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Wednesday, 5th February 2014
In General Japan News,

Osaka implements free Wi-Fi

Osaka is set to ensure better connectivity for visitors to the city and locals alike with the implementation of a free Wi-Fi programme, following in the footsteps of metropolises such as Kyoto and Fukoma.

Participants in the scheme include the Nankai, Kintetsu and Keihan railways, a handful of hotels, shops and restaurants, as well as the city's major tourist attractions such as the Entrepreneurial Museum of Challenge and Innovation. 

If the programme proves popular, the number of locations where free Wi-Fi is accessible from is likely to increase.

Users will need to provide a valid email address for the service, which is confirmed to function with Apple, Android and Windows devices.

Logging in will offer 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi and there is no limit to the number of times people can sign up during the day, although some areas will offer a stripped down version that will allow 15 minutes for up to an hour during a 24-hour period.

The installation of the free Wi-Fi comes at a time when Osaka is looking to transform itself into a major rival to Tokyo as an international gateway, with mayor Hashimoto Toru dramatically resigning earlier this week to seek a voter mandate on transforming the city into a fully fledged metropolis. 

Free connectivity facilities will no doubt please many tourists travelling to the city, as it is notoriously difficult to find in other areas throughout the country.

Indeed, when surveyed by the Japan Tourism Agency, foreign visitors said a lack of free internet access was the most frustrating aspect of the nation.

The implementation of free Wi-Fi throughout more of Japan's cities can only be a good thing as more tourists start flocking to the country in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games, set to take place in Tokyo.

Written by Susan Ballion



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