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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Just show your Passport and get free Japanese Wi-Fi - Japan responds to travellers concerns

What is your first necessity at an overseas destination? This depends on where you are visiting and the purpose of your trip, of course, but for many people the deal-clincher is a free-to-use Wi-Fi environment. Let’s take a look at the convenient free Wi-Fi services that are increasing throughout Japan.
When the Japanese government asked foreign travelers about their “difficulties during travel” as part of a questionnaire survey*, the need for “free public wireless LAN environments” topped the list of responses. There were also many responses such as “difficulty in obtaining information about public transportation and places to eat and drink” or “difficulty in getting around due to lack of maps and pamphlets”, but even these problems can mostly be resolved if there is an environment in which travelers can connect to the Internet.
Free Wi-Fi services for foreign tourists are increasing throughout Japan. This article gives an in-depth guide to convenient services that are being provided by one of Japan’s major communications carriers. Check it out and get connected!

*“Results from Questionnaire Survey of Foreign Tourists” by Japan Tourism Agency
These days, mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets are perhaps the items people rely on most when traveling, as they can be used to check sightseeing information in hotels, research train transfers to your destination while sitting in a cafe, e-mail family and friends, and so on. Many people also now want to immediately upload comments and photos from wherever they are, via SNS such as Facebook and Twitter. In all of these scenarios, a real-time Internet-connected environment is very important.

Of course, there are many handy and useful apps now available, including essential map applications that will guide you right to your destination. There are apps enabling English-language train route searches, apps introducing areas of Japan to foreign visitors, and much more besides. Locally obtained fresh information will add an extra level of enjoyment to your trip.

Progressive maintenance of Wi-Fi spots in Japan’s cities

Over the past few years there has been a rapid increase in the popularity of smart phones and tablets within Japan as well, which has led to progressive maintenance of Wi-Fi spots in Japan’s cities, ensuring a highly convenient and comfortable environment for foreign tourists.

Let’s take a look at the services provided by NTT East - Japan’s oldest major telecommunications company and current market leader in construction of fiber optic networks, etc. Foreign visitors can relax now that NTT East has started to provide full-blown free Wi-Fi services specifically for foreigners who are traveling in Japan.

Free use of Wi-Fi spots around Japan for 14 days (336 hours)!

We will begin by explaining how to use these free Wi-Fi services, although there are no difficult procedures involved. Basically, you just need to pick up a free Wi-Fi card from one of the counters established at facilities such as airports and tourist information centers (see illustration below). Simply show your passport and you can receive one of these cards. The ID and password necessary to log-in are printed on the card, so you just need to enter these as directed at an access point with the NTT East Wi-Fi signal (0000FLETS-PORTAL). Having done that, you can then make free use of Wi-Fi spots provided by NTT East for 14 days (336 hours). Simple and easy!

There is no need to fill out any application forms, so this service is perfect for first-time visitors to Japan. You don’t even have to send an e-mail to begin - all you need is your everyday Wi-Fi-supporting mobile device. There are already more than 17,000 NTT East Wi-Fi spots around Japan (as of January 2013) and all of these are based on fiber optic lines, guaranteeing fast and stable communications.

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