5 Best Internet Services in Japan 2021

Choose the best Internet option in Japan comparing line speeds, prices, discounts and English customer supports

Best Internet Services in Japan

If you live or stay in Japan for a long term, connecting the internet at home is one of the most important things that you should do as soon as possible. Now, you need a reliable internet connection for working and accessing various online contents.

There are several ways for you to get the internet connection at home including a fixed optic-fiber line, a home router and a mobile WiFi. The mobile WiFi is the easiest way to get the internet connection but costs more for a short term than fixed internet services, which is perfect for short or mid-term travelers.

Here are 5 best internet services in Japan especially for residents and long-term stayers. Compare line speeds, prices, discounts and English customer supports, so that you can find out which Japanese internet service option is best for you.

(This article was updated with the information as of May, 2021.)

1.Softbank Air

Softbank Air

2.Softbank Hikari

Softbank Hikari

3.Docomo Hikari

Docomo Hikari

4.Au Hikari

Au Hikari

5.Nuro Hikari

Nuro Hikari

Speed 962Mbps Up to 1 Gbps Up to 1 Gbps Up to 1 Gbps Up to 2 Gbps
Price (Apartment/House) 5,368 yen (4,180 yen for the first year) 4,180 yen
/5,720 yen
4,180 yen
/5,500 yen
4,180 yen
/5,610 yen
5,217 yen
Mobile discount For Softbank users For Softbank users For Docomo users For Au users* For Softbank users*
English support Available Available Available Available Unavailable
*The discounts are available under certain circumstances. Check the details below.

How should you choose the best internet service in Japan?

There are lots of points to pick the best WiFi option from lots of Japanese internet services. Of course, it is one of the most important for you to compare the prices of several popular internet providers.

How soon you can get the internet connection is what you should consider. It takes a longer time to install home broadbands (like a couple of months) while no long before you can use pocket or home routers. If you have enough time to wait the installation, you can get benefits from the fixed internet including cheaper costs and faster speeds. Otherwise, there are fixed connections without an installation that offer a stable connection and a reasonable price.

For those who plans to need a WiFi for less than a few months, it is a nice option to rent a pocket WiFi.

▽Check the best pocket WiFi options in Japan!▽

5 Best Home Internet Services in Japan

Here is a comparison table with 5 best Japanese internet services at home in terms of these 5 points: line speeds, prices, discounts and English customer supports.

At first, you should check if you can get the fast-speed connection in a stable manner. Each broadband internet provider shows the maximum data speed in a best effort internet connection, which does not mean you can access with the indicated connection speed. It is useful for comparing multiple services, though.

Many people will place a high priority on prices for a month, and basic prices for each provider are listed below but please be noted that they may differ depending on where you live (like an apartment or a house). Major Japanese mobile carriers also provide fixed internet services and discounts for their users.

Language barrier may be annoying for you in Japan, so it matters whether Japanese internet services offer their customer services in English not.

1. Softbank Air

Softbank Air Website
Softbank Air Website
1. Softbank Air
Speed ★★☆ Up to 962Mbps (Download)
Price/month ★★★ 5,368 yen (4,180 yen for the first year)
Mobile discount  ★★★ For Softbank users
English support ★★★ Available

SoftBank Air is an internet service provided by the famous mobile company Softbank since 2014, and it is being updated with the faster line speed regularly. SoftBank Air is a type of home routers, so you don’t need any troublesome installation of the broadband line. You can start connecting the internet at home as soon as you plug in the SoftBank Air router while it takes a couple of months and costs around 20,000-30,000 yen to set up other fixed home broadbands.

SoftBank Air offers unlimited data usage like other home internet services. You can get some discounts for starting SoftBank Air and switching internet providers. There is also a mobile discount for users of Softbank Mobile.

Check out the best deal for Softbank Air!

2. Softbank Hikari

Softbank Hikari Website
Softbank Hikari Website
2. Softbank Hikari
Speed ★★☆ Up to 1Gbps (Download)
Price/month ★★★ 4,180 yen(Apartment)
/5,720 yen(House)
Mobile discount  ★★★ For Softbank users
English support ★★★ Available

Softbank Hikari is a fiber-optic internet service provided by Softbank. In addition to the normal plan above, the faster plan Softbank Hikari Family 10 Giga is also offered in a part of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. Softbank Mobile users also get a discount for the fixed internet and mobile phone fees.

If you don’t have a Flets Hikari internet line at home, the installation for Softbank Hikari is needed, which costs around 30,000 yen. If you switch from other providers to Softbank Hikari, the amount of the initial cost is compensated later. Softbank Hikari lets you you use a pocket WiFi until the installation is completed.

3. Docomo Hikari

Docomo Hikari Website
Docomo Hikari Website
3. Docomo Hikari
Speed ★★☆ Up to 1Gbps
Price/month ★★★ 4,180 yen(Apartment)
/5,500 yen(House)
Mobile discount  ★★★ For Docomo users
English support ★★★ Available

Docomo Hikari is a fiber-optic broadband internet served by the traditional Japanese communication company. There are several options for residents of an apartment and a house and for choosing their favorite internet provider.

The upgraded plan Docomo Hikari 10 Giga is also offered in a part of Tokyo and Osaka City and Nagoya City. If you or your family use a Docomo mobile phone at the same time, the mobile fee is discounted. If you don’t have a Hikari internet line at home, the installation for Docomo Hikari is needed, which costs around 20,000 yen.

4. Au Hikari

Au Hikari Website
Au Hikari Website
4. Au Hikari
Speed ★★☆ 1Gbps (Download)
Price/month ★★★ 4,180 yen(Apartment)
/5,610 yen(House)
Mobile discount  ★★☆ For Au users if they also use its fixed phone
English support ★★★ Available

Au Hikari is a fiber-optic internet service provided by Au, one of the 3 biggest mobile phone companies in Japan. There are also Au Hikari Home V and X for 5 Gbps and 10 Gbps for house residents as well as the normal 1 Gbps plan. The fee for the apartment internet service differs a little depending on the type of apartments.

If you use the Au’s fixed phone and its mobile phone at the same time, the mobile phone fees are discounted. The installation for Au Hikari is needed without a current Hikari line at home, it charges around 30,000-40,000 yen to set it up.

Check out the best deal for Au Hikari!

5. Nuro Hikari

Nuro Hikari Website
Nuro Hikari Website
5. Nuro Hikari
Speed ★★★ Up to 2Gbps (Download)
Price/month ★★☆ 5,217 yen
Mobile discount  ★★☆ For Softbank users if they use the Nuro’s fixed phone
English support ★☆☆ Unavailable

Nuro Hikari, one of the most popular fixed internet services in Japan these days, is a fiber-optic internet connection served by Sony since 2014. In addition to the 1 Gbps plan, there are also other Nuro Hikari options for 10 Gbps/ 6 Gbps and 20 Gbps.

It takes a few months and costs 44,000 yen and 3,300 yen for installation and contract. The monthly fee is discounted for the amount of the initial cost totally. You can rent a pocket WiFi until the installation is completed. Softbank Mobile users get a discount if you also use the Nuro’s fixed phone as well as the internet service.


For more helpful information for residents in Japan, check these articles below, too.

▽Related Articles▽

▼Editor’s Picks▼