[Help] Getting Prepaid Sim Card in Japan (Update: 2018)

Getting a prepaid sim card in Japan can be quite simple, however, not many people will consider that as compared to a prepaid sim card and WiFi rental egg. WiFi egg can be shared with many people and sim card cost in Japan is slightly higher and does not guarantee good connectivity. I have used a few different prepaid sim card for my trip to Japan, and here is the compilation of it. There are many sim card available in Japan but the cost can be quite expensive and not very efficient, is good to compare and check on which type of sim card is suitable for you.


What type of device is suitable for you?

  • 1 Person: Prepaid Sim Card
  • 1~2 Person: Prepaid Sim Card
  • 3~4 Person: Pocket-router
  • More than 5: Pocket-router

**The above suggestion is for reference, it depends on the individual preference**

What kind of data plan should you choose for your trip?

4 Days or lesser: 500MB

5~ 7 Days: 1GB

7~14 Days: 3GB

14~30 Days: 5GB

30 ~60 Days: 10GB

**The above suggestion is for reference, it depends on the individual preference**

Things to note for prepaid sim card purchase:

  • Japan sim card as of now still do not support voice call for short-term stayers
  • They do have voice call sim card available but it cost a lot
  • Your phone must be SIM LOCK Free, please check with the respective sim card supplier
  • All of the devices used in Japan be it prepaid sim card or wifi router, there will be a fair usage policy for speed per day even though the company states unlimited data (Unlimited data does not mean unlimited speed). **Do read the detailed fine prints** 

To apply:

Retail store Purchase (eg. Yodobashi, BIC Camera. b-MOBILE etc)

-Passport

-Email address

Online Purchase

-Name (Same as the Individual passport)

-Address

-3 days before reaching Japan (Hokkaido and Okinawa might need longer days)

-Delivery to Airport (Take note of the counter closing hour), hotel, residential, post-office.


B-mobile

Cost + Data plan:

VISITOR SIM 5GB / 21Days Prepaid  
Cost (excl. tax)
JPY
3,223
Data speedLTE / 3G (Best effort theoretical maximum speed.)
Data 5GB (5,000MB)
Validity Period21 days or up to 5GB whichever comes first.
Network coverageNTT DOCOMO
APN informationAPN : bmobile.ne.jp
User name : bmobile@4g
Password : bmobile
Auth type : PAP or CHAP (if available)
PDP type : IP (if required)
MVNO type : SPN (if available)

Delivery fee

 200JPY (excluding tax)

Check your Compatible devices here.

Where to buy?

Online

Store (Aeon, Bic Camera, Yodobashi)

Collection

Airport, Home (Apartment, Office), Hotel

2 cents opinion:

This sim card is the most commonly seen used by tourist, as compared with other companies, the cost for a 5GB Data and 21 days is quite reasonable and data usage more than enough for the most travellers. I tried b-mobile when it was still the old plan with lesser GB and days but more options. Now they have concentrated only on one plan and there is counter situated at the airport which is convenient for travellers.

 


e-Connect

Source: eConnect

 

Cost+ Data:

Data 100 MB/day 500 MB
1 GB3 GB5GB 10GB
Duration7/15/30 Days7 Days
15 Days30 days30 Days60 Days
Speed 128kbps after exceed 100mb/day Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Limitx x x x x
Cost ( excl. tax ) JPY 2,680 1,9803,180 4,980 6,880 9,180

Check your Compatible devices here.

**No delivery fee needed

Where to buy?

Online

Collection

Airport, Home (Apartment, Office), Hotel

2 cents opinion:
There is a lot of option available for the users to choose from and it mostly cater to the English speaking community. Over the years it has improved with easier access and an app to help with the setting and connection. The cost might look a little costly but it does not include the delivery fee like other companies. 

Sakura Mobile

Source: Sakura Mobile

 

Cost+data Plan:

Data 3GB 5GB
10GB30GB
Duration90 Days90 Days
90 Days90 Days
Speed StandardStandard Standard Standard
Cost ( excl. tax ) JPY 3,500 + 50 per day4,500 + 50 per day7,000+ 50 per day20,000 + 50 per day

Check your Compatible devices here.

Delivery fee

890 JPY (excluding tax)

*Summer sale: 10 May ~ 10 July (Free shipping + 15% Extra data)

Where to buy?

Online

Collection

Airport, Home (Apartment, Office), Hotel

2 cents opinion:
This has a better range of option for heavy user with a minimum of 3 GB for a validity of 90 days, this is suitable for students who are going for a summer exchange programme or traveller visiting for a short-term holiday. Cost is also reasonable as compared with others now as there is a summer sale but if we are to add in the delivery it will cost almost the same as econnect.
 

Klook

Source: KLOOK

Cost+data Plan:

Data 1GB 3GB
Unlimited
Duration6 Days8 Days
8 Days
Speed StandardStandard Standard
(no reduction of speed)
Cost (JPY) 1,0562,1603,360

Check your Compatible devices here.

**No delivery fee needed

Purchase your sim card here.

Where to buy?

Online

Collection:

Airport

2 cents opinion:
The collection at the airport made it convenient for travellers and this is suitable for short-term traveller who is going there for less than 8 days and travellers who need the basic usage of data like usage for social media messaging and posting. With the 3 different choices of the plan and price is quite reasonable and they even provide unlimited data for heavy usage.

 


IIJ Japan Travel Sim

Source: Yodobashi

 

Cost+data Plan:

Data 1.5GB3GB
Validity Period30 Days
Data speedLTE / 3G (Best effort theoretical maximum speed.)
Network coverageNTT DOCOMO
Cost (incl. tax)
JPY
Yodobashi: 1,990
Bic Camera: 1,998
Amazon: 2,280
Yodobashi: 3,020
Bic Camera: 3,024
Amazon: 3,143

Check your Compatible devices here.

Where to buy?

Online (Amazon, Yodobashi, Bic camera)

Airport (convenience store, JALABC Counter)

Store (Bic camera, Yodobashi)

To note:

4G(LTE)(Maximum 788 Mbps downlink/50 Mbps uplink)

*Transmission rate depends on your device.

*3G network is available outside of LTE coverage.

2 cents opinion:

The next best sim card to buy if you arrive Japan late and the collection counter from other service providers are not available (take note of the operating hours for collection at the service providers counters), this is another option to choose from. Cost wise this can be the cheaper choice among the 30 days usage plan for 1.5GB. As the cost of the sim card depends on each individual vendor, therefore, we will have to do a comparison for each shop makes the whole process a little troublesome.


so-net

 

Source: So-net

 

Cost+data Plan:

Plan1.2G2.4G
3.2G
SIM CARD TYPESTANDARD SIM、MicroSIM、nanoSIM
SpeedNo limit
Validity period30days30days
60days
Data Usage1.2GB 2.4GB
3.2GB
Cost (excl. Tax) JPY
3,241
4,1675,093

Check your Compatible devices here.

Where to buy?

Online (Amazon) **Only available in 2GB and 12GB

Airport (Vending Machine, JALABC Counter)

Yodobashi

To know more about the location, click here.

To note:

Connection speed are best effort estimates. They will change depending on connection, devices, network conditions etc.

2 cents opinion:

Get the sim card at the airport or in Japan, as the online purchase only have 2 choices, however, from Amazon the 2GB sim card cost the least among the others. The so-net was actually known for its great speed and stability as compared with other brands which might be the reason for the price to be slightly higher than the others,

Overall:

With so many telecommunication service provider to choose from, personally, it still comes down to your preference to see which plan suits your need and budget. For me, I will choose a plan with 1.2GB ~2.4 GB, it’s good enough for a 2 weeks trip, if you love to upload photos and video to your social media. Otherwise, for the speed most of the service provider are standard and once you hit a certain usage or at an area where a lot of people are using it the speed will start to slow down. Do note that sometimes when you are on a train going through a tunnel there might not be connection available.

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