Posted by achimrunnebaum on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 (Japan Standard Time)

Free WiFi For Tourists In Japan

NTT East recently began a 14 day Free WiFi service for international tourists traveling along the East and North side of Japan, including Tokyo.

After you get out of the plane, ready to embark on your adventure in a foreign place, what is the no.1 thing you absolutely crave?  A comfortable bed, some good food, and a long, hot shower certainly rank on the top of everyone's list, but there is one thing that most people crave even more:

FREE WIFI!!

WiFi has become the de-Facto symbol for internet freedom in the 21st century.  Ranked 2nd only to breathing, the desire for a free wifi connection surpasses even the fundamental initial craving of a comfortable bed for a lot of people these days. Free Wifi ranks right up there with the need for food, water, security, and respect.  Should Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid ever be updated for the 21st century, the need for free wifi would be at the very bottom with people's most basic desires.  

Our need for wifi has become so strong, so ubiquitous, that it's almost unthinkable there are still places without free wifi these days.

Well, thanks to NTT East, that is no longer the case for travelers in the East and North sides of Japan.  As a tourist in Japan, you can all enjoy your time in Japan even more now with this new service. 

NTT Wifi Service
Image from NTT East

This free service is limited to 14 days, and to get it, you need to show your passport at the designated area to receive your ID and Password in order to access the free WiFi spots.

It'll come in pretty handy as well since getting around Tokyo and many other parts of Japan can be more than a bit daunting - especially if you come from another country and don't speak the local language. 

While the locals are all very helpful and you don't have to worry (too much) about your personal safety in Japan, having a network connection to access a map program, looking up local hotspots, train times, and accessing a translation program can certainly make your experience in Japan even more enjoyable.  Especially Tokyo's dauntingly maze-like streets and subways can be notoriously difficult to navigate even for people with a Ph.D in Wayfinding and Navigation, so having instant access to online maps and GPS services can come in handy more often than you can count during your visit to the country's capital.  Having access to free WiFi will also give you a chance to keep in touch with friends and family back home while you're on the road. 

So, Are you ready to embark on your journey to Japan?  Are you already in Japan?  Here are a few things to know about how to start using this service:

  • Upon landing in Japan, look for the "free wifi" signs and flags.  Usually they are located near information counters.
  • When you present your passport, you can then obtain a free wifi card. 
  • When you see a free wifi logo in the airport or in certain stores/restaurants, you can enter the ID and Password from your card in your browser of choice. 

  How to obtain free wifi at Japanese airportsImage taken from NTT East



From that moment on, you can enjoy free wifi in the many select areas around Japan for up to 14 days (or 336 hours)

For more information about the various participating places, please take a look HERE  

If you're traveling to Japan, make sure to take advantage of this great service for tourists.  I wish they had this back in the days when I first came here.  At that time, it was always an adventure and took a long time trying to get to a new place since Japanese maps are difficult to read and not many people (at least in Aichi, where I live) speak English.  

Hope to see you all take advantage of this, and hope it will help you enjoy this unique and interesting country even more.  It is certainly a good step in the right direction for Japan, so more tourists can enjoy this unique, interesting, sometimes crazy, but always charming place. 

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Achim Runnebaum
Freelance Photographer, Writer, and Journalist. Achim was born in Germany, raised in the States, and is currently living in Japan.
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