Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Blamar

wi-fi hot box or SIM card in Japan

Recommended Posts

For those of you who are spending some extra time in Japan, are you considering getting a wi-fi hot box or a SIM card for your phone while you are there.  Our service provider in Canada will charge about $60 for our same data plan here.  But I am pretty sure that won't be enough for all the map searches and information gathering.  Not to mention streaming things while waiting around.

What do you do?

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an Australian and visit Japan frequently. Until my last trip, I have relied purely on wifi (updated my phone plan and get free international roaming). Wifi has improved greatly in Japan over the past 10 years. It used to be nearly non existent but now it is rare not to find it. Starbucks has free wifi and there is one on every second street (they love their coffee). Train station generally have wifi and a lot of shopping streets and centres have it also.

This doesn't help you with your question but is helpful info to know. Friends have rented a portable wifi modem before but I have never felt the need to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just back from 2 weeks in Japan - 8 night cruise plus extra time in Tokyo. 

We rented a pocket wifi device from a company found here on cc.

Cruise Port Navigation 

 

With exchange to CAD it was about $75 for 15 days with unlimited data. The device was delivered to our Yokohama hotel precruise. We used it in our Japan ports and post cruise in Tokyo. It came with a return envelope, so we were able to drop it in a mailbox at Narita before our flight home yesterday. 

 

Very easy to use & worked for both iphones.

Wifi is available in various locations, but if you are using apps to navigate the trains & subways plus other maps then the pocket wifi device is very convenient. Recommend using maps.me, Rome2rio & Tokyo Subway apps. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Skyroam all over the world.

You can choose to use it with a monthly subscription or with daypasses.

I use daypasses and just pay for the days when I actually decide to use it.
Used it in many parts of the world (incl. Japan) and I am very pleased with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2019 at 12:12 AM, Miaminice said:

I use Skyroam all over the world.

You can choose to use it with a monthly subscription or with daypasses.

I use daypasses and just pay for the days when I actually decide to use it.
Used it in many parts of the world (incl. Japan) and I am very pleased with it.

Hi Miaminice, have just been researching Skyroam after reading your post.  Was looking to hire a router in Japan next March but like the idea of owning one out right for future travels. I love google translate and much prefer to be online instead of trying to type to translate.  So, Skyroam reviews are very, very mixed with a lot complaining about reduced speed  after 500mb per day and also seem to be a lot of issues setting up. Also like the godata plan where u can stop and start on a monthly basis. 1gb per month and can buy extra for $14 AUD which i think is good deal. Can you enlighten me regarding speed and set up.  W@ould be greatly appreciated. Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@neenee61

it is true that speed is reduced once 500mb are reached. Until then it is as fast as the network that it’s connected to. Sometimes 4G, sometimes 3G... so actually not too bad. 

 

After 500mb uploading photos, browsing and emailing still works OK. Streaming not so much. However, I don’t stream so I never cared.

 

Every once in a while connecting took a while. I will try the new app for connection next week when we are in Japan again. It’s supposed to be better.

 

Bottom line... I am happy with it and I will keep using it. I can only encourage you to try it and see if it does what you expect. In any case it beats the cruise lines services 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the info Miaminice.  I also reply on recommendations and reviews from the folks on CC than scouring thru the internet and trying to work out fact from fiction with reviews.  I have decided to buy the solis and think the godata plan will work fine when travelling.  I don’t think I will even use 1GB in a month. All apps are downloaded already and I don’t upload photos or stream. I like to have it for google translate which is great since the latest upgrade. I always get comped internet on Celebrity so use that for emails etc.  In process of buying nw and have a deal for joining newsletter.  Thyanks again & happy cruising.

Cheers, Denise 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm taking Skyroam to Japan next month. Have used it before. Will have some free time on Princess' internet so mainly need it for 5 days pre/post cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought these SIMs cards . You must have an unlocked phone, which you can find out how to do here. I put the card into my phone in the lounge before boarding my flight to Japan. When I landed at NRT and turned on my phone it set itself up automatically. You can only buy data plans, not voice or txt plans as a foreigner. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/7/2019 at 4:12 PM, neenee61 said:

Thank you for the info Miaminice.  I also reply on recommendations and reviews from the folks on CC than scouring thru the internet and trying to work out fact from fiction with reviews.  I have decided to buy the solis and think the godata plan will work fine when travelling.  I don’t think I will even use 1GB in a month. All apps are downloaded already and I don’t upload photos or stream. I like to have it for google translate which is great since the latest upgrade. I always get comped internet on Celebrity so use that for emails etc.  In process of buying nw and have a deal for joining newsletter.  Thyanks again & happy cruising.

Cheers, Denise 

Hello neenee61 - how did you go with the Skyroam? I am also looking at it currently for a cruise and interested to hear your experience -  have also read very mixed reviews (which is giving me a headache!) so would be good to hear from someone who has used it for a cruise - I know it won't work out to sea. I have been using MiFi devices for several years now and have had mixed results and lots of frustration when SIM cards don't work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, marden08 said:

Hello neenee61 - how did you go with the Skyroam? I am also looking at it currently for a cruise and interested to hear your experience -  have also read very mixed reviews (which is giving me a headache!) so would be good to hear from someone who has used it for a cruise - I know it won't work out to sea. I have been using MiFi devices for several years now and have had mixed results and lots of frustration when SIM cards don't work. 

 

I have used it in Japan, all over Asia and all over the world and I am very satisfied with my Solis. I have been using it for a few years now...

 

Due to coverage in Japan it even worked pretty far out at sea. Logging in sometimes takes a few minutes. However, that never bothered me. 

 

Since we travel a lot to different countries and different regions, the Skyroam is ideal for us since I really don’t feel like looking into local Sim Cards every time.

 

I can recommend it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Miaminice said:

 

I have used it in Japan, all over Asia and all over the world and I am very satisfied with my Solis. I have been using it for a few years now...

 

Due to coverage in Japan it even worked pretty far out at sea. Logging in sometimes takes a few minutes. However, that never bothered me. 

 

Since we travel a lot to different countries and different regions, the Skyroam is ideal for us since I really don’t feel like looking into local Sim Cards every time.

 

I can recommend it!

Thanks Miaminice - I think I am convinced!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/22/2019 at 9:57 AM, marden08 said:

Thanks Miaminice - I think I am convinced!

Hi Marden08, I bought outright on Miaminice's recommendation.  As yet haven't set us but will do so in next few weeks to make sure all good for Japan next April.  Have got as far as loading yo the app on ipad and phone and decided I will go for monthly subscription with auto top up whilst travelling. 

Cheers,

Denise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, neenee61 said:

Hi Marden08, I bought outright on Miaminice's recommendation.  As yet haven't set us but will do so in next few weeks to make sure all good for Japan next April.  Have got as far as loading yo the app on ipad and phone and decided I will go for monthly subscription with auto top up whilst travelling. 

Cheers,

Denise

Thanks Denise - sorry I thought you had already gone on your trip - but I am convinced and will buy as well - happy travels!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just FYI, there are 3 major cellular providers in Japan - NTT Docomo, Softbank & KDDI - using 5 UMTS, 9 LTE and 2 CDMA bands, some of them are nearly "exclusive" to Japan only, like the Band 1, 11 and 21 - check and make sure that your newer smart/iPhone hardware has these radio bands ... and, those MiFi travel hotspots (as the ones in the America might be missing 1 or 2, or more bands with best/optimal coverage while traveling over land in Japan)    

 

Devices designed for/with Asian bands usage in mind are likely to do better with coverage.  Otherwise, renting a MiFi (Docomo & Softbank networks are most common and popular) at a Japan airport (reserved in advance, pickup on arrival or pre-delievered to your hotel/place of stay & easy dropoff in a mailbox, postage paid return) can be an inexpensive solution ... same is true going to South Korea.  Being from the Americas, we are lucky to get full 4G/LTE coverage in 200+ countries at very reasonsable "roaming" same as at home rates  (thanks to Google Fi for 3+ years now) ... worked great in SK & Taiwan, didn't visit/use in Japan so can't say if or not.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, mking8288 said:

Just FYI, there are 3 major cellular providers in Japan - NTT Docomo, Softbank & KDDI - using 5 UMTS, 9 LTE and 2 CDMA bands, some of them are nearly "exclusive" to Japan only, like the Band 1, 11 and 21 - check and make sure that your newer smart/iPhone hardware has these radio bands ... and, those MiFi travel hotspots (as the ones in the America might be missing 1 or 2, or more bands with best/optimal coverage while traveling over land in Japan)    

 

Devices designed for/with Asian bands usage in mind are likely to do better with coverage.  Otherwise, renting a MiFi (Docomo & Softbank networks are most common and popular) at a Japan airport (reserved in advance, pickup on arrival or pre-delievered to your hotel/place of stay & easy dropoff in a mailbox, postage paid return) can be an inexpensive solution ... same is true going to South Korea.  Being from the Americas, we are lucky to get full 4G/LTE coverage in 200+ countries at very reasonsable "roaming" same as at home rates  (thanks to Google Fi for 3+ years now) ... worked great in SK & Taiwan, didn't visit/use in Japan so can't say if or not.  

 

As I can say from my own experience the mentioned Skyroam Solis 4G and the even newer Solis X work fine in Japan. No worries there...
The old 3G version might be limited though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...