eSIM for Japan: compare, buy and travel

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Are you traveling to the Japan this year? Well, prepare for the trip of a lifetime, but make sure you’ve thought about connecting to the internet on your travels. In this article, we’ll explain why an eSIM for Japan is the best way to connecting to the internet and how you can buy one.

The eSIM (short for “embedded SIM“) is a virtual SIM card taking the tech world by storm. With an eSIM for your trip to Japan, you can enjoy cheap and fast internet on multiple devices.

So if you want to stay connected when you’re in Japan, we recommend buying an eSIM designed especially for travelers – this will save you from paying expensive data roaming charges.

We’ll compare the best companies that offer an eSIM for Japan, so you can be sure you’ll get the best deal.

What you should know about the eSIM card Japan:

eSIM technology is still relatively new, so not all phones are compatible. Here’s everything you need to check before you buy:

  • Your cell phone must be compatible with an eSIM card. Also, check that your cell phone is supported by the carrier or eSIM card provider. The iPhone XR and later models are compatible with most providers. 
  • You need an email address to receive your eSIM.
  • You need internet connection to activate your eSIM. Your eSIM profile will be downloaded from the provider after scanning the QR code or installation code.
  • Some providers will 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 to Japan

If your phone is not compatible with the eSIM, we recommend a physical SIM card to Japan, which comes with unlimited data and calls. But if you do have a compatible phone, it’s time to find the right product for you,

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

  • Holafly
  • Au by KDDI
  • SIM2Fly

Rates and data plans from eSIM providers for travel to Japan

Let’s take a look at the different companies that offer an eSIM for Japan.

Holafly plans and prices in Japan:

  • 3GB for 8 days at $22 (USD)
  • 4GB for 12 days for $34.86
  • 5GB for 15 days at $46.88
  • 7GB for 30 days at $58.59

Au by KDDI plans and rates for Japan:

  • 5GB for 30 days at $52
  • 8GB for 30 days at $81

SIM2Fly plans and tariffs in Japan:

  • 6GB for 8 days at $19
  • 6GB for 15 days at $37

Comparison of eSIM providers for Japan

ProviderDataDaysPriceSales channels
Au by KDDI 5GB30 $52 App Store, Google Play
Au by KDDI8GB30$81App Store, Google Play
SIM2Fly 6GB 8$19 Web
TravelSIM250MB14 $31 Web
TravelSIM 5GB30 $181 Web
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers for connecting to the Internet in Japan.

Features of eSIMs for travel to Japan

To get the most out of your eSIM card, we’ve prepared some important information to bear in mind so that your trip to Japan is worry-free.

  • Most eSIM cards do not offer mobile calls, only data. You can use apps like WhatsApp or Skype instead.
  • eSIMs can only be installed once, so if you’re experiencing problems with your eSIM card do not remove it from your mobile and contact your eSIM provider instead.
  • Some eSIMs set up automatic APNs.
  • You can add several data plans on your iPhone, although it is only possible to use one at a time.
  • Some eSIMs allow you to share data between devices.
  • With your dual SIM iPhone, you can keep your local SIM when you travel to Europe. 

eSIM coverage for travel to Japan

It is very important that you take into account the coverage of your eSIM, as cheap eSIMs often have poor coverage. Therefore, the eSIM cards that will offer you the best network coverage on your trip to Switzerland are those that have the most roaming agreements with the main operators such as Salt, Sunrise or Swisscom. We show you the following coverage maps of the main 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

Frequently asked questions about eSIM in Japan

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

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 from your email, chose it as the default mobile data medium, turn on mobile data and data roaming, and your virtual SIM will work. Contact the company if you have any problems.

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

Sharing is caring, right? Well with an eSIM from Holafly you can share data between devices, so your family and friends can connect to.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

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

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