Why are there so few good WiFi access spots in hotels, restaurants, cafes and so on in Japan?

BY IN 英語 Why are there so few good WiFi access spots in hotels, restaurants, cafes and so on in Japan? はコメントを受け付けていません。

Comments

  • kaminarioyaji

    To be honest, there shouldn’t be wi-fi in restaurants – If you go, it’s going to be because you are there for either a family meal, a date, or some similar occasion where you using the internet mid-meal would be highly rude.

    Granted, some business meetings take place in restaurants, but people have managed without it until now.

    On the flip side to your question, there is wi-fi in some really dumb places in Japan, such as the walkway of an underground shopping complex in Fukuoka; hundreds more people staring down at their keitais oblivious to all around them – don’t we have enough of that already here?

  • realteacher

    I’ve been asking this question for years. Starbucks, McD’s, etc… all claim to be wi-fi, but it doesn’t mean much if you have to pay for it. If I jam the manager on it they just give me that shoulder shrug crap and either walk away or tell me it’s a corporate decision.

    Corporate? McD’s are franchised in Japan, (aren’t they???) so no it’s not a corporate decision. The same goes for Starbucks (pretty sure about that). It comes down to franchise owners being too ***-damned cheap to drop 3-4 thousand yen a month on a system that would attract more customers.

  • Lyndon Green

    Actually, WiFi is free in places like Starbucks and McDonalds if you register with SoftBank for theit two-year free WiFi service. I recently did this and I have found there are many places where I can use it. Oh, and FYI, Starbucks is not a franchise in Japan.

  • jazz350

    My wife is Japanese and computer-savvy , she said the way of registering an IPhone/IPad with SoftBank to use their free Wifi was pretty confusing and a bit complicated involving serial numbers of devices and so forth. I cant read Kanji so it would be impossible for me!

  • JeffLee

    The Japanese don’t believe in free giveaways. Nothing is free in Japan, and everything has a price. Free giveaways can cause envy among those who can’t partake, and hence disrupt the harmony.

  • CopRamen

    @jazz350. Registrering your iphone/ipad with Softbank to use their free wifi is SUPER easy! I read nothing Kanji and I had 4 devices ( 2 iphone4, 2 ipad2) online in a matter of minutes.. I recommend using 157 and asking for english support. They”ll have you rocking in minuttes…

  • sillygirl

    because japan would like to squeeze every last yen out of us.

  • zichi

    Because the majority use their mobile phones but so many vending machines will also give free wifi.

  • JapanGal

    Zichi, I have not found 1 Asahi machine that does that yet, but read about it months ago. Where are they?

  • tmarie

    Because they assume everyone has a mobile phone? Again, Japan lacks in forward thinking. I love free wifi when traveling. In Japan even hotels try and charge for it. Unreal. If the hotel, cafe… has internet, why not offer it up? I know I would do a lot of work at Starbucks if they had free wifi. They don’t. So I don’t sit for an hour or so, buy a coffee and a snack from them. I get that some people abuse the system (Starbucks US has a two hour rule which I agree with) but they aren’t thinking of their customers – neither are the hotels. Travel in SEA and you can be online pretty much anywhere which makes traveling much, much easier.

  • zichi

    @japangirl,

    I think it’ll be another year or so.

    There are over 100 million mobile phones but it’s an expensive way for Internet. Otherwise eMobile pocket wifi, ¥3880/month or UQ wifi ¥3880/month. Many public libraries have wifi.

  • Foxie

    This WIFI is a real scam, everybody should be able to receive it anywhere for free. I am not going to pay 1,600 per month to only get a reception at the airport and at a McDonald.

  • JapanGal

    thanks zichi

  • DentShop

    Much of Japan does not know what wi-fi actually is. This country is having a hard enough time with the “interwebs” and “hd” tv. When that business is sorted out, they can start worrying about foreigners who need to check that someone has sent them a scribble on Draw Something.

  • gaijinfo

    Because in general, Japanese businesses aren’t very innovative when it comes to trying to attract new customers. However, why they don’t provide free WiFi access in public libraries, like they do the states, is beyond me.

    I suppose it’s the reluctance to do things similar to foreign countries in order to preserve their “uniqueness.” Everybody is afraid of being accused of “copying the west.”

    Maybe the same reason they hang all their laundry out to dry, even though the dryer was invented in the 1800’s.

  • cleo

    Everybody is afraid of being accused of “copying the west.”

    The opposite is often the case, I’ve found.

    Maybe the same reason they hang all their laundry out to dry, even though the dryer was invented in the 1800’s.

    One word. Setsuden.

    Why waste electricity, when the sunshine is free? (and less noisy, and leaves fewer creases)

  • tmarie

    Cleo, how about because sometimes it takes days to dry? Rainy season I am looking at you! I don’t have one – for space – but always getting a chance to use my MIL’s when we go “home’.

  • cleo

    tmarie – If it’s raining, fine. I plead guilty. But gaijinfo wasn’t talking about using a dryer when it’s raining and the clothes won’t dry, he was talking about using a dryer because it’s been invented.

  • Aliasis

    This was honestly one of my biggest shocks coming to Japan for the first time three years ago. In my hometown (small town America) you can still get wi-fi nearly anywhere you go. I had this image of Japan being all high tech, so imagine my shock when the hotel I stayed at didn’t even have wi-fi.

    I heard Japanese people just use computers less than Westerners, because they use their cell phones for Internet access.

  • tmarie

    Fair point. I don’t mind drying it outside – rather nice – but I could deal with a dryer sometimes – like with jeans!!

    Aliasis, the biggest lie about Japan (besides how nice and polite everyone is) is how much tech there is here. Bank machines still have bedtimes…

  • r mistric

    kaminarioyajiAPR. 21, 2012 – 08:10AM JST To be honest, there shouldn’t be wi-fi in restaurants – If you go, it’s going to be because you are there for either a family meal, a date, or some similar occasion where you using the internet mid-meal would be highly rude. Granted, some business meetings take place in restaurants, but people have managed without it until now. On the flip side to your question, there is wi-fi in some really dumb places in Japan, such as the walkway of an underground shopping complex in Fukuoka; hundreds more people staring down at their keitais oblivious to all around them – don’t we have enough of that already here?

    You’re totally right. People do not need to have access in places like these. People complaining about this kind of thing are especially the ones who really need to turn of all their devices in places like this. Restaurants should be actually be charging more to discourage these people from this kind of behavior.

    Seems these days that every time you go to a restaurant or cafe, more than half the people are just squatters there for the free wi-fi, students doing their homework, people doing job stuff, people teaching language classes, etc. etc. They buy a coffee or snack and then continue taking up space for hours and turn the place into their own personal office. It get really tiring trying to get the staff people to do their job and move these people out. Bad manners are too easily tolerated these days and too readily being passed by adults on to their kids.

  • r mistric

    jazz350APR. 21, 2012 – 09:50AM JST My wife is Japanese and computer-savvy , she said the way of registering an IPhone/IPad with SoftBank to use their free Wifi was pretty confusing and a bit complicated involving serial numbers of devices and so forth. I cant read Kanji so it would be impossible for me!

    Just ask your wife then or go into a Softbank shop and ask them to help you. They will.

    Not impossible, just too lazy to figure out a way to do so, and thus expect it to be provided for you not only free of charge but also free of effort.

  • Hôjô Sôun

    Japan definitely does not need free wifi everywhere. This is a service people should be willing to pay for if they want to use.

    But the real concern here is privacy. Privacy laws are very strict in Japan, the strictest in the world, which ensures that our personal information is always safe. A wifi network could give an opportunity to a hacker to steal personal information, so we must not allow it. Safety must come first.

  • zichi

    There are places with free wifi. I’m sitting in Kobe Harborland enjoying a very nice pint of Guinness, watching the ships and tourists pass by and free wifi.

  • Ninoh

    It’s no wonder, Japan is way behind in internet technology as easy as wifi.

Article from: Japan Today