Despite being a forerunner in the realms of robot dogs and 3D printers, Tokyo has been woefully lacking in the wi-fi department. Luckily, with a push to improve the city’s telecommunication infrastructure by the big 2020, Tokyo is finally catching up with the rest of the world and you no longer have to stand outside a 7-Eleven every time you want to connect to the internet.
JAPAN CONNECTED-FREE WI-FI APP
This mobile app allows you to search for free wi-fi spots and connect to different networks with one simple click (you will need the internet to do the initial registration so prepare for this beforehand). With this app, you can connect to wi-fi spots in various commercial areas, at airports and train stations, in buses, convenience stores and in other cities around Japan. In Tokyo, this includes major tourist spots as well as lesser-known locations.
The list is regularly updated and the service is available in 13 display languages. Note that the map requires an internet connection to be displayed, but the list of free wi-fi spots can be viewed offline. www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/en.html
CONNECT AT TRAIN STATIONS
JR East Free Wi-Fi: Available at all stations along the Yamanote line, at other major stations as well as at the JR East Travel Service Center in Narita and Haneda airports and Tokyo, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku stations. tinyurl.com/TOTjr-wifi
Tokyo Metro Free Wi-Fi: Available at 210 subway stations. For a map and instructions on how to connect, visit tinyurl.com/TOTmetro-wifi
Tokyo Subway Navigation for Tourists app: Download this app to search for the fastest route to your next adventure and check out which stations offer free wi-fi. Like many other wi-fi services, you can connect free of charge for up to three hours every time you log in with your e-mail address.
Don’t worry about the time limit because you can reconnect by simply re-entering your e-mail address. During emergencies, the service is open to anyone without pre-registration. The login page is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Thai. tinyurl.com/TOTsubway-app
CONNECT BY AREA
Shibuya Free Wi-Fi: Set up in April 2015, this service has since expanded to cover most of central Shibuya including Shibuya Station, Hikarie and both Tokyu department stores (Tokyu Toyoko and Tokyu Honten), the 109 building, Hachiko Square to the Moyai Statue, and Shibuya Mark City. The Shibuya wi-fi is compatible with the Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi app.
Ginza Free Wi-Fi (G Free): Available along all major streets and at most department stores and other commercial facilities in the area, Ginza Free lets you connect to the internet while shopping up a storm. tinyurl.com/TOTginza-wifi
Asakusa Free Wi-Fi: Asakusa has upped its game too, announcing in August 2015 that it’s offering free public wi-fi in collaboration with NTT Communications. This one’s also compatible with the Japan Connected app. tinyurl.com/TOTasakusa-wifi