Friday, February 15, 2013

(In)Convenience

Japan is a very convenient country- for the most part. You can get food and even alcohol around the clock, as convenience stores are located at nearly every street corner, trains come every few minutes, and shops are open very late. I'm amazed at the ability to shop for food and snacks or even clothes so late at night.

However, lately I've noticed some of Japan's inconveniences, and one major one, besides the lack of public trash cans and limited ATM hours, is the lack of free public wifi. In a city as sizable as Tokyo, there is surprisingly barely any free wifi to be found.

Unfortunately I found out the hard way, while waiting for the Internet service to be connected in my new home- that's another thing, to get the regular Internet at home in Japan, you have to wait between 2-6 weeks, which is a nightmare for a writer.

The only place I could easily find free wifi is at Starbucks, as the chain offers it across the country (and most of the world). As much as I like sipping on overpriced and under-caffeinated lattes, Starbucks is the last place I want to be writing at. First of all, it's impossible to find a seat, as it's constantly crowded with university students, housewives with toddlers, high school girls sipping frappucinos, and couples on a date. Secondly, the music is horrible. They keep playing the same cd on a loop, I want to cry every time I hear the awful Coldplay covers. And well, ¥400 beverages add up on a daily basis. Despite all those inconveniences, I am so thankful for Starbucks in Japan, as they're at least offering free wifi.

I guess I should just put on my headphones, secure a table and pay for my overpriced lattes, as the lack of free wifi situation in Tokyo doesn't seem to be improving.

Any recommendations for free wifi in Tokyo?!






3 comments:

Waffle Computer said...

Docomo offers a free or almost free wifi service. Some convenience stores like 7-11 have the access points. So, if you live near the access point, you can use the wifi from your apartment. Likewise, I think Softbank and au provide the similar services.

If you have a fixed phone at home, it takes just a few days to get the regular internet. It takes much longer if you want the HTTH, i.e. optical fibre.

Good luck, and have a fun weekend!

Vivian said...

Waffle Computer, thank you so much for the tips! I have Softbank so I'll try at different access points. I finally am getting the internet in a few days, and you're right, Hikari takes much longer!

Nat AndMatt said...

I love Starbucks for working! Only the one in the department store near my house though. I have several reasons. First of all, it's near my house. Second, I rarely pay for Starbucks drinks because I get free cards from an app called アドラッテ. Thirdly, the window view is great for people watching as its on the corner of a pedestrianized road and a major crossing. Fourth, there's always lots of gorgeous people because its in a fashion store. I don't like coffee so any latte is rubbish to me and here they play Sinatra covers on a loop so to slightly more appealing! The only problem is finding a seat, but that's normally only a problem during weekend days. I write at nights there often.