Top 7 SIM Cards for Travelers in Japan in 2024

japan travel sim 30 days

How to Stay Connected in Japan

Photo by Pixta

Are you planning a trip to Japan? If so, staying connected to the internet is essential to make the most of your experience. While free Wi-Fi is available in some places, it may not always be reliable or secure. That’s where SIM cards for travelers and portable Wi-Fi routers come in handy. In this article, we will explore the top seven SIM cards for short-term trips to Japan. We will also discuss the option of using eSIM services and low-cost portable Wi-Fi routers as alternatives to SIM cards.

Book the mobal SIM Card: No Postage Needed!

Contents

  • Top 7 SIM Cards to Use in Japan: A Comparison
  • eSIM: An Alternative to Physical SIM Cards
  • Low-Cost Portable Wi-Fi Routers
  • FAQs about SIM Cards in Japan

Top 7 SIM Cards to Use in Japan

While there are many types of SIM cards available for travelers in Japan, here are our top recommendations:

  1. mobal
  2. Sakura Mobile
  3. Nippon SIM for Japan
  4. IIJmio Travel SIM
  5. B Mobile Visitor SIM
  6. Klook
  7. Vending Machines at Airports

Let’s take a closer look at each of these SIM card providers and the services they offer.

1. mobal SIM Cards

Picture courtesy of mobal

mobal, a well-established company based in the UK, offers SIM cards specifically designed for travelers to Japan. They have various plans available, with the cheapest option offering unlimited data for 8 days at a cost of 4,730 yen. It is important to note that the data speed may be reduced after exceeding 3GB per day.

One advantage of mobal SIM cards is that there is no shipping fee for customers worldwide. This means that you can receive the SIM card in your home country before arriving in Japan. mobal also offers Voice SIM cards with a Japanese telephone number, which can be useful for a 30-day stay with 7GB of data at a cost of 7,920 yen and up. Additionally, they offer eSIM services starting at 1,920 yen for 8 days with 1GB of data.

Book the mobal SIM Card: No Postage Needed!

2. Sakura Mobile SIM Card

Picture courtesy of Sakura Mobile

Sakura Mobile is a popular service among English-speaking travelers and long-term residents in Japan. Their SIM cards offer unlimited data (with data speed potentially reduced after exceeding 2GB per day) and can be purchased for 4,950 yen for 8 days. While the price may be slightly higher compared to mobal, Sakura Mobile is known for its excellent customer support.

If you have any questions or encounter any issues during your trip, Sakura Mobile provides advanced support and consultations. This makes them a great choice, especially for first-time travelers or those new to using SIM cards. Sakura Mobile also offers eSIM services, with a 10-day package including 5GB of data costing 3,350 yen as of August 2023.

Book the Sakura Mobile SIM Card: Excellent Customer Support!

3. Nippon SIM for Japan

Picture courtesy of Nippon SIM for Japan

Nippon SIM for Japan is provided by DHA Corporation and can be purchased on Amazon. They offer a variety of plans with different durations and data capacities. For example, a 30-day plan with 3GB of data costs 1,980 yen. This SIM card is suitable for those who don’t require a large amount of data and prefer a more affordable option.

4. IIJmio Travel SIM

Picture courtesy of IIJmio Travel SIM

If you prefer to purchase a SIM card during your trip, IIJmio Travel SIM is a recommended choice. You can find these SIM cards at major electronics stores in most large cities, such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera, and Kojima. The price of a 30-day card with 3GB of data is 2,480 yen at Bic Camera as of August 2023.

IIJmio is a well-known low-cost SIM service provider in Japan, and their SIM cards are reliable and widely available.

5. B Mobile Visitor SIM Card

Picture courtesy of B Mobile Visitor SIM

B Mobile Visitor SIM cards can be purchased on Amazon or through their official website. The price for a 10-day card with 5GB of data is 1,980 yen. It’s important to note that B Mobile Visitor SIM has an additional postage charge. If the card is sent to Japanese airports, an additional 370 yen will be added, while sending it to hotels will incur a charge of 520 yen.

6. SIM Cards Offered by Klook

Residents of southeastern or eastern Asian countries can check out Klook, an experience booking site that also offers various SIM cards suitable for a trip to Japan. Most of these SIM cards can be sent to various Asian countries, so make sure to browse their selection.

Book a Klook SIM Card or Portable Wi-Fi Router

7. SIM Cards at Airports

Photo by Pixta

If you forget to purchase a SIM card in your home country, don’t worry! Major Japanese airports now have SIM card vending machines for your convenience. For example, you can find a 6-day SIM card with 1GB of data for around 2,000 yen at vending machines in Narita Airport. Be sure to check the official websites for more details.

eSIM: An Alternative to Physical SIM Cards

Picture courtesy of Sakura Mobile

One concern when using a physical SIM card is the risk of losing or misplacing it. eSIM, on the other hand, eliminates the need for a physical card and allows you to use the service directly on your device. In the U.S., the iPhone 14 series, which supports eSIM, was released in 2022, and other carriers are expected to follow suit.

In Japan, companies like mobal, Sakura Mobile, and Nippon SIM for Japan also offer eSIM services. For example, mobal provides eSIM services for 1,920 yen and up, offering 1GB of data for 8 days. Sakura Mobile offers a 10-day eSIM package with 5GB of data for 3,350 yen as of August 2023. If your smartphone supports eSIM, these companies are worth considering.

Book the mobal eSIM

Book the Sakura Mobile eSIM

Low-Cost Portable Wi-Fi Routers

Photo by Pixta

While SIM cards are a popular choice for staying connected in Japan, portable Wi-Fi routers are another option to consider. In some cases, these routers can handle a larger amount of data compared to SIM cards. However, they may also be more expensive.

For example, the Ninja WiFi router costs 770 yen per day with a data limit of 3GB per day. However, there is a 20% discount available through MATCHA, bringing the cost down to 3,080 yen for 5 days. This is a similar fee to what you would pay for a SIM card. The advantage of a portable Wi-Fi router is that it allows multiple devices to connect to the internet without the need to change SIM cards.

Book your Ninja WiFi at a 20% Discount

FAQs about SIM Cards in Japan

Q1. Is a Voice SIM or data-only SIM a better choice?

A Voice SIM comes with a Japanese telephone number, while a data-only SIM does not. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and LINE have become popular alternatives for communication, so you might wonder why you would need a Japanese phone number if you’re not a resident. However, having a phone number has its advantages. For example, you can make emergency calls to the police or fire department in case of trouble. Emergency calls can be made in languages other than Japanese, making this feature especially useful. Additionally, some services in Japan, such as the popular electronic payment app Pay Pay, require a registered phone number. If you’re interested in having a phone number, mobal offers Voice SIM cards that are suitable for short-term trips.

Q2. What does “unlimited data” mean?

Some SIM cards offer “unlimited” data usage. However, it’s important to note that there are limitations to this claim. Most SIM cards with unlimited data can handle around 2 to 3GB per day without any issues. However, if you exceed this capacity, your data speed may be reduced. While you will still have access to the internet, the speed at which data is transferred will be considerably slower.

Q3. Can I change the SIM card of my smartphone?

If your smartphone is SIM-locked, you won’t be able to change the SIM card. SIM-locking is common in some Japanese and American smartphones, although most Asian countries offer SIM-free phones. If you have a SIM-locked phone, you can contact your carrier to inquire about unlocking it. Additionally, not all SIM cards are compatible with every smartphone model. It’s important to check the compatibility list on the official websites of SIM card providers before making a purchase.

Q4. How should I handle my original SIM card?

If you plan to change the SIM card in your home country, make sure to store the original one in a safe and dust-free place. If you plan to replace the card in Japan, it’s recommended to bring a SIM card case to keep it protected. SIM card cases can be purchased on Amazon and other retailers.

By choosing the right SIM card or portable Wi-Fi router, you can stay connected and make the most of your time in Japan. Whether you prefer the convenience of a SIM card or the flexibility of a portable Wi-Fi router, there are options available to suit your needs. Happy travels!

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