Cafes and Restaurants
Restaurants and cafés might independently offer Wi-Fi spots, in a trend that's growing around the globe. A complete list doesn’t exist, so you'll have to look around your neighborhood and hope to get lucky! If you can read Japanese, you can access a long list of shops using the Freespot service.
At the same time, the following chains offer free Wi-Fi at many of their locations:
• Starbucks (one hour per day, you'll have to register in advance)
• Tully’s Coffee (available only at selected locations)
• Freshness Burger (available only at selected locations, look them up by selecting "Free-Wi-Fi")
• Denny's (part of the 7/11 network, see instructions above)
• Pronto (Japanese only)
• Seattle's Best (part of Freespot)
Mostly for those who are Japanese-savvy, you can register for free Wi-Fi at several convenience store chains, including 7/11 and Lawson. Most of the time the registration only requires some basic data, like your name and e-mail. After registration, you'll be able to use the service at all shops that offer it!
• Instructions for 7/11 (Japanese only)
• Instructions for Family Mart (Japanese only)
• Instructions for Lawson (in English)
It might seem weird to some, but phone booths are still scattered all around Japan, especially in big cities like Tokyo. If you’re really in a pinch to make a call to a Japanese number, most of these old-fashioned machines accept coins.
To call overseas, you can buy international cards, like Brastel (the most famous one), KDDI Super World Card or Comica by Softbank.
For each category, companies offers similar but slightly different products, so make sure to check their websites and choose the offer that’s more suitable for your travel, keeping in mind their prices and the length of your journey, but also the network coverage. If you plan to hike through the countryside, your needs will be different from those of a Tokyo tourist.
Most of the time, you'll be able to reserve a SIM card from overseas and get it once in Japan, or rent one directly at the airport. Again, check each company’s website for information on delivery and buying options. Finally, be aware that most of these options require payment via credit card.