If you're wondering how best to stay connected while you're traveling\u00a0around Japan, a pocket wifi router might be the solution. Often more practical than tourist SIM cards, especially useful if you are traveling in a group or have multiple devices (e.g. two phones, a tablet, laptop etc.), and easy to\u00a0collect and drop off, these mobile wifi routers are a clever choice. Here, we show you how to rent a portable wifi router in Japan, and look at the best options in terms of value, data usage and length of stay. Special offer for Tokyo Cheapo readers: Get 20% off your Japan wifi rental from our partner, Ninja Wifi. Renting a pocket wifi router in Japan: How it works It's very easy to rent a pocket wifi router for your trip to Japan. All you need to do is fill out a quick online application (all providers here have English booking pages), and the portable router will be ready for collection at the airport when you arrive, or delivered to your accommodation shortly after (or even before) you get there. Both options are often free, but if not, you're looking at a small levy of between and . In most cases, booking your Japan wifi two to three days in advance is sufficient. Once you've got the pocket wifi router, sometimes called a wifi egg, in your cheapo paws, you just switch it on, connect to it from your devices (you'll have been given the password) and boom \u2014 you have the interwebs at your disposal. Before you leave Japan, you either return the router in the prepaid envelope provided (just pop it into a postbox), or drop it off at the airport before you check in -- different providers have different requests. Pocket wifi in Japan: How to choose There are more than 30 companies that provide wifi router rental in Japan, with variations in data allowances, connectivity speeds, coverage, customer service and rental periods. Most of Japan's pocket wifi routers use 4G or 4G LTE and can be rented for the exact number of days you'll need one for, e.g. 3, 7, 14 or 30+ days. Our advice is to get the fastest speed possible and opt for lots of, or unlimited, data (note that many plans have daily data caps after which speeds are temporarily reduced). After all, you're going to be uploading loads of pics and footage of your adventures to make your friends jealous -- and you don't want to get throttled in these noble endeavors. We may be cheapskates, but we believe in decent internet. To make the choice easier for you, we've compared different Japan wifi rental providers (we made a spreadsheet and everything, but we'll spare you the gory details) and present what we reckon are the top choices below.\u00a0It's by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it's helpful. 1. Best-value pocket wifi router in Japan Our criteria: To work out the travel wifi plans that have the best value, we looked at pricing for five days, plus speed and data allowances, as well as English-language customer support. We used similar criteria across the categories below. Winner: Ninja Wifi So, what's the best pocket wifi in Japan? At the top of our rankings is the Ninja Wifi Unlimited Plan router, a pocket device that provides download speeds of up to 187.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 37.5 Mbps -- more than fast enough for doing most things (including streaming). The router runs on the SoftBank network, using 4G and 4G LTE. Data is a decent 3GB\/day; when that's used up, speeds may be slowed temporarily. How much does it cost? The base rental rate for a Ninja Wifi Unlimited Plan, with tax, is per day, but\u00a0cheapo readers get a 20% discount, meaning that a five-day rental will cost you just . (Note: The discount is applied automatically when you order through our special link.) You can pick up and drop off your device for free at the airport \u2014 both Narita, Haneda and other major Japanese airports are covered. Also, you can get medical insurance and translation devices as an add-on, which is neat. For travelers who need more high-speed data: There is also a 5GB\/day plan, as well as a 10GB\/day plan. With the discount applied, the 5GB\/day plan costs per day, working out to for three days or for five, without any add-ons. The 10GB\/day plan costs per day, with the discount applied. You'll find the 5GB\/day and 10GB\/day wifi rental options on the Ninja Wifi order form. Runner-up: CD Japan Another contender \u2014 thanks to its speeds \u2014 is CD Japan, where you can get a CloudAir pocket wifi router that gives you download speeds of up to 150Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50Mbps. Data is unlimited, but should you use more than 150GB in a month, speeds\u00a0will be reduced for a period.\u00a0Rates start at\u00a0 for five days (the minimum rental period), going up to\u00a0 for 30. Thereafter, rates drop. Note that insurance, as with most other rental wifi routers in Japan, is extra, and there is a delivery fee of . 2. Best mobile wifi router for heavy data usage Our criteria: In this category, we looked at which companies offer the most bytes for your buck. Winner: Japan Wireless Business Wifi If you're planning to burn through a ton of data (YouTube and the like), the "Business Wifi" plan from Japan Wireless is worth your while. The plan gives you (theoretically) unlimited data on the SoftBank network, with download speeds of up to 120Mbps -- fairly high. How much does it cost? Rates start at for your first day, adding around for each subsequent day, rounding out at for the month. If you really need your speed, their Premium Wifi plan comes with the same perks, but with speeds of up to 187.5Mbps -- for a not-insignificant more per day. You could also go for the budget option of their Standard Plan for on your first day, and around for each additional day. However, be aware that this plan is limited to slow 6Mbps speeds during "peak times" -- which is between 12pm and 2pm, and after 5pm! Regardless of what you choose, each order comes with an extra mobile battery for your router, and delivery fees are . Runner-up: Ninja Wifi and Pupuru Wifi Another good option is actually the previously mentioned Ninja Wifi. Although their website states that there is a fair-usage policy for high data use, it's not necessarily always enforced in practice. Pupuru Wifi also deserve a mention, with their choice of a Hi-Speed or Broad Coverage router for Japan. Both options come with unlimited high-speed data at 187.5Mbps, for a day. Though they do mention a fair-use cap on data, this may not always be enforced in practice. One thing to keep in mind, though, is their fairly hefty delivery fee of . You'll also need to order 5-7 days business days in advance, which could be inconvenient for some travelers. The aforementioned CD Japan, as well as rental wifi from a company called Global Advanced Communications (whose fair usage policy is 5GB\/day), are also potential picks for "unlimited" pocket wifi in Japan for travel purposes. 3. Best pocket wifi router in Japan for long-term stays Our criteria: Here, we have considered the needs of travelers coming to Japan for upwards of 30 days. If you're planning to be here for a month or more, these are some of your best options when it comes to portable wifi. Winner: Wi-FiRental.com If you're going to be in Japan for more than a month, the SoftBank Unlimited T06 Plan from Wi-FiRental.com is worth considering. How much does it cost?Priced at \/month (inclusive of tax), the package provides 5GB of data per day (or 150GB\/month) at approximate maximum download speeds of 187.5Mbps. The minimum rental period is one month, and there are no complicated contracts (or hidden fees) to worry about. So if you need a router for just 2-3 months, it's easy. Special discount: Use the coupon code cheapo for free delivery both ways. Runner-up #1: Mobal Wifi A hugely popular name in the Japan SIM (and eSIM) game, Mobal also have a long-term wifi offering. For \/month, you get 100GB of data, with download speeds of up to 150Mbps. Mobal Wifi uses all of Japan\u2019s big network providers, which helps with consistently smooth surfing. Delivery of the router is free. The minimum contract period is three months, though, so this rental wifi is best suited to exchange students and people taking longer business trips to Japan. One thing to note is that you need to pay for the wifi router upfront ( new or pre-owned), but it's yours to keep once the contract is up. A cool thing about Mobal is that the majority of their profits go to charity. Runner-up #2: Sakura Mobile pocket wifi For stays over 90 days, Sakura Mobile's pocket wifi is also worth a look. They offer a rolling month-to-month contract with various plans, including a 30GB ()\/month deal. There is a once-off activation fee on all of their plans. Worth considering: eConnect Japan Premium Plan For those spending a few months in Japan, the eConnect Japan Premium Plan offers a balance of data and affordability that makes it a worthy contender. With 50GB a month (and options for a lower 20GB or higher 100GB, depending on your needs), you should have enough to work with for moderate usage. Speeds are healthy, with 187.5Mbps being the norm, and at a day for two or more months, it\u2019s not too rough on your wallet either. Read our full guide to long-term mobile wifi in Japan. 4. Best mobile wifi router for very short trips to Japan Our criteria: For this category, we looked at plans that are good value for stays of just 2-3 days. Winner: Ninja Wifi If you're\u00a0making a super short trip, the\u00a0Ninja Wifi router\u00a0is a great choice\u2014you're looking at \u00a0for three days, thanks to our specially negotiated cheapo discount. Runner-up: Pupuru Wifi Pupuru Wifi, with their fees of a day, take decent second-place for very short trips. However, the delivery fee and need to book 5-7 business days in advance do knock off some points. Quick summary of the best pocket wifi router rentals in Japan POCKET WIFI PLAN PRICE PER DAY DELIVERY FEE MAX DOWNLOAD SPEED\/DATA USE RECOMMENDED FOR Ninja Wifi Unlimited Plan \/day (*\/day for Tokyo Cheapo readers) Free airport pick-up\/ 187 Mbps\/3GB per day (in principle) Short and medium-length trips CD Japan CloudAir for 5 days (minimum) 150 Mbps\/150GB a month Medium trips Japan Wireless Business Wifi for the first day, plus about for each extra day 120 Mbps\/Unlimited (in principle) Short and medium trips with heavy data needs Pupuru Wifi \/day +-187.5 Mbps\/Unlimited (in principle) Short and medium-length trips Wi-FiRental.com \/month +-187.5 Mbps\/5GB a day Long trips (30+ days) Mobal Wifi \/month Free 150 Mbps\/100GB a month Long trips (90+ days) Sakura Mobile \/month Free 40 Mbps\/30GB a month Long trips (90+ days) eConnect Japan Premium Plan \/day (for 2 months+) 187 Mbps\/50GB a month Long trips (60+ days) Note: This comparison table is a round-up of the main Japan wifi rentals mentioned in the article; a number of different wifi packages are available through each provider, with different prices, speeds and conditions. Prices tend to decrease with the length of the trip; longer rentals generally get better rates. Japan rental wifi FAQs Here we answer 12 of the most commonly asked questions about pocket wifi in Japan. Which pocket wifi rental is the best in Japan? It depends what you are looking for in terms of data, speed and rental period, but the Ninja Wifi Unlimited Plan router is one of the best deals for short-term stays in Japan, in our books. How does pocket wifi in Japan work? Most rental wifi routers in Japan run on 4G or 4G LTE, with good coverage across the country (even on Mount Fuji). Is pocket wifi in Japan still worth it? Yes. You usually get more data and faster connectivity speeds than you would with a SIM card. You can also connect multiple devices, like your phone, smartwatch, laptop and tablet, to a single rental wifi router. That said, if you don't see yourself using much data, or if it will all be concentrated on one device, e.g. your phone, a SIM might be the better bet. Is it better to get pocket wifi or a SIM card in Japan? It depends on your budget and needs (e.g. will you need a Japanese phone number for your stay?). We usually recommend both a wifi router and SIM, for maximum connectivity, but if you can only choose one, and you need lots of data for lots of devices, a pocket wifi router might better meet your travel needs. Is an eSIM or a wifi router better for Japan? If you take a quick look at our guide to Japan eSIMs, you\u2019ll notice they start to get expensive as you move into heavy data usage. If you\u2019re planning on bringing a laptop, or just using a lot of data while you\u2019re here, a wifi router will probably be more cost-effective than an eSIM. Do I need wifi router insurance in Japan? Insurance is optional when you rent a wifi router in Japan, but be sensible and go for at least a basic plan -- it will set you back maybe\u00a0-\u00a0in total, but will save you potentially zillions in stress reduction. The last thing you want is a router return nightmare just before you board your flight! Where can I rent a wifi router on the day? Ninja WiFi offer same-day collection from their Shinjuku office, so you can order while you\u2019re at the airport and then head into Tokyo to collect. Some other providers, such as Japan Wireless, can arrange same-day pick up if you call them. Finally, major airports in Japan will have a sales kiosk selling SIM cards and renting wifi routers. They won\u2019t be the best deals around, but if you\u2019re in a hurry and need data, head on over. Can I pick up my wifi router at one place and return it somewhere else? Generally speaking, yes. Most Japan wifi rental providers allow pick-up of your router at one place, e.g. Narita Airport, and return at another place, e.g. Haneda Airport. In most cases, you\u2019ll actually be posting the router back, so all you need to do is put it in the mailbox. Is free wifi available in Japan? The short answer? Um, yes -- sort of. While there are an increasing number of free wifi hotspots in Japan, there are still (we think, anyway) nowhere near as many as there should be, and sometimes connecting can be tricky. It's not advisable to rely exclusively on free wifi while traveling around Tokyo and the rest of the country -- unless you're cool with an enforced digital detox. Read more about connecting to the internet in Japan. Is portable wifi in Japan secure? Worried that someone may hack into your Japan wifi egg and pinch your personal data? Cyber security is a valid concern in this day and age, but pocket wifi is generally secure, as your connection is private -- between your pocket router and the device you are using it with, e.g. your cell phone or laptop. Note: Public wifi is neither private nor secure. You can use a VPN to keep your browsing safe. Do the pocket wifi companies ship overseas? If you're hoping to get delivery of a pocket wifi device before you leave for Japan, the answer is "no". If you want to take a device with you on your flight to Japan, you'll need to find a service that provides this in your home country. Alternatively, you could order a Japan travel SIM from Mobal, which provides delivery around the globe. How long does the battery last on a pocket wifi device? Each of the providers uses different devices, so the exact battery usage time varies. However, for most devices, the quoted continuous usage time for a fully-charged device is 9 to 11 hours. If you're out and about and just browsing Google Maps, your pocket wifi should easily last all day. A lot of Japan wifi rental companies include a mobile battery pack with your router, too. If you happen to be planning a UK trip too, or you just want to weep at how pricey pocket wifi in Japan is compared to the UK, check out our London Cheapo Guide to the best UK mobile broadband providers. Video guide to pocket wifi for travelers to Japan While we do our best to ensure the information here is correct, it is subject to change. Note that exceeding data limits could, in addition to seeing speeds slow, result in a temporary suspension of service. Check all prices and T&Cs carefully with the provider before ordering your pocket wifi router. Post regularly updated. Last update: October 17, 2023, by Shyam Bhardwa.