Can I Still Get Connected with Japan Prepaid SIM/Pocket WiFi? / Case 9: Lake Akan (Kushiro, Hokkaido)

Today’s LightPocket blog starts with a breathtaking video, which contains beautiful scenes of Lake Akan, this blog post’s topic.



Checking map, contacting with people, searching for something, etc. etc.
Internetting is essential, especially when you travel abroad.

But, even at famous tourist spots, Japan sometimes has no connectivity with the internet.
How do you know that beforehand?

Japanese 3 major mobile phone companies NTT DoCoMo, au (KDDI), and SoftBank provide the maps, showing how far each company’s frequency reach.

But unfortunately, these are available only in Japanese.
So, in this page, I checked it on behalf of you.


Case 9: Lake Akan (Kushiro, Hokkaido)



Akan-ko is a lake located in Kushiro-shi, a city located in the west part of Hokkaido. Whole area of Lake Akan is in Akan-Mashu National Park, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hokkaido.

Akan-ko is the fifth largest lake in Hokkaido and very rich in flora and fauna which includes marimo (moss ball) and kokanee salmon.

In November 2005, Lake Akan is registered on the Ramsar List. In May 2011, Lake Akan received a three-star ranking in the Michelin Green Guide Japan.


According to JAPAN monthly Web Magazine, the lake is described as the following:


Going Further into Hokkaido: Lake Akan

Nestled in dense forests, Lake Akan still has more primeval nature than other part of Hokkaido. It is famous for Marimo (moss balls), a Special Natural Monument, and sockeye salmon. As it is situated in the volcanic region, hot springs are welling up and there is a hot spring town along the lakeshore. You can take an excursion boat to Chuurui Island and see Marimo in nature. Near the hot spring town, there is the largest Ainu Kotan (Ainu village) in Hokkaido.


Can I Still Get Connected with Japan Prepaid SIM/Pocket WiFi?




Lake Akan is one the most popular tourist spots in Hokkaido at TripAdvisor. You can read over 100 feedback in English over Akan-ko at TripAdvisor website.


As for connectivity in the area, you may need to pay much attention as Lake Akan is located in the middle of mountainous area (as you can see on the Google Map).

After searching the connectivity in the place through the websites of NTT, SoftBank, and au, I found clear differences between them.

First of all, you are better off NOT to choose SIM card/WiFi router with au (KDDI) network, which is the weakest among them, especially in the middle of the lake area.

On the contrary, at this point, SoftBank is the best. The network offered by them gives you the most strong connectivity among the three.

NTT Docomo’s is the second best.



Although they are available only in Japanese,
I just put links to network compatibility maps offered by them in one place.
If you want to check it through the links below by yourself, put Japanese word “白川郷” into their search windows.

SoftBank *Hard to search by yourself alone
au (KDDI)


If they can not help you at all, or if you have a specific area to be checked,
feel free to send me an inquiry through the link below or just comment here.
LightPocket Website Contact Form


Good trip starts from good preparation.
Hope your travel in Japan will be memorable.


This time again, I just captured a scene of beautiful Akan lake from the YouTube video I noted the very above of this post.

More to read about Lake Akan in Kushiro-shi.

Kushiro and Lake Akan’s tancho cranes and marimo—one of a kind in the world

Hokkaido, Kushiro – LakeAkan Travel Guide [Official]


The contents of this article are from the data taken as of November 10th, 2018, and each company’s connectivity is changing (mostly improving) monthly.

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