If you are a Mac user and don’t have 3G, I'd like to introduce a few free WiFi spots to you here in Yokohama. The service is called FreeSpot. Once you have registered with them online, you will be able to use your Mac, iPhone or iPad freely at a number of key locations in Yokohama (or indeed Japan-wide) during your trip.
First, here is a list of conveniently located hotels that provide the same FreeSpot service: Intercontinental Yokohama Grand, Toyoko-Inn, APA Hotel Comfort Hotel, Navios Yokohama, Star Hotel Yokohama, Hotel Central Inn Yokohama, Yokohama Heiwa Plaza Hotel.
Setting up your device
Before you travel to Japan, you will need to make a few preparations. First, please check your air MAC ID from Utility or Setting (iPad) on your device’s menu. There, you will find your WiFi address. It is the same as the “air MAC ID” in a regular MAC. Next: Go to this website (https://www.freespot.com/users/register_mail.php). I’m sorry but this website is entirely written in Japanese. But you just need to follow a few easy steps. 1. Type your e-mail address in the first white box. 2. Fill in the series of small white boxes with your MAC ID or WiFi address. 3. Near the bottom of the page, click the round button on the left. This confirms that you “accept” giving FreeSpot permission to access your computer later in Japan. 4. Clicking the last button centered at the very bottom of the page will send your application to FreeSpot. 5. Go to your inbox and check for the confirmation email. 6. Click on the URL they send you, and your device is all set up for FreeSpot in Japan!
Yokohama Station area
If you would like to have a quiet lunch somewhere in the station area, I recommend Le Moulin de la Galette (TEL 045-440-5004). This is on the 3F of Lumine, a fashion store near the JR Central East exit. Here, well-trained staff will guide you to a cozy corner in the back. Tell them that you want to use FreeSpot and they will give you their password. They have a few lunchtime “sets” on the menu. Coffee and tea refills are free. It is a nice homey atmosphere. (http://www.freespot.com/map/tenpo.php?n=7242)
Minato Mirai area
After shopping in Queen’s Tower and Landmark Plaza, you might want to sit and have a short rest. KrispyKreme Doughnuts (TEL 0800-111-1072)is good. This is on the second floor of Queen’s Tower A. They have inside and outside tables. The FreeSpot connection is very smooth and easy. Just open Safari and you’re in! They are open from 10am to 8pm. (http://krispykreme.jp/store/index.cgi?c=result&pref=14)
Osannbashi (Wooden Pier)
Take the 100 yen red bus to the pier. Inside the building you will find an information desk on the right. When you say that you would like to use FreeSpot, they will give you a paper to fill out. After that, they will give you a password. Set your device to FREESPOT_OSANBASHI, and then input the password. (http://osanbashi.com/en/index.html)
Yamashita Park area
Blenz Coffee (TEL 045-663-5419) is a one minute walk from the park and Cho-Yoh-Mon (朝陽門), a main gate to Chinatown, and near the Minato-Mirai subway station. They have an English menu. Ask for the FreeSpot password at the counter. They open at 8am and close at 10pm. I like their tuna sandwich and strong blend coffee! (http://www.blenz-japan.com/form/map/?shop=8)
SLOW Café (TEL 045-651-5381) is near the slope that goes up to the Foreigners’ Cemetery (Gaijin-bochi 外人墓地), and near the east end of Motomachi shopping. They have both open terrace tables and inside seating. In the daytime, they have light meal “sets” which include a main dish and drinks. At night they serve side dishes like pizza, sausage, olives and so on. And off course they have beer and wine! They are open from 11am to 10pm. (Google coordinates: 35.44097,139.650886)
Junkaikaku (TEL 045-662-5503) is a Chinese restaurant on Hong Kong Road(香港路). They have two different shops on the street marked by big yellow signs. One is casual and serves mainly Yamucha and set dishes. The other is a bit expensive and serves higher quality dishes. You can access FreeSpot best from this one. Ask for the password when you come in. (http://www.junkaikaku.co.jp/junkaikaku-map/)
I visited all of these places with my iPad and checked their FreeSpot connection. Except for Junkaikaku in Chinatown, I was able to use WiFi very smoothly and comfortably. Although there are many other places where you can use FreeSpot in Yokohama, I chose those places based on location, popularity, and comfort. I hope you have a nice trip with your device, and a smooth connection to FreeSpot’s free WiFi service!
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Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS: An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here. 日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。