Whether you are checking train schedules, looking for a fun place to eat, or updating your social media with your adventures, the internet is an indispensable asset while traveling. Historically, finding free Wi-Fi in Japan was difficult as there were few options. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, and Japan now offers free Wi-Fi at a number of easily accessible locations, including convenience stores, cafes, airports, and train stations. For now, let's focus on Japan’s popular convenience stores and cafes.
Convenience stores (konbini)
Convenience stores, called konbini in Japanese, are staples of everyday Japanese life. These upscale mini-marts offer everything from quick snacks to premade bento boxes and are helpful spots for busy city folks and travelers alike. The country is home to over 50,000 konbini, with Tokyo having shops on seemingly every corner. Thanks to their widespread outreach and free Wi-Fi, convenience stores are a perfect place to connect to the internet and refuel with a fun Japanese snack. Below are Japan’s most popular konbini chains that offer free Wi-Fi.
Lawson is one of Japan’s main three convenience store chains and has locations throughout the country from northern Hokkaido to southern Kagoshima. Be sure to try its popular fried chicken!
- To access Lawson’s free Wi-Fi, first, connect to the “LAWSON_Free_Wi-Fi” network
- Then, open your web browser and follow the instructions displayed on the screen
- If you are accessing the internet for the first time, you will have to enter your email address and agree to Lawson’s terms and conditions
Lawson allows users five 60-minute sessions per day. Please note that Wi-Fi is not available at all stores.
FamilyMart (Famima_Wi-Fi Discontinued)
FamilyMart is equally ubiquitous as Lawson and offers a wide variety of pre-made meals, sandwiches, sweets, and coffees. Please note that of August 1, 2022 FamilyMart discontinued its free Famima_Wi-Fi. However, you can still access Wi-Fi at the convenience store through a free DOCOMO Wi-Fi membership program called "d Wi-Fi." However, since the setup process is more cumbersome than other free Wi-Fi spots, we would recommend visiting elsewhere.
Instructions for d Wi-Fi registration (only in Japanese)
Although less common than Lawson and FamilyMart, Mini Stop is still a well-known chain with nearly 2,000 stores throughout Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Mini Stop’s soft-serve ice cream made with Hokkaido milk is a popular product!
At select Mini Stop locations, you can connect to Softbank Wi-Fi. These hotspots are marked with Softbank’s Wi-Fi logo.
- To connect, first set your roaming network to “Softbank” (your device must support WCDMA and international service)
- Then call the toll-free number *8180 (for English). You will receive a password and verbal guidance
- Then, go to a Mini Stop hotspot, select the “.FREE_Wi-Fi_PASSPORT” network
- Enter your phone number (including country code) and password to connect. You will also have to enter your gender and age group if you are a first-time user.
Softbank has about 400,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Japan, including hotels, stations, fast food restaurants, cafes, and more. The Wi-Fi service lasts two weeks. After your session expires, you can repeat the registration process for another two weeks.
7-Eleven (Free Wi-Fi Discontinued)
IMPORTANT: As of March 31, 2022, 7-Eleven discontinued its free Wi-Fi offering, “7SPOT.”
Cafes and fast-food restaurants
Cafes and fast-food restaurants are perfect spots to enjoy a quick meal or relax with a cup of coffee. Below are Japan’s most common chains that offer free Wi-Fi.
Aside from these popular chains, there are also a number of independent cafes that provide free Wi-Fi. So be sure to check in advance.
Starbucks is internationally renowned for its coffee house charms and is a popular spot to grab a small meal and specialty beverage. Connect to the coffee shop's free Wi-Fi as you refuel with caffeine.
- First, connect to the “at_STARBUCKS_Wi2” network
- Then, open your browser and click “Connect”
Wi-Fi sessions last 60 minutes. Afterward, you will have to log in again.
Tully’s is a relatively recent coffee chain in Japan, with its first store opening in 1997. Today, there are approximately 700 shops throughout the nation. The pleasant shop sells a variety of coffees and cakes, as well as savory dishes perfect for breakfast or lunch.
- First, connect to the “tullys_Wi-Fi” network
- Then, open your browser, click “Connect to the internet,” and accept the Terms and Conditions.
Please note that Wi-Fi is not available at all stores. Look for Tully’s stores with “tullys_Wi-Fi” stickers.
McDonald’s needs no introduction. This fast-food chain is recognizable around the globe. In addition to its economically priced meals, you can also take advantage of its free Wi-Fi.
- First, connect to the “00_MCD-FREE-WIFI” network
Free Wi-Fi is available for 60-minutes per session. Free Wi-Fi is only available at McDonald’s stores with “Free Wi-Fi” stickers.
Connect to thousands of hotspots with convenient apps
It may seem cumbersome to log in to different Wi-Fi networks multiple times. Fortunately, the following apps streamline this process. Once you install the apps and register as a user, they connect you to thousands of hotspots without you needing to re-enter your information.
Please note that the below apps use and collect GPS/location data to provide their services, which can affect the battery life of your phone. It is also worth mentioning that these apps can be finicky sometimes, so please consider the pros and cons before downloading.
Japan Wi-Fi auto-connect
Japan Wi-Fi auto-connect is a tool that automatically connects you to thousands of hotspots throughout Japan. Simply install the app and register as a user. Check out the list of participating locations.
Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi
Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi is a sister app to Japan Wi-Fi auto-connect. This app also connects you to a multitude of hotspots but requires manual action to do so. Some Wi-Fi hotspots only support Japan Connected Free Wi-Fi, so use both apps if necessary (Android and Apple).