Free Wi-Fi Cafes in Tokyo

Andres Zuleta

Free Wi-Fi in Tokyo is notoriously hard to find. Most first time visitors to the city are shocked at how scarce it is. After all, Tokyo is one of the world’s most modern cities, right?

Coffee Work

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Tokyo has no shortage of great cafes, but Wi-Fi isn’t as standard as you might be used to elsewhere and it’s still pretty rare to see Japanese people working from their laptops at cafes. As a tourist, your hotel/hostel will more than likely have it and most Airbnbs come with it in a permanent or portable set-up. We’ve already covered some of the cheap/free internet options for Tokyo, but finding free Wi-Fi whilst out exploring Tokyo can be a trying experience. Some neighborhoods and train stations do offer Wi-Fi, but you can’t exactly pull out your laptop on the street… or can you…? Anyway, assuming you would rather sit somewhere nice with a table and possibly even a plug socket, read on for some tips on how to get connected while you get your caffeine hit!

Things to keep in mind before you set out:

  • Charge before you go: Not all cafes have outlets, and some frown upon charging your laptop – so try to charge before you go.
  • Smoking happens: Smoking is still big in Japan, so be forewarned that you may encounter it in some of these cafes.
  • Avoid peak hours: It goes without saying that Tokyo is crowded, which means that coffee shops can fill up on weekends and during lunch/dinner times. Try and avoid these times for a more relaxed experience. Mornings are the best time.
  • Lone nomad: “Nomad worker” culture is still fairly rare here, so don’t be surprised if you’re the only one breaking out your laptop.
  • Fake” Wi-Fi: Many coffee shops (e.g., Doutor, Mos Burger) offer Wi-Fi that will only work if you have a contract with a certain domestic mobile carrier – avoid Docomo, Softbank etc logos on Wifi stickers on doors.

Useful phrases:

  • Wi-Fi arimasu ka? (Do you have Wi-Fi?)
  • Pasokon o tsukatte mo ii desu ka? (Is it OK to use a laptop/computer?)
  • Konsento arimasu ka? (Do you have outlets?)

List of Free Wi-Fi Cafes in Tokyo

Downstairs Coffee – Mercedes Benz Connection

A reasonably priced cafe – surprisingly located on the ground floor of a Mercedes Benz dealership. Located on Gaien Higashi Dori on the left if walking from Midtown towards Nogizaka Station. For wifi access just ask the staff for a card and you’ll be online in no time!

Station: Nogizaka (2 mins) or Roppongi  (5 mins)   |  Address:7-3-10 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
Hours: 7am – 11pm
Phone: 03-5413-0101  |  Website: http://www.mercedes-benz-connection.com/access/index.html
downstair-cafe

Timeout Cafe

Located in the same building as Liquidroom, this is a good alternative to the many Starbucks locations in Ebisu. The place has a bustling kind of atmosphere with plenty of people and is popular for informal meetings, but early on it can be quite peaceful. Drinks start from 500 yen and food from 550 yen.

Station:  Ebisu  |  Address: 3 Chome-16-6 Higashi, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan (リキッドルーム2F) 
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11.30am – 11pm, Fridays & Saturdays: 1pm – 11pm,  Sundays: 1pm – 10pm
Phone: 03-5774-0440   |    Website (Japanese): http:///www.timeoutcafe.jp



Shimokitazawa Tag Cafe

Tag has wifi and power sockets at every table which is great if you’re planning to stay a while. The lunch sets are very reasonable at 850yen and drinks start at 500yen! The tagline (see what I did there) is that you can play alone anytime, so they seem to encourage the laptop crowd rather than resent them, which is always nice!

Station: Shimokitazawa  |  Address: 2 Chome-12-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan (サウスサイドⅡ-2B)
Hours: 12pm – Midnight 
Phone: 03-6450-7253  |  Website (Japanese): http://joypop-st.com/tagcafe


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Cafe Stay Happy

Run by a super-friendly English-speaking couple, this is a great place to get some work done in a relaxed and – yes – happy environment. There are hammocks, kotatsu and shared tables so you’ll be spoilt for choice in finding your perfect working spot. The food options use organic veg and everything is sourced as locally as possible; prices start from 500 yen for drinks and 650 yen for food.

Station: Shimokitazawa  |  Address: 2 Chome-29-14 Daizawa, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan -2F
Hours: 1pm – 11pm, 10pm on Sundays  |  Closed Tuesday & 2nd Wednesday of the month
Phone
: 03-3410-5959  |  Website (Japanese): http://cafestayhappy.com/


Honohono Cafe

You can take the JR line to Koenji and walk down the central arcade to reach this cafe, or better yet take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line to Shin-Koenji for a slightly shorter walk. They have a series of lunch sets starting from 850 yen and coffee starts at 350 yen so it’s one of the most affordable options, plus two floors so plenty of space. The 2nd floor is non-smoking so head up there if you want to avoid smelling like stale smoke for the rest of the day.

Station: Shin Koenji (3 mins) or Koenji (10 min)  |  Address: 3 Chome-21-19 Koenjiminami, Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
Hours: Weds – Fri: 11.30am – 11pm, Sat – Mon: 11.30am – 10.30pm   |  Closed Tuesdays
Phone: 03-3318-5100  |  Website (Japanese): http://honohonocafe.com/index.html


Sign Daikanyama

The “Sign” brand of coffee shops has three locations in Tokyo. It’s a chain but it still has more local flavor than Starbucks, so is a good alternative. With early opening hours, this is a good spot if you’re jetlagged or trying to work on international time zones (or just really want to Instagram stuff!).

Station: Daikanyama   |  Address: Daikanyama Station Building, 19-4, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Mon – Fri: 11am – 11pm, Weekends & Holidays: 9am – 11pm
Phone: 03-5474-5040   |  Website (Japanese): http://www.transit-web.com/shop/sign-gotandar/




Alpha Beta Coffee  |  Jiyugaoka

A 3rd-generation coffee spot, this place was originally a subscription coffee service, and is now a subscription cafe! You can still go without a membership though, don’t worry. Designed as a cafe-come-workspace, there’s wifi,  sockets and plenty of good desks as well as impressively good coffee and craft beers too. There’s a terrace for the warmer days and a nice calm atmosphere too. Have a read about them here if you’re interested in becoming a member!

Station: Jiyugaoka  |  Address: 3F Milche Jiyugaoka, 2-10-4, Jiyugaoka, Meguro, 152-0035
Hours: Mon- Fri: 7am – 11pm, Sat-Sun & Holidays: 10am – 11pm
Phone: 03-5726-8433  |  Website: http://abccoffee.co/cafe/


Bookshelf Cafe  |  Hamacho

While it may seem counterintuitive to take your laptop to a book-themed cafe, this place is all about encouraging technology. There are ipads on every shelf and you can enjoy reading e-books as well as the real thing. This is handy if you’re traveling without technology or you can just plug in your own and get going. Coffees start from 350 yen for an Americano and lunch sets are really reasonable at 900yen. Hamacho is an infrequently-visited area of Tokyo east of Nihonbashi. There are some good old shops around here for those who like getting off the beaten track.

Address: 2 Chome-35-4 Nihonbashihamacho, Chuo, Tokyo 日本橋浜町パークビル1F
Hours: Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 9pm, Saturdays: 10am – 6pm  |  Closed Sundays
Phone: 03-5614-0241  |  Website (Japanese): http://www.bookshelfcafe.jp/


Nihonbashi Cafest

Cafest is a pretty smart location and would be great if you needed to meet someone for a semi-formal meeting in town. They have regular tables and comfy chairs, with drip-coffee from 430 yen and food limited to a few sandwiched from  500 yen and more desserts.  Ningyocho – “doll town” – is also a great old part of Tokyo with some excellent old shops for perusing pre- or post-work.

Station: Ningyocho  |  Address: 1 Chome-5-10 Nihonbashiningyocho, Chuo, Tokyo, 日庄第2ビル 1階
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10am – 7pm, Sat – Sun: 11am – 6pm
Website (Japanese): http://www.cafest.net


Paper Back Cafe

Jimbocho is Tokyo’s old book town, so of course this cafe is located inside a bookshop. A great place to get distracted with coffee, books and Hokkaido cheesecake, it’s non-smoking too which is a great bonus. From 200 yen for a small black coffee, sandwiches from 380 yen and sets from 560 yen, you cannot go wrong at this place.

Station: Jimbocho  |  Address: 1 Chome-17 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Hours: 10am – 6pm 
Phone: 03-3291-5181  |  Website (Japanese): http://www.tokyodo-web.co.jp/cafe/


Cafe Asan

Filled with swinging hammock chairs, offering power sockets, wifi and Ipads as well as twitter screens and famous souffle hotcakes, this place is pretty amazing. Aiming to create a space where geeks, foreigners and salaried workers can mix, it has everything covered and is a great place to work. Coffee starts at 380 yen, tea at 300 yen and lunch starts at 900 yen with hotcakes from 980 yen! Okachimachi is not far from Ueno, making this one of the only cafes on this list located in this key part of town.

Station: Suehirocho Station (4 mins)  or Okachimachi (7 mins)  |  Address: 5 Chome-9-9 Higashiueno, Taito, Tokyo 
Hours: 11.30am – 6pm (winter hours)  |  Closed Wednesdays
Phone: 03-6803-0502  |  Website (Japanese): http://www.cafeasan.jp


Tokyo People’s Cafe

People’s Cafe is a community-based cafe where you can relax and take it slow. This is a great place to work during the day, and like many of these cafes, can get lively in the evenings. There’s a dog menu if you’re looking to take your four-legged-friend to work for the day. There’s a decent food menu with dishes starting at 860 yen and coffee from 400 yen.

Station: Komazawa-Daigaku  |  Address: (B1F) 3 Chome-18-11 Kamiuma, Setagaya, Tokyo
Hours: 10am – 11pm  
Phone: 03-5779-8564  |  Website (Japanese): http://www.cafecompany.co.jp/brands/tokyopeoples/index.html


Nico and … Tokyo

nico and ...
nico and …

 

 

This strangely named cafe on Meiji Dori between Meijijingu-mae and Shibuya Stations has free wi-fi (no sign-ups required) and various espresso based coffees for 380yen. It’s also smoke-free and there are power outlets everywhere.

Station: Shibuya  |  Address: 6-12-20 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11am to 10pm
Tel: 03-5778-3304  |  Website: http://www.nikoand.jp/


Streamer Coffee

Go to Streamer first for the coffee and second for the wifi. Not that there’s anything wrong with the wifi, just the coffee is excellent! There are four Tokyo locations, but Harajuku is pretty small, so not much good for working.
A word of warning though, the owners seem to think it’s a good idea to occasionally let out the spaces for a photo shoot, whilst still attempting to operate as a cafe – I’d recommended you don’t go in on these occasions, unless you like extremely bright flash photography and a team of runners milling around you. Drinks start at

Shibuya
Station: Shibuya Address: 1-20-28, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am – 6pm, Sat-Sun 10am – 6pm
TEL: 03-6427-3705  |  Website: http://streamercoffee.com/


Lattest Omotesando

 

 

lattest

Lattest (sister cafe to Streamer) is a great place to get some work done. Standing desks, awesome coffee (try the ‘lattest’ espresso) and almost no one there in the mornings, so you get the entire wifi connection to yourself. Again, with the same owners as Streamer, this place is also subject to impromptu fashion shoots and pop up shops – best avoided on these days! Drinks start from 350 yen and the quality is high – they also do personalised latte art, so that’s nice.

Station:  Omotesando  |  Address: 3-5-2, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10am – 7pm
TEL: 03-3478-6276  |  Website (Japanese): http://www.lattest.jp


Fuglen Tokyo

Really good coffee by day, and cocktails by night! Fuglen Tokyo is (rightfully so) a popular coffee spot in central Tokyo, located in the quieter backstreets about 15mins walk from Shibuya station. It’s actually closest to the station Yoyogi Koen, and is a short walk from Yoyogi park if you want to combine a visit with a trip to the park.

Station: Yoyogikoen  |  Address: 1-16-11 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am – 7pm, Sat-Sun: 10am – 7pm (open as a bar after these hours until 12am/2am)
Phone: 03-3481-0884  |  Website: http://www.fuglen.com/

fuglen tokyo

Starbucks
While not our favorite option, this article would not be complete without a mention of Starbucks (or “Staba,” as it’s known here). Starbucks is ubiquitous in Tokyo, and it’s a great option in case you’re in need of a quick Wi-Fi fix. As well as offering some of the greatest seasonal treats around, Starbs is perfect if you can’t afford a fancy coffee every hour but generally feel guilty taking up space in a trendy cafe for hours on end. Here you can sit guilt-free, knowing everyone else is doing the same, and knowing that you are passive-aggressively losing a massive corporation a small amount of money while taking their precious wifi with that one black coffee just sitting there…

There’s one catch: you need to sign up before you go. You can’t just show up and log on. To sign up, you’ll need Internet. You can register here. After signing up you’ll get an email with a confirmation link. Click to confirm and make sure you write down your username and password – you’ll need these to log on the next time you visit Starbucks. Starbucks is everywhere, and almost all of them offer free Wi-Fi. To find a Starbucks in your Tokyo Area, you can use the store locator here.

While Starbucks is often the easiest solution, it’s a lot more interesting to explore Tokyo’s burgeoning Wi-Fi cafe scene!

Note: Shop details (hours, prices, and the availability of Wi-Fi) are subject to change. If you discover a discrepancy, please let us know!

This post was first published in January 2014 and updated in March 2018

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9 Responses to “Free Wi-Fi Cafes in Tokyo”

  1. Great post!! So helpful and desperately needed. I’m looking forward to checking some of these places out next time I’m in Tokyo.

  2. Amazing post Andres! As someone who relies on the Internet to run my business, having information like this at my fingertips is priceless. And, I love to travel, so knowing what I’m getting into in places like Tokyo is a major plus: it will save me the time and the headache once I arrive. Thank you providing such amazing value in this post. Now, all I need to do is book my plane ticket 🙂

    • Kate, I am with you!

      I rely on having Wi-Fi every day, so navigating Tokyo’s Wi-Fi “scene” has always been a huge priority.

      Amazingly, despite how poor Tokyo’s Wi-Fi is, it’s a lot better than in most other cities in Japan! Fortunately for people like you, who would be traveling here as a “tourist”/visitor, you *would* have Wi-Fi in your hotels, so you’d be fine 😉

  3. Very informative and interesting! I am surprise to find out wifi is not so available in Japan as it is in other countries like Colombia and Peru!

  4. Hank in Edo

    Andres, a fun and useful article. Did you know that Denny’s and 7-11 “conbini” also offers free Wi-Fi? Yeah, its along the same line as going to a starbucks but in a pinch its good to have them available. Numerous times, just dashing out of the Tokyo rain and standing under an 7-11 awning with free Wi-Fi has been a great time and money saver. Similarly, on non busy mornings, I have never been buried out of a Denny’s (or similar chain restaurants) while using my laptop to catch up on work.

    • Hank, yes that is a great point!

      I also make use of the free Wi-Fi in some JR stations and some Tokyo Metro stations when I need to check something quickly on my smartphone.

      Though when it comes to regular working, even though Staba and Denny’s are good options, I always find it more pleasant over the long term to visit cafes with local flavor!

  5. uberkelly

    So helpful! I wish I had seen this before my trip!!

  6. very informative post! I wonder how long you can stay there before it’s frowned upon

    • CheapoGreg

      You need to use your judgement. Japanese staff will rarely be direct enough to ask you to leave, but they might start cleaning very vigorously around where you are sitting and asking if they can take away your cup/get you a refill. If it’s a large cafe, the staff will rarely bother you.


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