Free wifi services are available for those who travel using JR Tokai (or “JR Central Japan Railway Company”). In the network of Shinkansen train services in Japan, JR Tokai covers the segment between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka. They are available in some of its Shinkansen (Bullet Train) trains and at all of the stations.
For a comprehensive list of the articles I have written for foreign people living or traveling in Japan, see this article.
This page gives you instructions on how you can take advantage of them. You need to note the following:
- The use of their services requires simple registration. You cannot just connect to the SSIDs and expect that you’ll be able to access the Internet.
- The wifi service for use inside the Shinkansen trains (“in-car wifi service” hereafter) and that for use at the stations (“at-station wifi service” hereafter) are separately run, and thus require separate registration. They have different signs (see images) to tell you their availability.
The in-car wifi service is not universally available. They are offered only on selected trains, and they have a dedicated Twitter account (@Shinkansen_WiFi) which tweets which services of the next day offer free wifi.As of the end of February 2020, it is universally available.
- You can use the in-car wifi service up to 30 minutes at a time, but you can repeat the process for any number of times per day. The same deal with at-station wifi service, except that it is 60 minutes at a time.
Both the in-car wifi service and the at-station wifi service require your initial registration. However, once that has been taken care of, such auto-wifi-login-app like TownWiFi should automatically get you connected again whenever you are cut off after the predetermined time (See “Free Public Wifi Services in Japan” for more on TownWifi).
This page gives detailed instructions on how to use the in-car wifi service.
By the way, this is probably of little importance to visitors from overseas, but they put up yet another sign for a different kind of wifi availability. This one is for commercial public wifi services. I subscribe to one of those services (Wi2), but sadly, I do not have access to the in-car wifi service.