Subscribe to the internet in Japan

Updated 2020-04-10 11:23

Whether for personal or professional use, these days it's hard to separate ourselves from the internet, wherever we are. For expatriates, this is the ideal way to stay connected with family and friends. Japan, a state-of-the-art country, enjoys an excellent telecommunication network. Whether you’re staying short- or long-term, in urban or rural areas, you’ll be able to choose between several options.

Types of Internet connection in Japan

There are two types of internet connection in Japan: Hikari-Fibre and ADSL.

Hikari-Fibre connections go through optical fibre, providing exceptional connection speed and quality. This connection can, moreover, be classified into types: "family" and "domestic". Family type connects the building directly to the installation in the street, while domestic connections connect via a device installed in the house or apartment.

ADSL connections are cheaper than Hikari-Fiber but are slower. With ADSL, you can access the internet via the telephone line, or choose an option without a telephone line.

Regardless of the type of connection, it’s common to pay setup fees for the hardware setup required to get yourself connected to the Internet.

Wireless Internet in Japan

In Japan, Wi-fi is particularly popular. To set up a wireless connection at home, you will need to buy a router, wired or wireless, depending on the configuration of your home (ask your landlord / real estate agency). Routers are found in all appliance and department stores: Yodobashi camera, Bic camera etc. Count on around 3000 yen (25 euros) for a medium-range router. 

You can also rent or buy a pocket Wi-Fi connection, which may be appreciated by those staying in Japan in the short term. "Pocket Wi-Fi" works as a portable router and can connect multiple devices at the same time, from any location. Different connection speeds and data limitations are available. Pocket Wi-fi can be rented online or in physical stores like Yodobashi Camera, Softbank or Docomo amongst others.

Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi. Large cities have many Wi-Fi Spot points, including railway stations, department stores, entertainment venues and tourist attractions, which visitors can easily access.

Internet providers in Japan

To connect to the internet in Japan, you have to go to two suppliers: one for the telephone line and the other for the connection to the internet. There are lots of vendors to choose from including Asahi Net, U-Next, Yahoo BB, OCN. Some providers have English-speaking staff. 

There are two leading providers of modems and fixed connections in Japan: NTT West (providing Internet in the west of the country) and NTT East (in the east of the country). Although these are the most prevalent, there are a few other Internet service providers, such as KDDI.

Multilingual real-estate agencies usually offer a package which puts rent, Internet and other charges together in one fee, making things much easier!

 Useful links:

NTT internet
Asahi Net
Soft Bank

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.