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Internet Service

Traditional Options

ADSL, Cable and Fiber services are available in most areas and generally come with no data restrictions. Speeds of 100 Mbit/sec should be possible anywhere. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can also provide telephone service or cable TV, and bundling several services from one company is cheaper than piecing them together. The first one or two months of service are sometimes free as a bonus for becoming a customer.

Places to shop begin your search for an ISP:

  • Your local electronics store
  • The Internet booths on the first floor of Yodobashi Camera near JR Hakata represent many companies, with friendly and helpful staff who are somewhat accustomed to foreign customers.
  • Phone or Cell Phone companies

All ISPs offer similar service plans, and Internet phone (IP) calls to other users of the same network are generally free.

Some of the main ISPs are:
Dion by KDDI Tel 0077-7076 for connection and set-up.
Fusion GOL Tel 0120-987-800 for general enquiries.
SpinNet Tel 03-6888-2500
Yahoo! BB Tel 0800-1111-130 for toll-free English support.

 

Pocket Wifi

Pocket Wifi (ポケットWifi) is a mobile internet modem that is small and light enough to carry with you. Especially for those living alone, be sure to consider Pocket Wifi vs. a conventional modem before making your purchase.

Benefits:

  • Unlimited access to internet for less than 4000 Yen per month and in some cases, the mobile modem itself is almost free (1 yen) for signing a mandatory 2 year contract. Please research the exact price of the modem of your choice before purchasing.
  • If you have a smartphone, you do not need to purchase data with your phone plan because you can have unlimited internet through your portable Pocket Wifi. This might save you money on your monthly phone plan.
  • If you get both a smartphone plan and Pocket Wifi at the same time with the same company, you may be eligible for package discounts.
  • You can use your Pocket Wifi with multiple devices such as your laptop, smart phone, etc. simultaneously.
  • Setup is not necessary, and you can fully use your Pocket Wifi on the date of purchase. Unlike a traditional modem, there is no need to wait for equipment to arrive or any other installation procedures.

Things to consider:

  • Some vendors may require you to purchase with a credit card. (Please see more information on getting a credit card in Japan here.)
  • The speed can differ depending on your residential area. You should check the speed of different models in your area before signing the contract. Especially for those living in rural areas, there may be inconsistent service, thus there is an increased need to research models with stronger connections.
  • May need to sign up for 2 year contract

How to get Pocket Wifi

  1. Go to a store that sells Pocket Wifi (Bic Camera, Yodobashi, etc.)
  2. Ask a customer service representative for ポケットwifi (pronounced poketto-wifi).
  3. Ask him/her to find which plan/modem would be the most suitable in your residential area. They will ask for your address including postal/zip code. Make sure you have all the information with you before going to the store.
  4. Ask the customer service representative for other details such as monthly price, unlimited/limited access, cost of the modem, etc.
  5. To make the purchase, you will be asked for information such as your name, address, etc. Bring IDs like your zairyu card (residential card) and/or passport. NOTE: Some vendors may require you to pay with a credit card. Please check carefully regarding what payment methods can be accepted.
  6. Your contract is usually processed the same day. Enjoy unlimited internet anywhere (within designated areas with connection) in Japan!

 

Making International Calls via the Internet

Yahoo! BB’s ¥3 per minute international calling rate via its IP phone service was once one of its biggest draws. However, now that Skype has made Internet calling free, IP phone rates, no matter how low, are a moot point.  Skype also has paid calling plans that allow you to ring any phone from your computer for those phonecalls to people on the other side of the world without a computer or Skype.

 

Internet Cafés

Internet Cafés in Japan are more than just rows of computers against a bare wall. They are lavish 24-hour facilities with amenities like semi-private booths, game rooms, food and drink, book and DVD libraries, footbaths, massages and showers. Pillows and blankets are even provided for late night customers. If you miss the last train home but can’t afford a hotel, net cafés become a pretty decent option. The booths are rented by the hour, or have special night time packages. Purchase of a membership card is usually required, which may cost you a couple of hundred yen, and for which you may need to provide some form of identification.

Cybac has four locations in Fukuoka City: Hakata, Tenjin, Nishijin and Hakozaki. Vending machine drinks, slushy machine, toothbrushes, toothpaste and bath essentials are free at the front desk.