Osaka Prefecture launches free Wi-Fi service for tourists

OSAKA, Japan - Osaka Prefecture will have free Wi-Fi starting January 29.

Osaka Prefecture launches free Wi-Fi service for tourists

OSAKA, Japan – Osaka Prefecture will have free Wi-Fi starting January 29. The Osaka Government Tourism Bureau is targeting tourist spots, hotels, restaurants and public transportation for its project. Dubbed as “Osaka Free Wi-Fi,” the service aims to provide tourists information about the city and allow them to share and post their experiences online.

In a survey administered by the Japan National Tourism Organization, around 90 percent of tourists own an Internet-capable gadget. However, a good Internet connection is still hard to find, despite many locations offering free Wi-Fi nowadays. The Osaka Government Tourism Bureau said that around 2.03 million foreigners visited Osaka in 2012, and the number is expected to increase this year. With that, the government wants to ensure that tourists can easily access information through the Internet wherever they may be in the prefecture.

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The service will initially be available in 44 locations (163 access points) but will eventually increase to 3,000 (8,000 access points) by December 2014. Another tourism project of the prefectural government in connection with the free Wi-Fi, the “Osaka Enjoy Rally” website will be launched in March. The website will showcase stores and restaurants in the city. The initiative was spearheaded by the prefectural government of Osaka, Osaka city, Kinki District Tranport, Bureau of Land Ministry, NTT West Corp., NTT Broadband Platform and other organizations from the public and private sectors.

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