Thursday, October 11th, 2012

  • Getting online in Japan is hard! The country and it’s people are highly connected and one need only take a train to get an idea of just how ‘plugged-in’ Japanese people are as they all sit there looking at their smart phones. However, if you’re a visitor and you need to get online, that task will seriously test your travelling savvy and try your patience.

    Ordinarily I buy a pay-as-you-go sim card for my pocket wifi and this enables me to get online pretty much anywhere there is a phone signal. Not so in Japan. My attempts to find a pay-as-you-go sim card for my phone or pocket wifi turned into a fruitless waste of time. As if to add to that frustration there is wifi everywhere, some of it open for anyone to use, but you need a Japanese mobile phone to get an authorisation code.

    So having just arrived in Tokyo on an overnight sleeper bus from Osaka, I just needed to get online to check a couple of things, but that task turned into a infuriating six-hour ordeal!

    I spent the first three hours in Tokyo dragging my bulky and unfathomably heavy luggage around the various train and subways stations looking for a locker big enough to store it in for the day. After that I spent the next three hours just wandering around with my iPod touch in my hand scanning for open wifi like some expendable extra scanning the terrain of a new planet in an episode of Star Trek.

    In the end I found a cafĂ© with free wifi, but it shouldn’t be that hard for a tourist to get connected, especially given how easy it was to get connected in countries like Laos and Vietnam where many of the roads I travelled on were of little more than dirt!

    Apologies for the late posting of this day. Network and time issues caused me to get behind. However, there are pictures for all the missing days and I am working hard to catch up, so please stay tuned. And hey, don’t forget to comment once in a while too!