Japan SIM Card – Internet on Your Phone the Easy Way

We are all lost without our phones. But don't fear - Japanese SIM Cards are cheap, reliable and easily purchased. A great option for your travels.

When travelling, one of the first things we all want to do after a long flight is turn on our mobile phones, latch onto the free WiFi and update our online status – whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatever else – letting our loved ones know where we are in the world. 

As free WiFi isn’t as yet omnipresent throughout Japan, one of the most reliable options available to travelers is to rent a SIM card and reap the benefits of an internet connection anytime and anywhere.

What is a SIM Card?

Photo Credit: Karl Baron via Flickr cc

A small electronic chip present in all phones, a SIM Card connects foreign travelers in Japan to the world. It is ideal if you want to benefit from access to 3G/4G LTE data from your own phone during your stay.

Japanese SIM cards usually provide only data, making and receiving calls is not part of the package. There are a few however which offer some extra features, sometimes including calling (not SMS). There are different rental plans for SIM cards depending on how much data you require. The SIM card is a good compromise for travelers who can’t afford Pocket WiFi and are undertaking a short-term trip in the country. 

How to use your SIM card

There are a three different sizes of SIM card: standard size, Micro-SIM and Micro-Nano-SIM, which can fit any smartphone, simply replacing your usual SIM card. Your phone must be unlocked before using the SIM Card, so be careful before buying and make sure your phone is unlocked. You can ask your phone carrier to do this for you or phone unlocking services are available. Using the card is very simple: the SIM card is inserted into the device, activating the 3G/4G cellular connection,next you simply enter the code given to you by the service provider and off you go.

All SIM cards will require you to set up an Access Point Name (APN) in order to get a WiFi signal. Once the APN information data is entered correctly, the WiFi sign will appear and your social network presence will flicker back into life!

How and where to get your SIM Card

To get your SIM Card, you have many options depending on the carrier. The most common points of purchase are:

The Airport:

After your flight, trusting you are not too tired, you can head head to one of the on-site phone stores or kiosks. English speaking airport staff should be able to point you in the right direction but they are most commonly found around the vicinity of the arrivals and baggage pickup hall. 

The Train Station:

Some of the bigger train stations (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo etc) are equip with SIM card vending machines. These machines remove the possible problem of language barrier from purchasing a SIM Card coming as they do with English selection options. 

Provided by pika1935 for Common Wikipedia cc

The Electronics Store:

There are a lot of electronics stores in Japan, especially in urban areas. Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera are two of the largest, providing an array of electronics, including SIM Cards. You can ask a member of staff the whereabouts of the SIM Card section in English, but failing this, try the Japanese: shimukado wa doko ni arimasu ka? (where are the SIM Cards?) and that should do the trick.

Provided by Rs1421 for Common Wikipedia cc

Online:

Many SIM card carriers have their own shopping sites where you can easily buy your SIM card. The sites are generally multi-lingual: in English, Japanese and Chinese. For delivery, you can choose the airport, your hotel or a nearby post office. 

Comparing Deals

We have selected for you the best SIM cards available in Japan for any need or budget. The comparative tabs will provide you with all the information needed about SIM cards in Japan:

 NTT CommunicationsEconnect BMobileCOMST Japan Travel SIMSo NetU-mobileWirelessgate Yokososim SoftBank
SHORT TERM RENT7 days: ¥3.218
14 days: ¥3.780
7 days: 100MB: ¥2.680

15 days:
100MB: :¥3.380
1GB: ¥3.180
7 days:
¥9,980
60 min/call+ 3GB data

14 days:
¥ 2,204 for unlimited data only
7days:
¥2,980 1GB data
Not provided
Not Provided7 days:
¥1.800
15 days:
¥2.800
200MB a day
14 days:
1GB: ¥2.650
8 days:
3GB: AUD35 or €15
15 days:
3.5GB: AUD40 or €20
2 days: ¥90/min call + ¥900 (200MB)
7days: ¥9/min call +¥2.700 (700MB)
LONG TERM RENT Not provided30 days:
100MB: ¥4.180
3GB: :¥4.980
5GB: :¥6.880
Not Provided30 days:
¥3,780 3GB data
30 days : 1GB
3 months : 2GB
Price depends on location
30 days : 1GB¥3.000; 2.2GB:
¥4.000
60 days: 3GB: ¥5.000
180 days: 12GB:
¥12.288 (only on Amazon.co.jp)
30 days:
¥3.500 200MB a day
30 days: 2GB¥3.590

60 days:
3GB
¥3.980
30 days: 4GB:
AUD 45 or €25
30 days: ¥90/min call + ¥4.980 (3GB)
TO BE EXTENDEDNo Yes Yes within 10 days of the expiry from the previous planYes
3 GB for 30 days: 2,160 Yen 5 GB for 30 days: 3,456 Yen 10 GB for 30 days:
extra data :
500MB: ¥1.500
2GB:¥3000
YesNoYes ¥1000: 1GB (14 days)
NoNo
WHERE TO BUYOnline
Airport
Yodobashi Camera
OnlineOnline
Store
Amazon.co.jp
online
Store provided on their websiteAirport
Metro Station
Store
Amazon.co.jp
Airport
U-Next Store
Yodobashi CameraOnline
Store (selected countries)
Ebay Store and US/EU amazon
Airport
DELIVERY AREA (FEE)Airport
Hotel
Post Office
Airport
Hotel
Post Office
Airport (¥200)
Hotel
Post Office
Post office
H.I.S. travel stores Yodobashi camera/BIC Camera.
No deliveryAirport
Store
No deliveryNo deliveryFree Worldwide
delivery
No delivery
SPEED DATAUp to 150 Mbps Up to 200 Mbps NCUp 220 MbpsUp to 200MbpsUp to 200MbpsUp to 200MbpsUp to 150MbpsUp to 200MbpsUp to 200Mbps
DATA LIMITUnlimitedLimitedBothLimitedLimitedLimitedLimitedLimitedLimitedLimited
PAYMENTNCStripeCredit card
Cash
PaypalCredit Card
Cash
Credit Card
Cash
Paypal (amazon)
Cash
Credit Card
Cash
Credit Card
Cash
Credit Card
Cash
Credit Card
Ines Smaili

Ines Smaili

Hi, I'm Inès, I love to travel all around the world especially in Japan, I will share with you all the information needed to have the best trip of your life!



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