocket WiFi would save your life. It is a compact, easy-to-use option that can fit the tight travel budget and is compatible with any device.

Now, it is hard to differentiate available in the market and find out the one with the most cost-benefit performance. Don’t worry! In this article, we will go through some essential information about pocket WiFi and compare the 4 best pocket WiFi rental in Japan based on rates, data usage amount, data speed, battery life.

1. What is pocket WiFi? And How does it work?

A pocket WIFI is imply a portable WIFI router that can fit in your pocket. It has a few alternative names such as Mobile WiFi, Mobile Hot Spot, or MiFi. No matter what it is called, a pocket WIFI does one essential task, which is providing internet.

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How? Each pocket WiFi has a network name and password. You simply power the pocket WiFi and connect your smartphone, laptop, or tablets to this device like connecting the router at your home. And enjoy the comfort of browsing, chatting with friends or use online maps as long as it is near your phones and computers.

2. Best Pocket WiFi Rental in Japan

When choosing the best Pocket WiFi Rental in Japan for your trip, you should decide first the make-or-break criteria. Most people would seriously take into account: Price, Data Usage Amount, Speed and Battery Life. Let’s take a look at the best Pocket WiFI Rental in Japan based on these factors.

Comparison Table

BrandJapan WirelesseConnect JapanSakura MobileWiFi Rental Store
PlanBusinessPremiumEconomy PlanPremiumMonsterPocket WiFi 601HW Black 601HW White 809SH
Min Price/ day

( 7 days rental)

¥454¥512¥583¥716¥971$1,222$390$490$590
Min Price/ day

(30 days rental)

¥255¥271¥201 ¥265¥357$619$195 $245$295
Data usage AmountUnlimitedUnlimited10GB

+ Unlimited at restricted speed (after)

50GB

+ Unlimited at restricted speed (after)

100GB

+ Unlimited at restricted speed (after)

Unlimited20GB50GB100GB
Max. download speed 95Mbps187.5Mbps187.5Mbps150 Mbps612Mbps 612Mbps774Mbps
Battery Life10 hours

+ Free Power Bank

8 hours

+ Free Power Bank

20 hours4-5 hours4-5 hours6-8 hours

Updated Sep 2021

Summary:

  • The Cheapest (short stay): WiFi Rental Store ($390/ day)
  • The Cheapest (medium stay – 30 days): WiFi Rental Store ($195/ day) and eConnect Japan ($201/ day)
  • The Best for Unlimited Data and long-term usage: Japan Wireless
  • The Fastest Data Speed: WiFi Rental Store (612Mbps)
  • The Longest Battery Life: Sakura Mobile (20 hours), WiFi Rental Store (10 hours + free power bank)
  • The Best for Heavy user or Group: eConnect Monster, Japan Wireless Premium

2.1  Japan Wireless

Probably the most popular pocket WiFi brand in Japan, Japan Wireless claims to deliver 350,000 rentals up to now. The special thing about Japan Wireless is that all its products are completely 4G LTE and data-unlimited. And the data package of Japan Wireless is incredibly all-rounded in the way the company balances large data usage, standard speed, pretty long battery life with just an affordable price.

There are two pocket WiFi plans in Japan Wireless: Business and Premium. The Business plan is suitable for “Internet on the go” that includes Google Map, Video Messenger because its download speed is only 95Mbps. Premium allows heavy users to stream music and game at ease. Guess what? You can cancel anytime for any reason before the shipping with no penalty.

Highlight: completely unlimited, affordable, extra mobile battery, no cancellation fee

Plan & Pricing: https://www.japan-wireless.com/en/rates

2.2 eConnect Japan

Featured in New York Times and Forbes, eConnect is the most trusted and most reviewed pocket WiFi in Japan. There are 3000 reviews that rate eConnect 5 stars. The company is also incorporated with Japan National Tourism Organization.

What set eConnect Japan apart is good service, for instance, full transparency details of plans and hotspot. They explain the reason they don’t advertise their products by “Unlimited data” is because it is a misleading word used by many other company. The data may be unlimited but at a throttled speed.

Instead, eConnect makes it clear they guarantee some amount of high-speed data. Their basic plan involves 10GB of data at a guaranteed 4G/LTE speed. After the above data is used up, users can access unlimited data at a restricted speed. That plan is the cheapest with unlimited data and the longest battery life, even though you have to compensate a bit for speed. Therefore, it is perfect for short trips or light data users who are looking for a cost-effective plan. However, eConnect suggests using the most popular Premium package for first-time users who haven’t figure how much data allowance they need. For groups of family/ friends, the Monster plan is recommended as it provides a 100GB data load.

Highlight: good service, multiple options, affordable, extra mobile battery,

Plan & Pricing: https://www.econnectjapan.com/products/wifi/

2.3. Sakura Mobile

Sakura Mobile’s pocket WiFi is known for its unbeatable long battery life (up to 20 hours) and English language support. In fact, Sakura Mobile specializes in offering plans for international tourists visiting Japan. You can book a pocket WiFi easily online on the Sakura Mobile website. Even though Sakura Mobile pricing is a little higher than the rest in our list, its offering is quite fast in terms of unlimited data amount.

Highlight: long battery life, English language support

Plan & Pricing: https://www.sakuramobile.jp/travel/travel-wifi/

2.4. Wi-Fi Rental Store

As you can tell, the cost for WiFi Rental Store is unbelievably cheap despite its lightning-fast data speed. Their three plans serve 4G pocket WiFi at a download speed of between 612Mbps and 774Mbps while those of other brands are only around 100Mbps. And WiFi Rental Store charges from $390 to $590 for 7 days rental, depending on plans.

The only drawback is the data limitation (20GB) in the basic plan. But if you just go travel around, 20GB is more than enough for 2-3 weeks. If you stay longer or need more data allowance for work or entertainment, move up to higher option. Trust me, they are still the best long-term rate.

Highlight: cheap price, fastest speed

Plan & Pricing: https://en.wifi-rental-store.jp/price.html#scl_rental_rate

3. How to get a Pocket Wifi?

You can either reserve in advance or buy on your arrivals (same-day rentals). All companies in this article support both. But note that if you travel on busy time, there is a chance that pocket WiFi is out of stock at some counter and you may have not access Internet immediately when arriving at Japan. Besides, direct purchase at the airport is always more expensive. As a result, reserving pocket WiFi at least 3 business days ahead would be better.

Regarding device pick-up, you can visit the vendor’s counters at the airport or in the city. Another convenient way is to order delivery to the hotel, which will cost a shipping fee. To return the pocket WiFi, you can simply go to any of the brands’ store locations (airport or in the city). If you don’t want to waste time, sending the device from a convenience store is also possible. Make sure that you can give back the pocket WiFi in undamaged, or else you will be charged a compensation fee of approximately 40,000. Most companies also sell optional insurance to help you out in this case.

FAQs

Which one is better: a pocket WiFi or a SIM card?

SIM card is another cheaper alternative for Internet connection in Japan. However, a foreign device may have compatibility issues with a Japanese SIM Card. Furthermore, it is much more complicated to set up a SIM card than a pocket WiFi. The detailed comparison is as follows:

Should you take insurance for Pocket Wifi?

If you worry that you may lose or drop the pocket WiFi, feel free to buy insurance. By paying 100 a day, you can feel secure holding the rented Pocket WiFi. Also, it would save you 50% to 100% of the compensation fee depending on the insurance options you pick.

Can I use pocket WiFi anywhere in Japan?

Yes, almost 100% coverage of Japan. The signal in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto is usually more stable. But you may face difficulty or failure to connect internet in general in mountain, forests.

How can I recharge a pocket WiFi?

Simply using a USB cable and AC adapter. The outlet in Japan belongs to type A, your power plug needs to accompany two thick blades. On the other hand, most pocket WiFI models’ holes are for Micro USB or Type C. That’s why an AC adapter is needed.

Rental companies will provide you with all the necessary accessories including an AC adapter (Type A) and USB cable (Micro USB or Type C)

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.