It’s been a busy week-end, so just a quick post today. This one’s another more general post, similar to what I wrote about the trains. Also realised (after I posted that) that I forgot to mention how I used hyperdia.com a lot to find train times, but also to figure out which platform we were supposed to be on to get wherever we were going. (I remember being in Hiroshima, and being unsure which train line would get us to Miyajima Guchi, so I just searched which platform we had to be on, and we took whatever train was there. It worked out well.)
It was actually really useful because you can refine the search to exclude non-JR lines (since we were using JR passes mostly). You can search all the bullet trains (shinkansen) on their too.
But, anyway, what I really wanted to write about was the “pocket wifi” that we utilised for the duration of our trip. It’s a little device that allows you (and up to nine other people) to have wifi internet anywhere you go. And thank goodness for that because, as I learnt on that first night, Tokyo (and the rest of Japan) is massive and intricate, and I don’t have the best sense of direction. I actually left most of the navigating responsibilities to KF.
Travel tip: It is possible to survive off free wifi, which is available at convenience stores, train stations, hotels and wherever, but it’s so much more convenient to just always have your own internet. Unless you don’t need maps (?) Well, I’d definitely use pocket wifi again, unless I was travelling alone, in which case a sim card might be preferable.
I wasn’t going to mention the name of the pocket wifi we used, but they were actually really good, so I figured they deserve a mention. On the recommendation of a friend, we went with Japan Wireless. Everything about it was easy – ordering, set up, usage, extending the rental (more on this in another post probably), and returning the device.
No problems at all. No real problems, anyway. I mean, getting lost isn’t really a problem as long as you find your way eventually. And people kept telling me before the trip that getting lost is all part of the experience. (How right they were…)
Come to think of it, the reason we went with pocket wifi in the end (rather than a sim or nothing at all) was because I was browsing blogs about travelling in Japan, and one of the first ones I came across mentioned how easy it was to organise pocket wifi, and how they’d never travel in Japan without it. That was basically all I needed to know. Strange, isn’t it, that I had conflicting recommendations from people I know, and then I ended up going with advice from someone I don’t know at all (and by that I mean that I never even read their blog before that one post …and haven’t read it since then either)