The Best Pocket WiFi Rental in Japan 2019

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More than ever before, Japan is welcoming tourists to explore its many booming cities and the serenity of the countryside. Tourism in Japan is at an all-time high. If we look at the amount of tourists that arrived in Japan in 2007 (8,346,969) and compare it to the amount in 2017 (28,691,073) there has been more than a 340% increase over 10 years!

And access for tourists has improved in so many ways. Walk into most restaurants, and at least one English speaking staff is on hand and English menus and menus with pictures are available. Tokyo trains now have a full English running automated announcement system, and each station is labeled with a number, in addition to the romanized names,  to make navigation easier than ever.

So many conveniences have appeared that make travelling in Japan easier than ever. HOWEVER, if there is one thing that tourists still struggle with, it’s a lack of free public WiFi.

CDJapan Rental has a great deal on pocket wifi, with a range of flexible plans starting at ¥187/day. Japan Pocket Wifi Rental

Because cyber security is something that is very important in Japan, there are hurdles for tourists to get connected without some sort of verification. Accessing free WiFi often means needing a Japanese phone number or access to e-mail to register for free Internet service. (But how you gonna get to your e-mail when you don’t have Internet to start?!)

Whether this for better or worse (some people do appreciate the security, not having personal information stolen is a plus) this is the state of things currently, so it’s wise to get a portable WiFi device, known as pocket WiFi, in preparation for your journey!

Once you’re here, you’ll see all the ways having WiFi at your fingertips comes in handy. Need to directions for the train? Stumble upon an old temple and want to use your map to locate and find out where exactly you are?

Because sometimes a compass isn’t going to cut it

One of the great things about travel in Japan is that great encounters can come out of nowhere, and so many adventures are born out of the ordinary. But that being the case, having Internet access to enrich and guide your experience is a must!

With the need of WiFi rentals on the rise, the amount of companies offering the service have sprung up like crazy in the past few years. With so many choices, how do you even know where to begin?

How do I know what a fair price is? Where can I even pick pocket WiFi up? How do I return it? And what is my trip is cancelled, can I get my money back after making a rental

To help those setting foot on this journey for renting a pocket WiFi, we assembled a series of comparison charts, based on our criteria for what makes the best possible rental service.

After doing a lot of brainstorming, we came up with the three following criteria for determining what makes good service:

Price, Ease of Pickup and Return, and Customer Service.

Let us explain why these are so important, and have a look at some charts we put together for reference.

The following looks at comparable service across 5 of the most popular companies:

Price.

Well this should be an obvious one, right? No one wants to spend extra money on a service when they don’t have to. But we want to emphasize here, that while we say price, what we really mean is value. We want to only look at how we can get the lowest price on quality service. 

 Most people don’t want data restrictions while travelling. We looked at the services closest to having unlimited high-speed data. 14 days is the most used rental period, but we gave a range so you can see the rates right for your upcoming trip. 

Pocket WiFi Rental Price By Company (Softbank Service)

  CDJapan Rental Unlimited Japan Wireless (Premium) Unlimited Speed: 187Mbps (Business)Unlimited Speed: 95Mbps Ninja Wifi (Unlimited) Sakura Mobile (3GB/Day) Global Advanced (Unlimited)
5 Days ¥4,450 ¥5,346 ¥4,482 ¥4,500 ¥7,590 ¥5,950
7 Days ¥5,120 ¥5,994 ¥5,130 ¥6,300 ¥8,990 ¥6,850
14 Days ¥7,364 ¥8,262 ¥7,398 ¥12,600 ¥11,190 ¥10,000
21 Days ¥9,660 ¥10,530 ¥9,666 ¥18,900 ¥15,180 ¥13,150
30 Days ¥12,570 ¥13,446 ¥12,582 ¥27,000 ¥20,680 ¥17,200

Convenience of Pickup and Return.

If you’re a repeat visitor to Japan, you might know you’re way around enough to make it to the hotel or a storefront in order to pick up a WiFi or a SIM card. Seasonal travelers (or those with an exceptional sense of direction) have that luxury. But for those who are not comfortable leaving the airport without Internet in case something goes awry, being able to pick up and start using the WiFi immediately, without a lot of hassle is important.

Also, being able to return the item easily is a big deal. We can’t underestimate how things come up at the end of any vacation, and being able to return an item speedily, and in a way that allows you to use your WiFi up until the last moment you need is super important.

Pick-up/Shipping Options

  CDJapan Rental Japan Wireless Ninja WiFi Sakura Mobile Global Advanced Communications
Hotel O O O O O
AirBnb/Residence O O O O O
Office O O O O O
Post Office O O O O O
Airport (Post Office) O O O O O
Airport (Counter) X X Narita, Haneda, Kansai, Naha, Chubu, Fukuoka, Komatsu, Mt. Fuji, Sendai, New Chitose, Asahikawa Narita, Haneda, Kansai, Chubu, New Chitose, Naha Narita, Haneda, Kansai, Fukuoka, New Chitose
Store Location X X Shinjuku (Main Branch), Kabukicho Branch Shinjuku X

Shipping Price and Speed

  CDJapan Rental Japan Wireless Ninja WiFi Sakura Mobile Global Advanced Communications
Regular ¥540. Order 3 days before start of rental ¥500. Order 3 days before start of rental ¥1,000 . Order 3 days before rental start date. ¥890. Order 3 days before rental start date. ¥0. Next Day
Express ¥430. Order By 3pm for next day delivery (Some locations require 2 days before) ¥500. Delivery 1-2 days after purchase. Same day pickup at locations depending on stock. NO Express Shipping. ¥1000. Delivery within 2 days after purchase. Case by case, contact the company.
Airport QL Counter Fee N/A N/A No Charge ¥890. Same cost as standard shipping。 ¥540-1,620 depending on airport.

Customer Service

And this point really is everything. When you run into issues, this is the thing that will determine if your trip from Japan is totally saved or if you have to scramble to salvage. Customer service comes into play with you are having issues with connection, when you need your device to be replaced, or when you want a refund. What a rental company can offer when things go wrong is so important in customer service. We also really believe in transparency over policies, and not leaving customers to imagine fees until they’ve walked into the worst. 

So in order to evaluate quality of customer service, we looked at company policies to help you make sure you were covered even if things go wrong!

Cancellation, Getting a Refund…and What Happens if You’re Overdue?

  CDJapan Rental Japan Wireless Ninja WiFi Sakura Mobile Global Advanced Communications
Cancel Before Your Rental Begins Before shipping, full refund (typically 3 days before start date). If after shipment, ¥1,680 charged. Cancel 3 days before start date: full refund. Cancel after and ¥1,000 charged. You must cancel online 4 days before start date. Afterwards, cancel by call center, and 100% of fees apply. You must cancel 4 days before the start of the rental 6pm JT for full refund. Any later, 100% of fees apply. Cancel 3 days before start date: full refund. Cancel after and ¥1,000 charged.
Refund After Rental Starts Refund given if posted back within 2 days of start date, refund minus shipping and handling (same as above) NO QUESTIONS Partial refund given for items returned early. After rental start, no refund. Refunds given if it is found product has a malfunction. No refunds if it is the fault of the customer or if there is a compatibility issue. Not Stated
Refund Method Original Credit Card or Paypal Paypal Credit Card Not Stated Credit Card
Late Usage Fees ¥550-800 per day Fees will be charged, but site is not transparent about cost. ¥1,470 per day Not Stated Not Stated
Lost and Replacement Charges For Device ¥12,700-23,000 ¥40,000 ¥42,000 ¥30,000 ¥20,000

In Sum, Which Company is the Best Choice for 2019?

Of course for every person, the balance of priorities in your rental is going to be slightly different, but if we could make one suggestion, it would be the following: unless you absolutely have to due to circumstances, choose an option that does not focus on airport counter pickup as its selling point. Using the QL Counter service or choosing a provider with its own airport counter, automatically means that you will be paying a higher price, and if you don’t reserve ahead, there is a high chance rentals will be sold out the day of. All listed providers allow you to pickup at the airport post offices, which save for early morning and late-night flights should be sufficient. Sending the rental to your first hotel is also a good option, and it takes less time than airport pick-up. 

So if we discount that convenience, looking solely at price, CDJapan Rental is the all around least expensive option with truly unlimited high-speed WiFi.

As far as return policies go, note that Ninja WiFi and Sakura Mobile have a no refund policy after your rental starts, barring device malfunction. Other companies are more lenient on this note, but CDJapan Rental is the only company that offers a no-questions asked return policy up to the 2nd day into your rental. 

So maybe we’re biased, but the numbers and rules don’t lie, CDJapan Rental has the best value, and also has the most flexible policies.

However, if you are really intent on picking up at an airport counter, Ninja WiFi, Sakura Mobile, or Global Advanced Communications are your options.

Happy renting readers! Let us know where you choose and how the service is. 

GetAround Japan is your number one travel guide, providing the latest information on visiting and living in Japan, with tips on what to eat, things to do, and places to stay.
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How do we know how to provide visitors the information they need? Our affiliate company CDJapan Rental provides WIFI and Sim Card rentals to thousands of visitors to Japan every year. In other words, we are constantly in touch with and listening to the voices of our customers, and infuse our blog with the information they ask us for.
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Company Information

CDJapan Rental (Neowing Corporation) 1-10-15-3F Nihonbashi Horidome Chuo, Tokyo 103-0012, Japan
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