I have been wanting to write about how I get by without having a Japanese cell phone number or phone. Which also means I am not able to connect to the internet whenever I want. People are always amazed at how I am even able to function while being in Japan.
For cell phone service: smartphones are very expensive in Japan, a friend of mine paid 300 + dollars to buy a pre owned phone. She even said it was the cheapest option they had . My smartphone from the US does not come with a SIM card, at least not one I can remove. I can’t even get the back of my phone off, most newer Android phones are like this. But downloading the messaging app LINE is highly recommended, as its a fun and free calling and messaging service that everyone uses here. It is more widely used than Skype.
Even though I don’t have access to the internet while out and about I made sure to have it for my room. I bought a WiFi router from a Japanese department store for about 23 USD, but the directions were only in Japanese but I still managed to somehow set it up. I bought this along with many other students because dorms at Waseda do NOT come with free WiFi. You must but your own. Shocking, I know! So a one time fee of 23 dollars for the whole year is a much better option then paying out of pocket each month. The added plus of not worrying about running out of data each month is also comforting.
Not having WiFi on my phone while out and about is not a problem. As you can connect to free WiFi in places like the JR train stations, McDonald’s, Starbucks and many other places. Just look up where you need to go for directions and screenshot them for refrence before you head out and explore Japan. Applications like Googles Navigator/Map will still track your location and tell you were to turn if you access your location by turning it on while you are connected to WiFi.
Not having WiFi makes you appreciate your new location more, instead of being on social media all the time. I have been able to explore and get around just fine with little Japanese language skills. Hopefully, you can too!
Until next time,
This is my great little WiFi router. I will be taking this guy home for sure!