If you’re wondering how best to stay connected while you’re traveling around 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 collect 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.

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 ¥500 and ¥1,100. 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 — 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.

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hand holding a rental wifi router in Japan
There are a range of different Japan rental wifi routers to suit your budget and needs. | Photo by Victor Gonzalez

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. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it’s helpful.

ninja rental wifi router japan
Ninja Wifi router and power bank. | Photo by Victor Gonzalez

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 ¥770 per day, but cheapo readers get a 10% discount, meaning that a five-day rental will cost you just ¥3,465. (Note: The discount is applied automatically when you order through our special link. It’s applied before consumption tax is added.)

You can pick up and drop off your device for free at the airport — 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 ¥990 per day, working out to ¥2,970 for three days or ¥4,950 for five, without any add-ons. The 10GB/day plan costs ¥1,080 per day, with the discount applied. You’ll find the 5GB/day and 10GB/day wifi rental options on the Ninja Wifi order form.

pocket wifi routers
Photo by iStock.com/Seremin

Runner-up: CD Japan

Another contender — thanks to its speeds — 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 will be reduced for a period. Rates start at ¥4,190 for five days (the minimum rental period), going up to ¥10,780 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 ¥540.

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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 ¥2,570 for your first day, adding around ¥700 for each subsequent day, rounding out at ¥17,040 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 ¥600 more per day. You could also go for the budget option of their Standard Plan for ¥1,900 on your first day, and around ¥400 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 ¥550.

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 ¥1,000 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 ¥1,800. 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 ¥6,600/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 ¥4,980/month, you get 100GB of data, with download speeds of up to 150Mbps. Mobal Wifi uses all of Japan’s 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 (¥6,980 new or ¥4,980 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 (¥5,478)/month deal. There is a once-off ¥5,500 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 ¥231 a day for two or more months, it’s 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 making a super short trip, the Ninja Wifi router is a great choice—you’re looking at ¥2,079 for three days, thanks to our specially negotiated cheapo discount.

Runner-up: Pupuru Wifi

Pupuru Wifi, with their fees of ¥1,000 a day, take decent second-place for very short trips. However, the ¥1,800 delivery fee and need to book 5-7 business days in advance do knock off some points.

rent wifi router japan
You simply pop your rental wifi router, in the envelope provided, into the postbox at the airport (or elsewhere) before you leave Japan. | Photo by Carey Finn

Quick summary of the best pocket wifi router rentals in Japan

Ninja Wifi Unlimited Plan¥770/day (*¥693/day for Tokyo Cheapo readers)Free airport pick-up/¥500187 Mbps/3GB per day (in principle)Short and medium-length trips
CD Japan CloudAir¥4,190 for 5 days (minimum)¥540150 Mbps/150GB a monthMedium trips
Japan Wireless Business Wifi¥2,570 for the first day, plus about ¥700 for each extra day¥550120 Mbps/Unlimited (in principle)Short and medium trips with heavy data needs
Pupuru Wifi¥1,000/day¥1,800+-187.5 Mbps/Unlimited (in principle)Short and medium-length trips
Wi-FiRental.com¥6,600/month¥1,100+-187.5 Mbps/5GB a dayLong trips (30+ days)
Mobal Wifi¥4,980/monthFree150 Mbps/100GB a monthLong trips (90+ days)
Sakura Mobile¥5,478/monthFree40 Mbps/30GB a monthLong trips (90+ days)
eConnect Japan Premium Plan¥231/day (for 2 months+)¥720187 Mbps/50GB a monthLong 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’ll notice they start to get expensive as you move into heavy data usage. If you’re planning on bringing a laptop, or just using a lot of data while you’re 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 ¥500¥3,000 in 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’re 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’t be the best deals around, but if you’re 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’ll 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.

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