Japan SIM Cards; How Major Brands Compare - Japaniverse Travel Guide (2024)

Japan SIM Cards are a way to avail of unlimited, reliable, and fast internet access while in Japan. They come in different types, with a variety of features and offers. Some are better suited for long-term stay in the country, while others are more appropriate for visitors who are there for only a short trip.

SIM Cards For Short-Term Stay

For some tourists in Japan, staying connected to the internet while exploring the country is a necessity.

Fortunately, there is a wide selection of prepaid SIM cards available in Japan that can provide different types of data-only plans and data-and-voice plans to ensure that you have access to the internet anytime and anywhere. These can easily be inserted into any smart phone or tablet that is unlocked or compatible with Japan’s mobile phone networks, and be ready for use right away.

Japan prepaid SIM cards vary in data transfer limits, connection speeds, and network used. Here is a table with a list of prepaid SIM card providers in Japan and basic information about their offers:

These are highly recommended to short-term visitors of Japan, as well as those who do not have a Residence Visa, Japanese credit card, and other requirements needed to get a Japanese SIM card.

Important Notes:

Purchasing

Among all the providers on the list, only Mobal and SIM Card Geek offers worldwide shipping. This means, you can buy from either of these websites, and have a Japan SIM Card shipped to wherever you are in the world. Click here to learn more about the Mobal Japan Unlimited SIM card. Click here to learn more about SIM Card Geeks range of SIM Cards.

Mobal have now introduced a free collection service for their SIM Cards in Japan. More information can be viewed here.

Sakura Mobile offers online purchase, and ships within Japan. They also have pickup points at airports and post offices in the country. More information is available here. Please be aware thatSakura Mobile charge an additional 50 yen fee per day on allplans aside from the basic cost.

Ninja SIM offers online purchase, but you need to pick up your SIM card at a designated airport, hotel, or post office in Japan. You can order your Ninja SIM card here.

OCN’s Prepaid SIM for Japan SIM cards are available at airports, train stations, electronic retail stores, convenience, stores, tourist information offices, travel agencies, and hotels in Japan. More information is available here.

Customer Support

If you encounter any issues with your Japan SIM card, visit your SIM card provider’s website and read their resource pages and guides. You can also contact their customer service department to help you figure out and fix the problem. Mobal, Sakura Mobile, Ninja SIM, and OCN all have English-speaking customer support staff.

Data

The SIM cards offer 4G LTE data. However, speed is throttled when data use exceeds the cap.

Voice calling

Unlike the other providers on the list, Mobal Japan Unlimited SIM card provides voice calling services in all of their plans. All incoming calls are free, and calling another Mobal Japan SIM is also free of charge. Domestic calls cost 29 yen per minute, and international call rates start at 65 yen per minute.

Texting

In addition to voice calling, Mobal Japan Unlimited SIM also allows texting. You can receive as many text messages as possible, free of charge. Outgoing text messages to Japanese numbers cost 12 yen per message, and texting to international numbers cost 140 yen per message.

SIM Cards For Long-Term Stay

Most data-and-voice SIM card providers impose a minimum contract period, charge cancellation fees, and require various documentation, such as a Residence Visa and a Japanese credit card. For these reasons, they are better suited for people staying in Japan for at least 12 months.

However, there are a couple that do not have minimum contract periods nor charge cancellation fees.



Important Notes

Purchasing and other information

Here are links to the official websites of the SIM card providers with data + voice plans listed above to find out more about their plans and services:

(English)

(Japanese)

Customer Support

Among them, only Mobal and Sakura Mobile offer English-speaking customer support.

Discounted Rates

Mobal offers discounts to students, teachers, and interns of as much as 1,500 yen per month. Find out if you are eligible for this offer here.


Japan SIM Cards; How Major Brands Compare - Japaniverse Travel Guide (2024)

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