One of the most frustrating things about travelling in Japan has been the difficulties associated with communicating home. With 10+ million foreign tourists a year going to Japan, the pressure for change has had some effect.
Free WiFi in Japan for travellers just got easier. There is now a free app (pc, iphone/ipad and Android phones) provided by Japan's NTT broadband platform to help you connect to over 16,000 Wifi access points in Japan. 'Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi' is (app) makes it easier to access points located at Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, major JR East railway stations, Seven-Eleven stores, the Osaka free WiFi network and so many other places. You will need to log-in so that the app can help to take care of all these disparate WiFi providers in a reasonably seamless manner.
If you move out of the major centers you will still have connection issues (look for Seven-Eleven stores, many will enable you to connect). This is not a cure all but for the traveller to Japan, it is a significant step in the right direction.