Getting your data and mobile connection in Japan – Softbank

**This is part of wackybecky’s travel chronicles in Japan 2012. Blogposts under this series will be short and sweet as I update daily as I travel. At the end of the trip I may edit and elaborate further if I have the time. For further queries, do drop me an email! 😀

If you arrive via Air Asia X, you will land at Haneda Airport at 10.30pm or thereabouts (accurate as of time of writing). Once you have cleared immigration, custom check and grabbed you bag (all in the 2nd floor), proceed to the 3rd floor of the arrival hall.

haneda airport japan - rebecca saw japan trip with airasia  (22)

Look for Softbank booth or just ask any of the officials on duty. There are information booths at the 2nd (arrival floor) and 3rd floor. Everyone I spoke to are all very friendly, helpful and they speak good English.

haneda airport japan - rebecca saw japan trip with airasia  (17)
At the counter, you will be shown your options:

Option 1:

Softbank - wackybecky japan trip with airasia premium seats (2)

Option 2:

Softbank - wackybecky japan trip with airasia premium seats (3)

Option 3: The one I took:

Softbank - wackybecky japan trip with airasia premium seats (4)

Since I rely on data more than anything else, I chose the ULTRA WIFI. The only difference between that and the PocketWIFI  is the data speed.
Trust me, while I was bunking in Haneda airport on the first night and as I navigate around Tokyo today, data connectivity via this device is decent at best. Signal drops quite a lot and I’ll have to reconnect again.
I’ll update more as I travel out of the city as I was warned that certain areas out of town may not have coverage.

Once you have decided on your option, you will have to pass them your passport for photocopying, fill in a form and of course, hand over your credit card for payment of deposit as well as for security. The first charge is JP YEN 400 of which I forgot what was the reason for. I’ll find out at Osaka airport and update here once I get the bill. The one time deposit is JP Yen 315 so I’m not sure why was I charged JP Yen 400.

Softbank - wackybecky japan trip with airasia premium seats (5)

The final amount will be recorded at the end of the term of usage once you return the device. For me, I’m departing via Osaka Kansai Airport and the Softbank officer verified that it’s possible for me to return the device at Osaka airport as they do have a shop there.

The device comes in a little red bag with a micro USB charger that is Japan power point compliant. Obviously you will have to bring your converter if you’re from Malaysia.

Softbank - wackybecky japan trip with airasia premium seats (1)

haneda airport japan - rebecca saw japan trip with airasia  (20)

Just like any other micro USB device, you can charge it via a USB port; for example via a laptop. A full charge will last approximately 4 hours only.

softbank data japan - mobility and plan-20121027

And yes, this mobile WIFI router allows multiple devices connectivity simultaneously so for me it’s my Asus Zenbook and my iPhone. When I met my friend today he connected his BB to it without any issues.

To see your connectivity, just look at the screen. It shows 3G, a little number (1-3) to indicate connection strength (near the WIFI icon) and your battery levels. The yellow sticker lists down your password (among others) to log in to the network by this mobile router.

softbank data japan - mobility and plan-002

For me, I will be in Japan for 12 days so below are my EXPECTED charges.

Japan - softbank for mobile data

According to the Softbank officer, my credit card will be charged about 10 days after I return the device; which for me is 14th November since I’m departing Osaka on the 5th. Yup, it is almost RM40 per day so it is similar to the Celcom (RM38/day), DIGI (RM36/day) unlimited data packages. However, Celcom doesn’t provide unlimited data coverage for Japan so this was my only option.

It’s RM60/day. My bad, wrong calculations – thanks to Timing who commented here.
It’s my 7th day in Japan and it has served me very well so far, even in Kobe area. Good coverage.
All my hostels provide free WIFI but the connections sucks real bad. I can’t even load my FB page!
Also, hostel provide WIFI at the lobby area or some like J-Hoppers in Osaka has dedicated WIFI on every floor. But trust me, it still terribly slow. I’m really glad I got this mobile router. Though it costing me a bomb for 12 days at almost RM800! 🙁

At time of writing, I wasn’t able to find an alternative to this (Japan telco that provides unlimited data/prepaid sim for foreigners). Do drop me a note if there is?

The Softbank counter closes at 11.00pm so be quick if you’re on a late night flight.
It’s only available at the airports so if you miss it, you will not be able to get your mobile data/prepaid sim in the city area (this was what I was told by the Softbank personnel).
Information accurate as of writing: 25th October 2012.

Current conversion: 100 yen = RM4.00. You need at least 150 Yen to buy you a basic bun in the local 7-11. You get the drift.

27 May 2013: Another friend used this – cheaper too!

Pictures in this post:
sony nex f3

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. JONG

    hahaha 100 Yen minimum 🙂 I keep thinking of the conversion rate when I was in Tokyo. I didn’t enjoy the buying part because it is really expensive.

    You have a great trip!

    1. rebeccasaw

      Thanks Jong! Yup, same here actually. The prices are a pain!

      1. JONG

        y the way, I asked a friend about the internet line they use. He said he used UQ WiMax

      2. rebeccasaw

        UQ Wimax for their shops/home you mean? Not mobile ones like this?

  2. Timing

    Hmm 1575 yen per day calculates to rm60 leh … how did you arrive at the rm40/day figure?

    1. rebeccasaw

      Shit. RM60?? Sigh. No choice.. need data badly for work etc…

  3. T

    Hi there, if you want a nice and affordable michelin japanese restaurant, try Suzunari in Arakicho Tokyo. Love the food and ambience!

    1. rebeccasaw

      Today is my last day in Tokyo. Will try to find it.. Googling now~

      1. T

        Wish you luck 😉 We enjoyed the meal very much .. even better than the michelin western restaurants in Tokyo

      2. rebeccasaw

        Didn’t manage to go sighh.. in Osaka now. any luck for a michelin star restaurant here?

  4. T

    I didn’t get to try any of the michelin restaurants in Osaka, but the following sounds like good choice
    – French: Hajime
    – Tempura/ Fish rice: Osaka Yotaro

    Also check out these eateries in Osaka
    – Okonomiyaki: 福太郎 in Namba
    – Sukiyaki: 柿 (Meat Shop) in basement Takashimaya Namba, affordable matsusaka/wagyu
    – Bagel & Bagel

    Do check out Takashimaya Namba, plenty of good eateries.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Oh thank you! Noted! All tips just in time too. I’m heading to Namba tmw 🙂

      1. T

        Enjoy! Gosh, i miss the foods in Japan so much 😛

      2. rebeccasaw

        Hell yea I know what you mean! I have yet to miss Malaysian food 😛
        I had fugu yesterday! :))

      3. T

        Nice post on Fugu. I didn’t get to try it. May try it when i next go Kansai 🙂

        Let me know if you suffer the same ‘japanese food longing’ when u r back 😛

      4. rebeccasaw

        LOL! As of now I just want to go home!
        Honestly, most food in KL is almost alike; with the exception of the superb sushi at Tsukiji Market & the ramen stock. other than that, curry, katsudon etc one can get at top Jap restaurants in KL.
        Oh, another thing I’ll miss – the dairy products = the JAp sweets and their confectioneries! hhmm!!

    1. rebeccasaw

      OH thank you! Yes, after I came back, I realized there were cheaper alternatives and this was actually very expensive. A lesson learnt; a RM750 lesson!
      Well, it was so hard to get info before I went, and I’m glad now I’m more familiar with Japan
      Thanks so much Ryan 🙂

      1. Ryan

        You needed for work and with so little homework and not enough time to research. But atleast you enjoy yourself in Japan. 🙂

  5. Verne

    If I go there I think I would be spending 1/2 my money on broadband. Rofl.

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