What is JapanWifiBuddy's service? What does it do?

We rent out Pocket Wifi Devices. (Known in other places as Mifi or wireless routers.) They allow you to make your own little, mobile wifi network which connects to the internet via the cell networks. Stick it in your pocket and wirelessly connect all your cellphones, tablets and laptops to it, and stay connected to the internet wherever you go!

Connecting is the same as connecting to any other wifi network at home or at work. We deliver it to your arrival airport or hotel, residence or AirBNB and we include a return envelope for you to send it back to us at the end of your rental.

Shipping & Return Questions

We include free 5-day shipping in all orders. This includes shipping to the airports listed below, as well as your hotel, AirBNB, local residence, or post office. We also include a return shipping envelope that is self-addressed and prepaid.

What is the process for airport pickup?

We deliver to a number of major airports throughout the country, where pickup is simple and quick for you.

Basic Shipping:

NRT - Narita Terminal 1
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NRT - Narita Terminal 2
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NRT - Narita Terminal 3
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HND - Haneda Domestic/International
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CTS - New Chitose
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KIX - Kansai International
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NGO - Nagoya
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Extended Hours / Expedited Shipping:

Once your order is completed, we’ll send over the necessary airport terminal map and other relevant pickup information.

Airport Extended Hours Shipping Availability
Narita Terminal 1 7AM to 9PM every day
Narita Terminal 2 7AM to 9PM every day
Narita Terminal 3 Ship to Terminal 2 (above)
Haneda (HND) 24 Hours
Kansai International (KIX) 6:30AM to 10:30PM every day
Nagoya Chubu (NGO) 6:30AM to 9:30PM every day
Sapporo Shin Chitose (CTS) 7AM to 7PM every day
Fukuoka (FUK) 7:30AM to 9PM every day

Where do I pick the device up? How do I get it back to you?

We ship the device to you wherever you are in Japan, including airports, hotels, AirBNBs or local addresses. Once your order is completed, we’ll send over the necessary terminal map and any other information you’ll need. When it's time to send it back to us, just throw everything in the included return envelope and drop it off in a Japan Post mailbox!

Can you ship to my AirBNB location or share house?

Yes! We do this regularly. Please make sure with your host/landlord that there will be someone on site to receive packages. Many locations do not have someone on-site and packages are often returned. Due to this, we ship to a nearby Shipping/Post office by default - which you can visit to pick up your package. In many cases, centrally located post offices operate 24 hours for added convenience.

If you're absolutely certain that you or someone else on-site will be available to collect the package, please un-select the "There is no on-site host..." option in the Shipping section while placing your order or alternatively contact us after placing your order. Please note that we cannot be held responsible if you choose this option and miss your pickup.

Why don't you provide a backup battery with Expedited Shipping?

Beginning March, 2017, national laws in Japan have changed regarding shipping standard lithium-ion backup batteries using planes. Due to these tightening safety restrictions, we are no longer able to include a backup battery in our Expedited shipping orders. The WifiBuddy itself and it’s batteries are fine and will be fully functional. As this is originally a free bonus service, there will be no discounts given as a result of falling under this new rule.

Technical Questions

What if I need to cancel my order?

In the event that the client needs to unexpectedly cancel their service before coming to Japan, as long as we have 6 calendar days notice before the rental starts, there will be no fee. If we've already shipped the package and the user cancels their order, there will be a 50% fee to cover our loss of use. If a rental cancellation is requested mid-rental, refunds will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

What's the battery life on JWB's devices?

They're good for roughly 8 to 13-ish hours of use, depending on the model and how many people are connected. Like any battery-powered device, continual use will shorten the battery life, and inconsistent use will make lengthen it. Either way, we include a backup battery good for another 4-or-so hours of life! (For a detailed battery life comparison, please see our comparison chart)
We include chargers for both the backup battery and the router.

How big is the device?

They're all about the size of an iPhone 5. For Americans, that's 4.7" x 2.5" x .6". For everyone else, that's 12cm x 6.5cm x 1.5cm.

What kinds of speeds can I expect?

The Silver has a max manufacturer's specified speed of 150Mbps, and we've seen speeds speeds of up to 50Mbps, though those aren't usually long-lasting. There are many factors that contribute to your connection speed, including network traffic, network maintenance, location, physical obstacles, etc. The max manufacturer's specified speed is the maximum potential speed, but is, in reality, rarely achieved on any network anywhere in the world. Generally speaking, the manufacturer's claimed speeds aren't attainable in real-world conditions. (For a detailed battery life comparison, please see our comparison chart)

If I exceed my limit of data, what happens?

None of our plans have any overage charges. If you exceed your limit, you're slowed down to 3G speeds, which can vary between .5-50 KB/s. We've experienced 3G during our testing that was pretty much the same speed as the LTE connection, but we've also experienced times when it was very, very slow. Please rent the right router for your data needs!

What are the coverage areas on the WifiBuddies?

You can see the coverage areas for each of the WifiBuddies on their respective carriers websites below:

Other Questions

I've seen other companies offering Wimax devices for much cheaper. Is there a difference between the Wimax2+ service you offer and the standard Wimax?

Yes! The Wimax network is old and outdated and is no longer being upgraded. Most devices were only about to run at about 13.3Mbps download speeds. In contrast, the Wimax2+ network is Japan's fastest network, and is growing in coverage and capabilities all the time.

How far in advance do you recommend I rent my WifiBuddy router?

We're often sold out, so we recommend renting as far in advance as possible. In many cases we are sold out a couple of weeks in advance. To confirm availability for the model you would like, go to the product's page and click on the calendar. Grayed-out dates are unavailable.

What happens if I lose or damage the device?

No one likes to talk about this kind of stuff, but it's good to get it out in the open just in case. If the device is lost or damaged such that it becomes unusable or unpresentable, we will bill your credit card for the replacement cost of the included device and accessories. See our Terms of Service for more information.

With the Platinum packages, what is this I hear about YMobile and Wimax2+ "Fair Use" policy?

These plans do offer unlimited connection, but in reality, there are no truly unlimited LTE connections available in Japan. Wimax2+'s Fair Use policy states that users can be slow down if they exceed 10GB of data of any consecutive 3-day period. This is standard with all router providers, not just JapanWifiBuddy. Please rent the right router(s) so you don't run into limitations!

Affiliate Program

What is the affiliate program?

Simply put, any time affiliates send clients to us who complete an order and then successfully return their WifiBuddy, the affiliate will receive cash.

What kind of compensation?

Affiliates will receive 3.5% of the sales price of the order. So if you send us a client and they make a $100 rental, you'll receive $3.50 of that. $200 rental, and you'll make $7. Travel blog writers who send dozens of clients can easily make hundreds of dollars through this kind of partnership!

How do I get my money from JapanWifiBuddy?

Once the rental is complete and the WifiBuddies have returned to our offices, we'll apply the cash to your account. We pay out via Paypal once a month.