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Worth getting mobile wifi?

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May 9th, 2014, 11:37 AM
  #1
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Posts: 213
Worth getting mobile wifi?

With the reported lack of public wifi in japan does it make sense to get a pocket wifi? I have an iphone and I can't get international coverage due to my current plan. I am spending a few days in the mountains so I guess it might not work there. Some of places I'm staying say they have wifi but I'm more thinking of looking up things while I'm walking around during the day. Here's my itinerary:

October 19, 2014 Sun Narita Airport, Tokyo
October 20, 2014 Mon Tokyo
October 21, 2014 Tue Tokyo
October 22, 2014 Wed Tokyo
October 23, 2014 Thur Kamakura
October 24, 2014 Fri Kamakura
October 25, 2014 Sat Matsumoto
October 26, 2014 Sun Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
October 27, 2014 Mon Matsumoto, Kamikochi
October 28, 2014 Tue Kamikochi, Hirayu Onsen
October 29, 2014 Wed Takayama
October 30, 2014 Thu Takayama
October 31, 2014 Fri Shirakawago, Kanazawa
November 1, 2014 Sat Kanazawa
November 2, 2014 Sun Koya-san
November 3, 2014 Mon Koya-san, Kyoto
November 4, 2014 Tue Kyoto
November 5, 2014 Wed Kyoto
November 6, 2014 Thu Kyoto
November 7, 2014 Fri Kyoto, Miyajima Island
November 8, 2014 Sat Miyajima Island
November 9, 2014 Sun Yufuin Onsen
November 10, 2014 Mon Yufuin Onsen, Fukuoka
November 11, 2014 Tue Fukuoka
November 12, 2014 Wed Narita Airport
ceezee is offline  
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May 9th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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I can't comment on the availability of wifi today, but we were there 3 years ago and rented a mifi. I loved having it and thought it was worth it. There wasn't a lot of free wifi where we were in Tokyo or Kyoto so we did use it when we were out during the day to look up things like restaurant locations and such. I think we used http://www.rentafonejapan.com/Mobile-Internet.html
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May 9th, 2014, 12:37 PM
  #3
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Thanks!

I found two companies that look good and not that expensive. Globaladvancedcomm and rentalwifi. Both end up being just a bit over $100 for 27(!) days. And they are use the fast new network. I really thought it would cost more than this.
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May 9th, 2014, 05:04 PM
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We thought mobile wifi was worth the low cost.
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May 9th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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ABSOLUTELY! If I give one piece of advice--and only one--to my friends going to Japan it's to rent a pocket wifi unit. It's worth the nominal cost alone solely for access to Google Maps from your phone. The peace of mind of never getting lost is priceless. As others mentioned, it will also save you a bundle on hotel wifi charges.

We rented a 4G (75mps) unit from Global Advance Communications and they deliver it to your hotel and give you a self-addressed pre-paid envelope to drop off at your last hotel or at the airport when you leave. More info if you need it:
http://www.globaladvancedcomm.com/pocketwifi.html

Honestly, it's a must have for a Japan trip!
filmwill is online now  
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May 10th, 2014, 09:22 AM
  #6
 
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We have rented it for both our trips, last year and year before. Was inexpensive and very convenient and we used it a lot -- to check things like addresses, google maps and so on while out and about, to look up information in our hotel in the evening, for the next day, and to chill and connect with friends during our daily down time too...

Used rentafone Japan too.
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Aug 12th, 2016, 09:39 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 502
The other beauty of having pocket wifi is the ability to use Google Translate. We've had to use it on several occasions and it wouldn't have been possible without a wifi connection.

I second Global Advance Communications. I think I booked them through one of the JR Pass websites and it was cheaper than going direct. (I'll be researching the pricing again this weekend.)
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Aug 13th, 2016, 01:15 AM
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Oh yes that's true, Google Translate was really helpful sometimes!!!

We also had the thing where you point the camera at some text and it translates to English... not 100% but pretty good.
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Aug 13th, 2016, 02:01 PM
  #9
 
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I just used japan-wireless to rent their fastest mifi. Not sure we would have survived without it!!! It was less than $100 USD for 16 days and insurance.
Besides Google maps and translate - checking trains and subways on the go was also important.

Also to note - we had free wifi in every hotel and sometimes the speeds were really slow!

We also loved having the wifi on our long train rides - it kept everyone happ and connected!!!
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Aug 13th, 2016, 10:26 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 228
Quick note on Google Translate
Use the camera option to take photo of kanji or hiragana
Swipe the relevant text and get english translation.
Can be good for signs, instructions, etc.
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Aug 14th, 2016, 07:17 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 414
I know I've already asked this question in another thread, but since it's come up here, I thought I would ask again since I'm a little confused. Is there any advantage to getting a pocket wifi versus paying for a one-month passport plan through AT&T for my iphone which would give me 300mg data for $60, .50/mg if I go over? Or I could get the 800mg for $120, .30/mg if I go over. I also need voice in case of emergency. Is the quality of the wifi better with a pocket wifi? Any idea how many mg data I would need? I'm sure we'll be depending on it a lot during our trip. AT&T says I shouldn't have a problem, but I've been misinformed before...
Thanks,
Laurie
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Aug 14th, 2016, 09:26 AM
  #12
 
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just a note in case anyone (not blackmons obviously) is responding to the OP . . . the thread is 2+ years old and was topped by a spammer (which has been deleted)
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