Navigating the maze of online connectivity options for travelers can be a daunting task. One solution that consistently surfaces is NINJA WiFi, a service that promises seamless, unlimited internet access across Japan.
But how well does it live up to these promises? In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of NINJA WiFi, one of the most popular pocket WiFi services for tourists in Japan.
What is NINJA WiFi?
NINJA WiFi is a portable WiFi router rental service provided by Vision Inc. It offers travelers a cost-effective and efficient way of staying connected to the internet, no matter where they are in Japan.
The service gives you unlimited access to the internet as you can continue using your router for no extra charge, even after going over your high-speed data allowance. This saves you from unexpected roaming charges and the hassle of purchasing and installing foreign SIM cards.
Connectivity and Speed
With NINJA WiFi, you can maintain a high-speed internet connection whether you’re navigating the bustling streets of Tokyo or marveling at the peaceful beauty of Kyoto. The service is powered by SoftBank’s robust network, which ensures reliable internet access even in rural parts of the country or crowded areas. The 4G LTE connection provides quick download and upload speeds, allowing for a smooth online experience whether you’re checking emails, updating your social media, or navigating unfamiliar streets.
Ease of Use and Multiple Device Support
NINJA WiFi is designed for simplicity. The setup process is straightforward and doesn’t require any technical expertise. Once the device is turned on, it instantly establishes an internet connection that can be accessed by your devices by simply entering a password. NINJA WiFi routers are also able to support up to 5 devices simultaneously. This feature makes it an ideal choice for families or groups of travelers who have multiple smartphones, tablets, or laptops that need an internet connection.
Pickup and Return
NINJA WiFi ensures convenience from the moment you land in Japan. You can pick up your pocket WiFi device at several locations, including 10 major airports across the country, or choose to have it delivered directly to your hotel. Same day reservations and pick-up is also available at their counter in Shinjuku, downtown Tokyo. When it’s time to return home, you simply drop off the device at any of the numerous return points, or send it back through the post using a provided envelope.
The NINJA WiFi team is always ready to assist should you encounter any issues or have any questions. Thanks to English speaking staff, you won’t have to worry about a language barrier. Their customer service is lauded for its responsive and helpful nature, which is a considerable plus when you’re dealing with connectivity issues in a foreign country.
Rates & Plans
NINJA WiFi offers a simple and transparent pricing structure with no extra charges for data transmission or initial costs for rental.
You have the convenience to pick up your device(s) at any of NINJA WiFi’s airport counters or the Shinjuku Counter for free. However, note that pick-up or return via delivery service will cost an additional 550 yen each.
Unlimited Plan (Softbank) Options
NINJA WiFi offers a variety of unlimited data plans, giving you the flexibility to choose the one that best suits your needs:
3GB per day – 770 yen (tax included) per day. This is best for solo travelers, and light internet users.
5GB per day – 1,100 yen (tax included) per day. Couples and moderate internet users are most likely to prefer this plan.
10GB per day – Pocket WiFi T7 and T7 value models are priced at 1,320 yen (tax included) per day. It is best for groups and heavy internet users.
*Even after you’ve gone over the data limit, you will still be able to use your device, but at slower speeds.
Travel worry-free by opting for one of NINJA WiFi’s insurance plans:
Insurance + Battery Plan – This popular plan includes a spare battery for an extra 440 yen (tax included) per day.
Full Insurance Plan – 100% damage coverage plus an external battery for an additional 330 yen (tax included) per day.
Mini Insurance Plan – Provides 80% protection for 220 yen (tax included) per day.
You also have the option to enhance your travel safety with WiFi and medical support for an additional 770 yen (tax included) per day.
Additional Equipment and Surcharges
NINJA WiFi offers additional equipment for rent to enhance your travel experience and facilitate communication:
POCKETALK W – A two-way translator with support for 74 languages, available for 880 yen (tax included) per day.
Portable Spare Battery – A portable battery can be rented for 110 yen (tax included) per day to keep your device charged on the go.
USB x 4-port AC Adapter – Rent this AC adapter with 4 USB ports for 110 yen (tax included) per day. This does not include USB cables.
International Adapter Plugs – These plugs enable you to use all kinds of power outlets around the world, available for 55 yen (tax included) per day.
Advantages of Choosing NINJA WiFi
There are many good reasons to choose NINJA WiFi.
- Flexible Plans: NINJA WiFi offers 3 data plans, so you can choose which one is best suited to your travel style.
- Wide Coverage: Leveraging SoftBank’s network, NINJA WiFi ensures a stable internet connection across most areas in Japan.
- Multi-Device Connection: Up to 5 devices can be connected simultaneously to NINJA WiFi, making it a great choice for group travel.
- Convenient Pickup and Return: NINJA WiFi devices can be picked up and dropped off at 10 major airports across Japan, or delivered and returned via post, offering a highly convenient service for travelers.
- Same day Reservation and Pickup: Travelers who only realized they needed a WiFi connection after they arrived in Japan can head to the counter in Shinjuku, Tokyo to pick up a device that day.
NINJA WiFi vs. Prepaid SIM Cards in Japan
Choosing between NINJA WiFi and a prepaid SIM card in Japan largely depends on your individual needs. NINJA WiFi offers the advantage of easy setup and multi-device connection, making it more convenient for groups or families. It also saves you the hassle of changing settings on your phone or checking for compatibility.
Prepaid SIM cards, on the other hand, might prove cheaper for individual travelers or for shorter stays. They offer a direct connection to the internet without the need to carry an additional device, but they often come with more data limitations and may require more setup than a pocket WiFi device.
NINJA WiFi vs. eSIMs
The emergence of eSIMs (embedded SIMs) has introduced another connectivity option for travelers. eSIMs provide the same functionality as regular SIM cards but are built into your device, eliminating the need for a physical card.
Compared to NINJA WiFi, eSIMs offer flexibility and simplicity. They don’t require a physical pickup or return, nor do you need to worry about charging another device. However, eSIMs are only compatible with newer smartphone models, and like regular SIM cards, don’t typically support multiple device connections. The pricing of eSIM plans also varies widely, depending on the provider.
Final Thoughts on NINJA Wifi (Cheap Pocket Wifi in Japan)
In today’s interconnected world, staying online while traveling isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. For travelers heading to Japan, NINJA WiFi offers a convenient and reliable solution. With its wide coverage, multi-device support, and commendable customer service, it’s not surprising that it has become a popular choice among globetrotters.
However, whether NINJA WiFi, a prepaid SIM card, or an eSIM is the right choice for you depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Each has its strengths and potential downsides, and what works best for one person may not be the best for another.
We think that NINJA WiFi is a great choice for getting your data in Japan while you travel and the prices are definitely great. Let us know if you have any questions!