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Free Wi-Fi in Japan

March 31, 2014 – by Per Christensson

Akihabara, Tokyo I had a chance to visit Japan during the past two weeks and got to experience Japanese culture in both Tokyo and northern Japan. I also got to see technology in Japan firsthand and found out just how well-connected Japan is.

Based on my experience, Internet speeds are quite a bit faster on average compared to the U.S. However, free Wi-Fi is non-existent. Throughout my entire trip, I was unable to find a free Wi-Fi location in Japan. No coffee shops or restaurants offered free Wi-Fi. I visited several Starbucks and not one of them offered a Wi-Fi connection.

A few times, open Wi-Fi networks would show up on my iPhone, but I could never establish a successful connection. There were a few wireless networks that offered free Wi-Fi for a few minutes, but I had to register with my email address and other personal information. The ones I tried were so slow, I didn't even bother finishing the registration process.

Thankfully, I purchased the 120 MB International Data Plan from AT&T before my trip, so I could use cellular data when I needed it. This was a lifesaver, since I was able to use the local 4G connection to load local maps and check my email while I was moving between locations.

Based on how technologically advanced Japan is, I was surprised how difficult it was to find a free Internet connection via Wi-Fi. It was the other extreme from Sweden, where I was able to find a free Wi-Fi connection nearly everywhere I went.

If you're thinking about visiting Japan, I highly recommend it. It's a wonderful country with great people and a captivating culture. Just make sure to sign up for the international data roaming plan with your mobile carrier before you go.

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