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Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/22 05:08
A friend and I are going to Japan for the first time and we are staying for 16 days. Originally I wanted to just screenshot a few maps off of google but now I am considering renting Wi-Fi to be able to check maps on the go. I was wondering if renting Wi-Fi is worth it if we only use it to check maps?

If it is worth getting, what companies are recommended? We are arriving at Haneda Airport. Any help is greatly appreciated!
by Selina7485  

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/22 12:20
Personally I find fit very useful. I rented mine when I went there for a vacation. It's easier to navigate around with Google, instead of finding a free wifi.
by lnight rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/22 15:14
Never had the need for wifi on the go. Use both paper maps and the hotel's free wifi to plan my day's excursions. I still get lost every now and then but that's part of the fun of traveling.
by ed (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/22 20:19
Maps on paper. Great. It's what people have been doing for centuries. It works.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/26 08:51
If you have a mobile phone which is composite with the Japanese networks (LTE, WCDMA - specific frequencies), bring this and purchase a SIM card.

Planning your hotel stays while sitting on the Shinkanzen, using GPS to locate yourself on Google Maps, using Hyperdia any time, anywhere is unbeatable in convenience.

Basically, Internet everywhere allows you to kill the more or less dead time between the cool things. These days (I am in Japan right now) I use the accommodation only for its bed, shower, and coin laundry. (And for high volume, high speed Internet access to get my photos uploaded). The rest - on the train. Like Facebook or posting here.

Just to stress: This is only convenience, not a necessity.
by duckamuck (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/26 14:03
Absolutely it's worth it. We've been to Japan several times and only used a wifi hotspot on the last trip, it made things so much easier!

1. You don't have to worry about your hotel having internet, or if they do it might only work through an network cable to a laptop which isn't convenient if you're not a business traveller.

2. wifi hotspots can be very hard to find and access in Japan.

3. Addresses in Japan are not helpful at all, even for Japanese people. Having access to Google maps makes life much much easier.

4. The wifi unit is very very fast and normally data unlimited, so you can use it heavily with no concerns which is nice when you're on holiday. We would upload images to facebook and so on from cafes when we stopped for lunch.

Seriously I couldn't recommend these things enough, I wouldn't consider not hiring one next time we go to Japan. We used GlobalAdvancedComm, and they were excellent. The website looks quite dated (welcome to Japan) but they did exactly what they said they would. The unit was delivered to our hotel one day before we arrived, and it comes with a return envelope which we used to send it back from the airport when we left. Everything worked perfectly.
by GMatt rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/30 09:11
If you are just needing it for mapping then you have a few offline GPS options. these are Android:
MapFactor: GPS Navigation
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mapfactor.navigator
NAVITIME for Japan Travel
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.navitime.inbound.wal...
ROUTE 66 Navigate
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.route66.maps5

FYI, I am going to Japan in September and haven't had a chance to use these but they all look like quite sophisticated GPS (in English) mapping tolls with offline capability.
If you choose to use them it would be great if you could post or PM your experiences with them back here!
by halfnhalf rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/5/30 11:33
IMO pocket wifis are ridiculously expensive, a data SIM from bmobile or econnect is cheaper and works very well (assuming your phone is compatible). For the heavy stuff like uploading pictures you can use your hotel's internet (again, assuming there is one).
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/6/2 16:44
I realize the benefits of travelling disconnected, but if you grew up in the always connected generation then you'll probably prefer to travel with a wifi hotspot. I just came back from a similar trip and having wifi all the time was really a lifesaver. It allowed us to save time and frustration and was an easy way to get info along the way that made the sightseeing more enriching. For your trip I'd recommend Globaladvanced or Pupuru which come out to roughly 7500-8500 yen for your trip. You and your travel partner can share one device.

For a 16 day trip a sim card from B-mobile or Econnect will be marginally cheaper, but pocket wifi has quite a few advantages namely much higher transfer speeds (4g vs 3g) and a dramatically higher high speed data cap (10gb vs 1gb or 0gb) without the usage restriction. A pocket wifi is also a bit easier to set up and doesn't require activation.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/6/2 20:42
4100 is not "marginally cheaper" than 7500-8500, it's about half as much. 4G/LTE may of course be worth the extra cost for some, but for what OP describes it's not.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/6/3 10:11
I have to agree with yellow smurf. The lack of a data limit on the pocket wifi is the game changer. And I think the difference in cost is indeed marginal (250 yen per day or so), especially more so if you have to get two SIMs for the OP and her friend. You can connect to multiple devices. My family of four couldn't live without it (unfortunately, we are all addicted to being connected). I've done it for the last several years in my trips to Japan.

Global Advanced has 24 hour a day pickup at Haneda at the JAL/ABC counter (I have no connection to this company except that I am a satisfied customer).

Dale
by Oenophile Angler rate this post as useful

Re: Renting Wi-Fi worth it? 2014/6/5 04:13
Thank you all for the input! After a lot of consideration I have decided to rent pocket Wi-Fi from global advanced communications!

Although we could probably do fine without Wi-Fi on the go, but it's always better to be safe than sorry when you go somewhere for the first time!
by Selina7485 rate this post as useful

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