After you move into a new house or apartment in Japan, one of the most important things to do is set up your internet. After all, you need the internet for almost everything these days.
How do you set up your internet in Japan if you don’t speak Japanese?
Some internet providers in Japan will offer English service, while others will not. We will introduce a few options below.
*Check your rental agreement if you live in a “mansion”/”apartment” as some blocks will be serviced by a specific provider already and you must use them.
First you need a line provider. This is a company which maintains the hardware (the physical components). The main choices are NTT, KDDI and Sony. Sony and KDDI will provide both the hardware and the internet service, while NTT will only provide the hardware so you will need to find another company for the actual internet service.
*Beware of upselling, these providers may try and sell you a cable TV package, a phone line and so on to go with your internet hardware. It’s expensive and best avoided.
- Biggest provider in Japan
- Doesn’t provide internet so you’ll need to deal with an additional company
- Good coverage
- Second largest provider in Japan
- Good speed
- Provides hardware and internet
- Here are the details for their internet service (different from the hardware): https://www.au.com/english/internet/auhikari/
- Good speed, the fastest available
- Limited service area (check if you are eligible at: https://www.nuro.jp/lp/area/)
- Here are the details for their internet service (different from the hardware): https://www.nuro.jp/
- You will need Japanese help to set it up, and it can take up to two months
Choose one of these, and then move onto choosing your internet provider (if needed).
- Asahi Net – https://asahi-net.jp/en/service/ftth/withflets/price/
- You’ll need to pay an initial 880 yen contract fee and an installation charge covering installation and the first month.
- As you can see, their website is fully in English.
- OCN – https://www.ntt.com/personal/services/internet/hikari/select.html
- It’s about 1000 yen per month cheaper than Asahi Net, but there is only Japanese support offered.
- Softbank – https://www.softbank.jp/en/internet/
- A similar price to OCN. Minimal English support is offered but details are only provided in Japanese.
- Assist Solutions – https://www.asolutions.co.jp/#1
- Slightly more expensive, offers speeds up to 1Gbps and English support
- Sakura Mobile Internet – https://www.sakuramobile.jp/TokyoCheapo_fiber
- About 3000 yen more expensive per month but offers 24/7 English support and free pocket WiFi rental. Also does short term set up from 1 month,
*Be prepared to pay set up and installation fees which range from 2000 – 40000 yen. The companies almost always have some kind of deal on, so you could look for something that waives the initial fees, or reduces them.
How long will it take?
It depends what time of year you apply – it will take longer in the busy season around April. In general it should take between 1-3 weeks to set up, but it does differ.
What do I do? Will they help me?
The technician will come to your house to set up the line and provide you with what you need, then you’re supposed to set it up yourself. If you can’t speak Japanese, then you might want to either get an interpreter or use Asahi-net as they offer English support over the phone.
How much does the internet in Japan cost?
It differs between providers, but you are generally looking at 3000 to 5000 yen per month. If you live in a large stand-alone house, it will cost more.
What about the router?
You’ll need a router to use the internet. You can either buy one of your own from any large electronic shop, or you can rent one from your internet provider and return it upon cancellation of the contract.
There are some words that might pop up which you might not understand. These are things like:
- Hikari – Fiber optic internet connection. It provides good coverage and is most common here.
- Musen – Home WiFi (e.g. LTE, 4G)
- Flets – A fiber connection using NTT hardware
- Nuro – A fiber connection using Sony hardware
- Kaiyaku – Contract
If you want to set up your internet but think you’ll need some help, Omakase Helper can assist you.