You are traveling to Japan, a nation with more than 6,800 islands, and you will need Google Maps, search for that sushi restaurant or find your reservations. For all this, you need a SIM card to have Internet when you land in Japan. As you know, you can find a variety of options but which one to choose?
Remember that using roaming with your operator will cost you an arm and a leg: up to 15€ per MB downloaded, unthinkable. Unthinkable, but which card should you buy? If you want to know which is the best data SIM card for Japan and stay connected to the Internet, we talk about the best alternatives: advantages and disadvantages, where to buy them, and some travel tips to keep in mind.
You can also keep your local line with a digital eSIM for Japan if you have a compatible cell phone like iPhone XR or latest. They work very well!
- 1 Why buy a prepaid SIM card for Japan?
- 2 Where to buy the best data SIM card for Japan?
- 3 Buying a prepaid SIM card for Japan from an online store
- 4 Prices of SIM cards for Japan
- 5 Buying a SIM card in Japan with Docomo, Softbank and COMST
- 6 The Best Japan SIM card, which one to buy?
- 7 Frequently asked questions about the Internet and SIM card for Japan
- 8 SIM Cards for another destinations
Why buy a prepaid SIM card for Japan?
There are different options, such as internacional roaming with your operator or pocket WiFi, with the advantage of sharing data, for example. However, it can be much more expensive. The pocket WiFi is a somewhat cumbersome and expensive device, even more so in case of damage or loss. On the other hand, using data roaming in Japan can be an unpleasant surprise when you return from your trip and see the bill. We have reviewed the prices of the main operators, and this is how much roaming costs in Japan:
- AT&T: 2,05 USD/MB.
- T-Mobile: 15USD/MB.
Where to buy the best data SIM card for Japan?
Where to buy the best SIM card for Japan? What do you say? You have two options, firstly to bring it from Spain or your country of origin or buy it when you arrive in Japan. The situation is which option is more comfortable and convenient, keep in mind that it is a new country, you don’t speak the language, and you will be tired.
Buying a prepaid SIM card for Japan from an online store
As I said before, here are the international SIM card options for Japan that you can get before travelling. But why is it recommended? It makes things much easier when you arrive, think of everything that happens after arriving, you have to go get your suitcase, go through controls and so on. The last thing you want is to add stress or complication to the situation, so it is better to have it before. You just need to arrive, insert and configure your SIM card, and that’s it, start being connected as a digital nomad.
Holafly SIM Card
It offers you the best data SIM card in Japan with network support from two of the best mobile operators, Softbank and NTT Docomo. Available in five presentations:
|Days and data plans||Price|
|7 days -1.5GB of data||22 USD|
|8 days – unlimited data||39 USD|
|15 days – unlimited data||50 USD|
|20 days – unlimited data||79 USD|
|30 days – unlimited data||85 USD|
- If you lose the SIM card, you do not have to pay any penalty.
- The delivery period lasts a maximum of 48 hours (two days), and delivery to your home is free.
- Unlimited data plans.
- They have express and express delivery option if you are short of time.
- You can share data with other devices.
- Softbank and NTT Docomo network coverage.
- Easy installation by inserting it into your mobile when you arrive in Japan.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Please note that the 7-day SIM card only gives you 1.5 GB of mobile data. But, if you need more data, you can take the 8-day SIM card.
Econnect prepaid SIM
It offers you a card with six types of plans, all with NTT Docomo coverage: 100MB per day for 7, 15, and 30 days at 26 USD, 500MB for seven days at 19 USD, 1GB for 15 days at 31 USD, 3GB for 30 days at 48 USD, 5GB for 30 days at 67 USD, 10GB for 60 days at 90 USD.
- No shipping cost.
- You can control the card from the platform’s App.
- The delivery period can be extended up to 2 weeks.
- Only operates with NTT Docomo, which may affect your coverage when traveling around the country.
Japan Mobal SIM card
This company operates with Softbank and offers cards for stays of 8, 16, 31, and other options. Their prices start at 34.19€. Their long term cards, more than 90 days, can charge you up to 3 fees.
- Their call per minute and SMS rates are reasonable.
- It operates with Softbank, an operator with good coverage in many places, although there may be inadequate coverage in some areas.
- Its cost is not economical.
Prices of SIM cards for Japan
Now that you know each option of prepaid SIM cards for Japan in detail, it would be convenient to know their advantages and disadvantages in a comparative table for you to conclude which one is the best. Well, here we show it to you.
In the case of Holafly and Mobal, which offer unlimited data, minimum consumption of 1 GB per day and for a 15-day stay in Japan has been considered.
|Data cost||Amount of data||Cost per day||Cost per GB|
|Holafly||50 USD||Unlimited for 15 days||3,3 USD||Unlimited|
|Econnect||49 USD||1 GB for 15 days||2,1 USD||49 USD|
|Mobal||62 USD||7,5 GB||3,5 USD||8,3 USD|
Buying a SIM card in Japan with Docomo, Softbank and COMST
You can buy it in electronic stores (Yodobashi Camera, Sofmap, and Biccamera), stands at airports, bus terminals, train stations, tourist information centers, convenience stores, and travel agencies.
Please note that prices vary according to where you buy it. There may be variations, and it will take a little paperwork to get it upon arrival. The most important operators NTT Docomo, Comst, Softbank. Although we could also consider Rakuten Mobile, Smash Mobile, or b-mobile.
Considered one of the country’s largest operators, it has good 3G and 4G coverage throughout Japan. This card can be purchased and loaded in supermarkets, authorized stores (Familymart, PlatPlat), and vending machines.
There are two types of cards: one that lasts seven days and offers 100MB of data per day, priced at 27 USD, and another one that lasts 14 days and also provides 100MB of data per day at 34 USD.
- These data SIM cards can work on cell phones, tablets, and pocket WiFi.
- To activate the data SIM card, you can access a menu in Japanese or English.
- SIM prices range from 29 to 35 USD.
- You must show your passport and fill out a form to complete the transaction.
- There are only two plans.
- It offers 100MB of data per day (very little).
This operator, supported by the NTT Docomo network, also offers Internet at 3G and 4G speeds. Its SIM cards, called T-SIMs, can be purchased and loaded in different parts of the country.
It has two exclusive plans for tourists, a 30-day plan that offers 3GB of data and costs 33,2 USD, and a 7-day plan that offers 1GB of data at 47 USD. Regarding credit, there are three plans, all for 30 days: 3GB at 19 USD, 5GB at 30 USD, and 10GB at 48 USD.
- It has four plans that can provide up to 10GB of data for up to 1 month (30 days).
- The prices of its plans cost between 32 to 48 USD.
- Data cards can be reloaded with credit.
- There are no plans other than seven days and 30 days.
- If you buy credit and spend the MB before, you will have to wait a whole month to recharge it.
The SIM card will cost you 131 USD, while if you want to add call credit, it will cost you another 88 USD, both will last you 14 days. You can get them and recharge them in supermarkets and authorized stores.
Softbank offers three recharge plans: One that lasts two days and offers 200MB at 8 USD, another one of seven days and offers 700MB at 24 USD, and the last one, of 30 days, which offers 3GB at 44 USD.
- The best option if you consider buying data and calls.
- There is an exclusive promotion for tourists called Tourist SIM, and it gives you 1GB of 3G and 4G data for 31 days.
- Buying a SIM card gives you access to 400 thousand free exclusive WiFi for Softbank customers.
- The data offered by the top-up plans only amounts to 3G.
- You will have to wait 14 days to recharge your Japan SIM card in case you have used up your first MB.
- You will have to show your passport and fill out a form to purchase the product.
An alternative that charges you the lowest possible cost in data (GB) and per day is without objection Holafly’s Japan SIM card, the best alternative to have Internet on your trip.
The Best Japan SIM card, which one to buy?
The answer is Holafly’s Japan data SIM card, which offers you unlimited data starting at €34 for more than a week’s stay up to a whole month. With unlimited data and network coverage from Softbank and Docomo, you can share mobile data like a pocket WiFi.
There are five types of cards: 7 days with 1.5 GB at 23 USD days with unlimited data at 40 USD, 15 days with unlimited data at 51 USD, 20 days with unlimited data at 80 USD and 30 days with unlimited data at 86 USD.
Remember your advantages. Unlimited data. You can receive attention 24 hours a day, totally free shipping to your home, excellent coverage of Softbank and NTT Docomo operators, and you can share data with other devices (as do the pocket WiFi or portable WiFi) and keep your WhatsApp number, so you do not lose your contacts.
Will my phone work on Japanese networks?
Always keep this in mind, especially if your device is not quite modern, check if your mobile will work in Japan and avoid bad news. On the Kimovil website, you can check whether or not your phone will work in Japan. Enter the brand and series of your device and check if it will operate in Japan, with which frequency bands according to the coverage and sub-brand of your product.
In which bands do mobile carriers work in Japan?
Please note that this compatibility will also depend on the operator offering the service. However, Softbank and NTT Docomo have the best compatibility with our mobile phones.
B1 (2100); B8 (900); B9 (1800 Japón); B11 (1500); B19 (800)
|4G||B1 (2100); B3 (1800); B8 (900); B9 (1800); B11 |
(1500); B18 (800); B19 (800); B21 (1500); B28 (700); B41 (TDD 2500); B42 (TDD 3500)
n77 (3700); n78 (3500); n257 mm Wave (28 GHz)
All set to stay connected to the Internet in Japan!
Frequently asked questions about the Internet and SIM card for Japan
It is very good in general all over Japan. However, in very mountainous and rural areas, it can become a bit more limited.
It depends on the SIM you buy, but you can find SIMs for just one week, 8, 15, 20, and even 30 days. With limited and unlimited data, it will depend on your travel needs.
Normally in the case of this card, it only works in Japan. If you need a SIM card for another country, you would have to purchase a new SIM card.
It depends. The Holafly Japan SIM card does not include a local phone number, so it is impossible to receive calls and messages. However, you can work around this with your social networks’ help, and that’s it! Super simple.
No, you don’t. Once you have used your SIM card, you can throw it away. It will not be necessary to return it as it will be unusable once you have used up the data for the days you bought it.