Among utilities today, the internet is nearly as important as your water or electricity service, especially with more and more people working from home. When moving house it’s bound to be right near the top of the list of things you really want to make sure are set up properly and functioning before you move into your new place.
But which internet service provider is the best for you? In this article, we’ll talk about how to get set up with internet service in Japan and introduce you to the top five leading internet service providers here.
Setting Up Internet Service in Japan
In this section, we will briefly explain how to get your internet service at home up and running. We will also give you some essential points to consider before you sign up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Wired vs. Wireless
In Japan, there are two types of internet connections available to consumers: wired (fixed connection) and wireless.
Wired connections are installed in your house or apartment and provide high speeds and high capacity. These can be based on fiber optic cable (光ファイバー in Japanese), come via your television cable service (broadband), or wireless. Wireless connections come in the form of portable Wi-Fi devices. These are convenient as they can be taken outside. This is a good option for those staying less than one year in Japan. However, speeds can be slower than wired and data limits may apply.
How to Set Up Internet in Japan
When you sign up for internet service in Japan, you will sign a contract with two companies: a telecommunications carrier and a service provider. The telecommunications carrier is the network operator who provides all the cables and installations necessary for the internet connection.
Your ISP enables internet connection and service via the fiber optic cables provided by the above telecommunications carrier. In Japan, you will need to make two separate contracts with each company. However, subscription packages that bundle both the broadband line and ISP have become available.
With that in mind let’s move on to the steps to sign up for internet in Japan:
- Choose an ISP: we will give you our top five picks for ISPs in Japan below. Research each provider and how they might benefit you, then pick the one best suited for your needs.
- Sign up on their website: Once you’ve picked an ISP you must apply for a new contract on the ISP’s official website. Enter the required info such as your name and address, as well as if you live in a house or apartment.
- Wait and get connected: It may be necessary for the network operator to visit your home and install the cables needed for the internet connection. If a previous tenant had already had a fiber optic line installed you can use it right away and could save you some money. You may also have to wait two weeks to one month for the installation.
- Enjoy your speedy Japanese internet! Once everything is signed and connected then you will be able to sit back and enjoy your high-speed internet connection.
5 Established Internet Providers in Japan
Now let’s look at our top five Internet Service Providers in Japan. When comparing internet providers, you will want to compare speeds, prices, discounts, and if they offer English customer support. By comparing these factors you will be able to find the best internet provider for you.
1. BIGLOBE Hikari
BIGLOBE Hikari is a leading internet service provider in Japan and provides fiber optic internet service. BIGLOBE Hikari’s fees and speeds are pretty average but they offer features that can’t be found in other places.
BIGLOBE Hikari users can use IPv6 which is a high-speed data transmission technology. IPv6 ensures stable data transmission with minimal delay, even when lines tend to have high traffic.
BIGLOBE Hikari has a partnership with au so if you or a family member is an au member, you can get a discount. BIGLOBE Hikari can also be used anywhere in Japan.
2. Au Hikari
Au Hikari is provided by the Au corporation and provides fiber optic internet service. Au is one of the three biggest mobile phone companies in Japan. If you’re an Au fixed-line and mobile phone user, you will also get a discount for this fixed internet service. Au Hikari offers speeds up to 1 Gbps but also has plans for 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps. Au Hikari also has great English support.
The installation of an Au Hikari line is needed and costs around 30,000 – 40,000 yen to set up. If you live in an apartment, you will first need to check with your apartment manager to see if you can use Au Hikari.
3. Nuro Hikari
Nuro Hikari is one of the most popular internet providers in Japan with a fiber optic connection from Sony.
Nuro Hikari offers up to 2 Gbps download speeds with other options for 10 Gbps and 20 Gbps, faster than other internet providers. However, Nuro has almost no English support available.
The installation cost can set you back around 40,000 yen. If you’re a Softbank Mobile user, you can get a discount if you also use Nuro’s fixed phone service as well.
4. Docomo Hikari
Docomo Hikari comes from the Docomo corporation and provides fiber optic internet service. Docomo Hikari is widely available throughout Japan with faster plans available in parts of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. If you’re a Docomo Mobile user, you will also get a discount for this fixed internet service.
Docomo Hikari offers up to 1 Gbps download speeds and has great English support available. You will need a Docomo Hikari line installed at home. Installation may cost around 20,000 yen.
5. Sakura Fiber Internet
Sakura Fiber Internet comes from Sakura Mobile and provides fiber optic internet service. Sakura Fiber Internet is targeted towards international residents living in Japan.
Sakura Fiber Internet offers up to 1 Gbps download speeds and has full English support available seven days a week. A Wi-Fi router is available to rent for free and you can cancel the contract at any time after 3 months.
We hope this article will help you find the internet service provider that best fits your needs. It should be noted that the internet providers have been presented in no particular order. We think all of them are great and you should pick the one that seems best for you.
At the same time as setting up your internet, you’re probably also getting your electricity and gas set up. You can make your life in Japan a lot easier by using services like Hinatao Energy. Hinatao Energy, with its full English support, can simplify and streamline the troublesome process of setting up your electricity and gas.