Best eSIM for Japan: Compare, buy online and travel connected

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Want to visit Tokyo? Want to relax at Ishigaki Island? Japan is a remarkable country with such a rich history. But how can you possibly share your experiences across this wonderland if you can’t connect to the internet?

Sure, you can connect to public WiFi networks, you can use roaming services, or maybe even a pocket WiFi service, but is it really worth it? Are they truly reliable? We want to dive deep into new technology that has risen as one of the best options to connect to the international internet while traveling. Let’s welcome the eSIM for Japan!

The eSIM (short for “embedded SIM“) is a virtual SIM card that will provide a fast and reliable internet connection and make your trip a much better experience.

We recommend the eSIM as your alternative to expensive data roaming fees in Japan. This will save you a lot of money if you want to remain connected!

Let’s take a look at several providers that offer these types of services so you can get a better idea.

esim japan

Buy a Japan eSIM online


eSIM Japan card need to know information:

Keep in mind that eSIM technology is still relatively new and so not all phones are currently compatible. Take a look at the following suggestions before you buy:

  • You must have an eSIM card compatible cellphone and make sure that your cellphone also supports the carrier or the eSIM card provider. Generally, iPhone XR and later models are the most compatible. 
  • You need an email address to receive your eSIM.
  • To activate your eSIM you need a prior internet connection. Scan the QR code or use the installation code to, download the profile from the provider server.
  • Some carriers may ask you to install their app to download the eSIM.

If you can’t buy an eSIM, you can purchase a physical SIM card for travelers instead.

Buy your eSIM Japan

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Mobile eSIM card providers for travel in Japan

Let’s take a look at the cellular carriers that sell international eSIM cards:

Rates and data plans from eSIM providers for travel to Japan

Let’s talk about the different companies that offer an eSIM for your trip to Japan.


Purchasing an eSIM with Holafly is a fairly simple process as you simply go to their official website, search for your travel destination, choose the plan that best suits your needs, and proceed to finalize the purchase. This can be done from anywhere in the world and will only take a few minutes. After your purchase, the eSIM will arrive immediately in your email, so you can start using it whenever you need it. And best of all, with this company there will be no need for a contract.

Holafly offers different plans for its eSIM to Japan, but it should be noted that no matter how many days you choose, all plans to Japan will allow you to enjoy unlimited data. You will only have to choose between the number of days, including 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60, and 90 days. And the prices go from $19 to $99. Read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of Holafly’s eSIM for Japan.

Pros of Holafly’s eSIM for Japan:

  • Enjoy the high-speed and stable connection in Japan.
  • Easy to set up and activate.
  • You will enjoy unlimited data.
  • Keep your WhatsApp number on your cellphone.
  • You’ll enjoy 24/7 customer service from Holafly’s team.

Cons of Holafly’s eSIM for Japan:

  • You won’t be able to make or receive calls.
  • No messages included.
  • You can share data with other devices.

Au by KDDI

On the other hand, this is a Japanese mobile operator, whose focus is to sell phone services such as eSIMs, primarily intended for travelers planning to do work or business abroad. To purchase the eSIM from this company you will need to download their phone application, called “My au”, available for Android and iOs. After downloading it you will need to create an account on the app, set up your payment method, and choose the plan you wish to purchase.

With this company, you can choose between two plans. However, a big disadvantage is that both are for 30 days, with the difference that one will offer you 5GB and the other 8GB. The first is priced at $56 and the second at $86.

Pros of Au by KDDI eSIM:

  • No QR code scanning, the eSIM will activate itself.
  • Your Dual SIM device will automatically switch to the local network once you are at your destination.
  • You can share data with other devices.

Cons of Au by KDDI eSIM:

  • All of their tariffs are for 30 days.
  • You must download their app to make the purchase.
  • The eSIM is not compatible with all phones.


Finally, we will tell you a little bit about SIM2Fly’s eSIM for Japan. First of all, this is a company from Thailand, and they offer different plans to be able to use the eSIM. Specifically, with them, you can purchase a Global eSIM, a regional eSIM for Asia, and a local eSIM for Thailand. In the case of Japan, you can purchase the Asia or Global eSIM to be able to connect to the internet during your trip. This is priced at $18 but only offers 6GB for 8 days in the case of the Asia eSIM.

The big difference between this and the other providers is that it will be worthy if you are traveling just for a few days. If not, you will have to buy another eSIM. As for the process of purchasing the eSIM, you can do it through their website, and you will have different payment methods available.

Pros of SIM2Fly eSIM for Japan:

  • The Asian plan works in 34 Asian Counties.
  • You can add more plans when the days are finished.
  • You’ll be able to make calls and texts.

Cons of SIM2Fly eSIM for Japan:

  • They only offer one data plan for 8 days.
  • Not compatible with many phones.
  • You won’t be able to check how much data you use.

Comparison of eSIM providers for Japan

ProviderDataDaysPrice (USD)Sales channels
HolaflyUnlimited data5$19Web
HolaflyUnlimited data10$34Web
HolaflyUnlimited data15$47Web
HolaflyUnlimited data20$54Web
HolaflyUnlimited data30$64Web
HolaflyUnlimited data60$84Web
HolaflyUnlimited data90$99Web
Au by KDDI5GB30 $56 App Store, Google Play
Au by KDDI8GB30$86App Store, Google Play
SIM2Fly6GB 8$18 Web
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers for connecting to the Internet in Japan.

Features of eSIMs for travel to Japan

Read thoroughly the following information regarding the eSIM card so that your trip to Japan is worry-free!

  • Most eSIM cards do not offer voice calls, only data. You can use apps like WhatsApp or Skype instead.
  • eSIMs can only be installed once, so if encounter any problems don’t delete it from your cellphone, instead contact your eSIM provider.
  • Some eSIMs set up automatic APNs.
  • You can add several data plans on your cellphone, although it is only possible to use one at a time.
  • You will have Unlimited data.
  • With your dual SIM iPhone, you can keep your domestic SIM when you travel to Europe. 

Mobile internet coverage map for travel to Japan

It is very important that you keep in mind your eSIMs coverage, as cheap eSIMs often have poor coverage. Therefore, the eSIM cards that will offer you the best network coverage on your trip to Japan are those that have the most roaming agreements with the main operators such as NTT-Docomo, Softbank, and AU. See the following coverage maps for the main network operators.

NTT-Docomo 3G coverage map in Japan

coverage map with an esim in japan
Coverage map with NTT DOCOMO in Japan Source: GSMA

Softbank’s 3G network coverage in Japan

coverage map in japan
Coverage map with SoftBank in Japan Source: GSMA

AU’s 3G coverage map in Japan

coverage map with a KDDI esim in japan
Coverage map with UA in Japan. Source: GSMA

Local phone carriers offering eSIM in Japan

Are you planning to study or live in Japan for a long time? Then maybe you are looking for a local eSIM Card to use for more than three months. If this is your case, we are going to explain to you how cellular providers work and how you can get an eSIM card from them. Keep in mind that these eSIM carriers have eSIMs only for residents and not for travelers, although there are exceptions.

eSIM AU Japan

AU’s eSIM is compatible with all the iPhone, Google Pixel, Xiaomi, and Samsung models that support eSIM, like iPhone SE, iPhone 14, and Google Pixel 7 Pro.

With the eSIM for AU, you can make calls, go online and send messages in Japan. You will be able to use the eSIM the same day you buy it.

Benefits of the AU eSIM in Japan

On last-gen devices that support eSIM, you can use it as a dual SIM phone. In other words, you can use an eSIM and a SIM card at the same time, but in some iPhone 14 models, you can use dual eSIM only.

  • Use both phone numbers.
  • Make and receive voice calls.
  • Send and receive messages.

How to Activate an AU eSIM for Japan

If you buy a plan with AU as a new customer you just need to go to their website and click on the option new customer with contract and eSIM, then choose the line 4G or 5G.

*Remember that you need a WiFi connection on your cellphone to do the process and download the My au application before.

To continue with the process you will need to validate your identity, after that, you must download the profile on the application and install your eSIM.

Frequently asked questions about eSIM in Japan

We answer the most common questions you may have before purchasing your eSIM to travel to Japan.

What is an eSIM?

It is a virtual SIM card embbebed in cell phones, that will allow you to enjoy data connection without the need of inserting a physical SIM card.

Do I need a passport to buy the eSIM Japan card?

No, but some providers may require your address.

How to activate eSIM for Japan?

Install the eSIM with a QR code on your email, chose it as the default cellular data medium, turn on mobile/cellular data and data roaming, and your virtual SIM will work. Contact the carrier or provider if you experience any problems.

Can I share data between devices with the eSIM in Japan?

No, the eSIM for Japan does not allow you to share data.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

Yes, just like physical cards, virtual SIM cards also have an expiration date.

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