Best Prepaid Data Sim Card in Japan for Tourists in 2019

Best Prepaid Data Sim Card in Japan for Tourists

A Japan travel sim card is a great option for easy and convenient access to the internet without going through the hassle of finding free wifi hotspots and the associated security concerns. It’s common for your accommodation provider to offer wifi for guests but once you step outside you won’t be able to use it anymore.

Access to the internet is even more important as a traveller – uploading photos, using social media, and finding your way around with Google Maps and public transport information are just a few examples of when you will need it. Here’s another article on some of the apps we have found useful when travelling to Japan.

It’s not possible to buy sim cards directly through the major Japanese telcos such as NTT Docomo and SoftBank. You need to purchase through virtual network operators such as Sakura Mobile or from online travel agencies such as Klook, or buy Japan travel sim cards in stores such as Bic Camera. We have done the research for you to allow you to quickly compare a range of sim card options available through Sakura Mobile, Mobal, Klook, Get Your Guide and Amazon. Between the different providers there are a wide range of pick-up options available.

Before getting into the details about the different Japan tourist sim card options, a pro tip is to pre-order your sim card at least one week before you depart. This reduces stress by knowing you will have ready access to the internet almost straight away and ensures you will be able to get a sim card in Japan, even during peak travel times. Make sure you also double check the pick-up options in advance particularly if you are on an early or late flight.

If you are relocating to Japan as a student or expatriate worker, we have also provided information on two options to easily purchase a data plus voice plus SMS sim card on a monthly plan.

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!


Your Japan Planning Calendar

Japan Travel Sim Card Compared With Japan Portable Pocket Wifi Rental – Pros and Cons

When my family travels overseas, we have used both travel sim cards and portable wifi units and over time have learnt the pros and cons for both. Here are my thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of both.

It can be a bit of a hassle to install a sim card in Japan for tourist usage such as accessing your phone apps, but once you have put the sim card in it can be more convenient than a wifi unit. Firstly, you don’t need to be mindful of turning your phone on and off to save battery life unlike with a portable wifi. You also don’t need to return it at the end of your stay in Japan and you will have one less device to carry around. It’s also easy to use your phone as a mobile hot spot if you have a generous data allowance.

If you are going to use your phone and a prepaid sim in Japan you will want to check that your phone is unlocked and is compatible with the Japanese network you will be using through Will My Phone Work. Also, make sure your phone settings are correct to avoid additional charges. If you use a major network such as SoftBank and Docomo you should have reasonable network coverage in both urban and rural areas.  Regardless of whether you use a data sim card or pocket wifi, if you plan to travel to areas which are a distance from a town centre you may not have network coverage.

Pocket wifi units make it very easy to connect multiple devices which make them very useful if you are going to travel with a group of people that all require internet access. In this situation you would want a pocket wifi device with a generous data allowance as it is common practice for speed to be reduced when you exceed your data allowance. For many portable wifi routers battery life is about 6-9 hours, so you will either need to conserve your battery life, recharge the unit, or use an external power bank.

If you prefer to rent a portable pocket wifi I suggest you check out our Best Online Pocket Wifi Rental In Japan For Tourists article to assist you to choose the option which will suit you best.

Japanese Prepaid Data Sim Card Options

What sim card will best suit your needs for your trip to Japan? The answer to this question depends on your individual needs with considerations such as:

  • How long you will be travelling
  • What will you be using the data allowance for
  • How often you will need to use data
  • Whether you require voice and SMS services or data only

This article provides an overview of the features and costs for various travel sim card options in Japan from Klook and Sakura Mobile.

Data only plans along with apps such as Skype or Whatsapp should suit most people. Think about setting up a Skype number so you can easily call people and they can easily call you.

Costs are accurate as at 25 August 2019, but prices may go up or down depending on product pricing, exchange rate changes and various promotions offered by the different providers.  This article will be periodically updated to reflect the latest prices.

Japan Sim Card – Data + Voice + SMS 

Below is a comparison table of the data plus voice plus SMS SIM card options for Japan.  These are available primarily for foreigners staying in Japan for longer periods, such as students and expats.  Note that Mobal sim cards can also be used by tourists as they offer set periods of 30, 60 or 90 days.  A 30-day card can be used for less than 30 days.  Our recommended providers also offer longer term sim card options which are detailed in the table below.

Click on the links below to check out further information and to make your booking. The details for pick-up locations can be found at the end of the article.

Providers Features Cost
Mobal

Click here to pre-book through Mobal

Click on the ‘Long Term’ tab to see the longer term sim card options.  Monthly pricing and call costs are the same as detailed for the short term products.

We have also written a detailed review article of both the Mobal Data Only and Mobal Voice + Sim Card – we used both on our recent visit to Japan and loved both options!

Free worldwide shipping or various pickup locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Sendai or Singapore

Network Provider: Softbank

Activate for 30/60/90 days or an ongoing monthly service.

No contract and no residence visa required.

Unlimited data (7GB per calendar month at 4G speed.

Fair Usage Policy.  Speed reduces to 128 Kbps if you use more than that, resets on the first day of each month).

Unlimited free incoming calls and texts. Free calls to other MOBAL Japan sims between 1am and 9pm each day.

Comes with SIM card adapter kit for use with nano, micro and standard SIM card slots

 

SIM Purchase Price – $US29 + $US43 per month for data + voice + SMS plan.

US 28 cents per minute for domestic calls. US 62 cents per minute for international calls to 26 countries (inc. Australia, Canada, USA, UK, etc). $US1.90 per minute for other countries.

Domestic texts are US 11 cents per text and international texts are $US1.33 per text.

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Mobal Sim Card
Click here to check out the Mobal Sim Card Options

Japan Sim Card Data only – Short Term Travel

Klook is gearing up for a major Black Friday Promotion to run from 29 November to 2 December 2019.  

Klook’s Biggest Black Friday Cyber Monday Asia Sale is coming to you soon! Enjoy great discounts and the very best deals on top destinations in Asia. 🧡🗻🏮 .

Below is a comparison table of the data only SIM card options for Japan travel for 30 days or less. These are the most common types of sim card available for tourists. Click on the links to check out further information and to make your booking. The details for pick-up locations can be found at the end of the article.

Providers Features Cost
Sakura Mobile

Click here to pre-book through Sakura Mobile

 

Network provider: NTT Docomo

No Fair Usage Policy!  Unlimited 4G/LTE data with no limitation, no daily cap, no restriction whatsoever. 

Wide range of delivery and pick-up options such as Airport pick-up and Free shipping.

English support with 2,700+ of 5-star reviews.

SIM card can be transformed into nano, macro and regular size.

SIM card is pre-activated.

Regular shipping for ordering 3 days or more in advance, otherwise express order is required.

Unlimited Japan Data SIM

8 days – $US42

15 days – $US60

30 days – $US83

45 days – $US134

60 days – $US148

90 days – $US222

Mobal Unlimited Data Sim Cards

Click here to pre-book through Mobal

We have also written a detailed review article of both the Mobal Data Only and Mobal Voice + Sim Card – we used both on our recent visit to Japan and loved both options!

Free worldwide shipping or various pickup locations in Tokyo, Osaka, Sendai or Singapore

Network Provider: Softbank

Card is pre-activated

Multi-size SIM works in any unlocked device.

Fair Usage Policy. If you use more than 3GB of data in a day, your data speeds may be reduced for 24-48 hours.

Unlimited Japan Data SIM

8 days – $US38

16 days – $US57

31 days – $US71

SIM Card Geek

Click here to pre-book through SIM Card Geek

NOTE: Mobal SIM cards are also available through this link.

Network Provider: NTT Docomo

Fair Usage Policy.  Unlimited 4G LTE data, speed may be throttled if use is excessive

Card is pre-activated

Multi-size SIM card. SIM adapters and ejector included

Free worldwide 5-12 day shipping included. Express 2-3 day shipping is available from $US13

If you order more than a few weeks in advance, SIM card won’t be shipped immediately. It will be shipped a few weeks before you travel.

You can also arrange for your card to be picked up from post offices located within airports.

5 days unlimited data – $US 33

8 days 8GB data – $US 33

12 days unlimited data – $US 47

14 days 3GB data – $US 43

16 days 16GB data – $US 52

21 days unlimited data – $US 66

30 days 7GB data – $US 47

31 days 31GB data – $US 66

Klook

Click here to pre-book through Klook

Network provider: NTT Docomo

Fair Usage Policy.  Speed throttled to 200Kbps beyond data allowance

Nano or micro sim card

1GB 6 days – $US10

3GB 8 days – $US15

Unlimited data 8 days – $US23 (Speed reduced to 3G speed after data usage exceeds 30GB)

Amazon

Click here to book through Amazon

Multi-country AIS sim card

Provides access to data in 14 countries including:

  • Japan, South Korea, Singapore,
  • Malaysia, Hong Kong, Laos,
  • India, Taiwan, Macao,
  • Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar,
  • Nepal and Australia

Fair Usage Policy.  Data throttled to 128Kbps after 4GB of use.

8 days 4G Unlimited data

Pricing as detailed in the Amazon box on the left hand side

Delivery to your home before you depart

Amazon

Click here to book through Amazon

eConnect Japan Only Prepaid SIM Card

High Speed Internet under Docomo 4G/LTE Network

No Daily Limit, No Fair Usage Policy, No Speed Restriction

Make Top Ups & Check Data Balance with eConnect Mobile App (iOS, Android)

3-in-1 type for all SIM Sizes (nano, micro and mini)

1GB Data for up to 15 days

Pricing as detailed in the Amazon box on the left hand side

Delivery to your home before you depart

International Delivery from the Amazon USA store

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Japan Data Only Sim Cards – Pick-Up in Bangkok and Hong Kong

Klook also has a variety of options to purchase sim cards for pick-up outside of Japan, including from Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Providers Features Cost
Klook – Bangkok Pick-up

Click here to book through Klook

Pick-up at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) – Klook Counter, B Floor, RC6 (beside Airport Rail-Link Station). Pick up between 8am and 11pm daily.

Multi-country AIS sim card – Provides coverage in up to 40 countries (15 day plan) and 15 countries (8 day plan)

Data throttled to 128Kbps after 4GB of use for both 8 and 15 day plans

Standard/micro and nano sim card size

8 days 4G unlimited data sim card – $US12

10 days 4G unlimited data sim card – $US10

15 days 4G unlimited data sim card – $US28

 

 

 

Klook – Hong Kong Pick-up

Click here to book through Klook

Pick-up at Hong Kong International Terminal Airport Terminal 1, Arrival Hall, Counter A13. Pickup between 7am and 11pm.

Network provider: NTT Docomo

Data throttled to 128Kbps after 2GB of use

Nano or micro sim

8 day 4G unlimited data sim card – $US14

 

Sim Card Pickup Locations – Tokyo, Osaka, Chubu, Chitose

Prepaid data sim cards can be picked-up in various cities throughout Japan including Tokyo, Osaka, Chubu and Chitose.  Detailed information is contained in each vendor’s sales page, ensure you check this information to have confidence that you can pick up to suit your schedule.

Sakura Mobile Sim Card Pick Up Locations

Sakura Mobile sim cards have a very flexible range of pick-up and delivery locations including international airport counters (Narita, Haneda and Kansai), delivery to hotels within Japan, post office branches and residential addresses including AirBnB. Regular shipping is used for orders for 3 days or more in advance, otherwise express shipping options are also available.

  • Collection hours at Narita Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are from 6.30am until the time of last flight.
  • Collection hours at Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal are available 24 hours per day.
  • Collection hours at Kansai Airport Terminal 1 are from 6.15am to 10:30pm every day.
  • Return is via mail satchel, you can post at any airport or other post office.  At each airport there is a post box just before you go through security and immigration, so ensure you remember to post your mail satchel in the baggage drop off area.

Click here to check out the details and book your Sakura Sim Card

Mobal Data Only Sim Card and Data + Voice + SMS Sim Card Pick Up Locations

One great feature of both Mobal Data Only SIM Cards and Mobal Data + Voice + SMS Sim cards is that they offer free worldwide delivery. Otherwise, you can pick-up your Mobal Sim Cards at 3 different locations in Narita Airport Terminal 1 and there is also a pick-up location in Terminal 2. You can also collect your Mobal SIM card at Haneda Airport, the Shibuya Tourist Information Centre or Tokyo Mobile Phone Shop in Shinjuku. The other pick-up locations are at Osaka Airport, Sendai Airport or the Japan Rail Cafe in Singapore.

Click here to check out the details and book your Mobal Sim Card

Mobal Sim Card for Japan
Mobal Sim Card for Japan

Sim Card Geek Pick Up Locations

Free worldwide 5-12 day shipping included. 2-3 day shipping is available from $US13.  If you order more than a few weeks in advance, the SIM card won’t be shipped immediately. It will be shipped a few weeks before you travel.  You can also arrange for your card to be picked up from post offices located within airports – more information on the airport collection process is available after you click through to their website.

Click here to check out the details and book your Sim Card Geek Sim Card

Klook Sim Card Pickup Locations

Below are the pickup locations for sim cards ordered through Klook.

  • Tokyo – Narita International Airport
    • Terminal 1 – International Arrival Lobby (1F), South Wing, Easygo Counter (8:30am to 10:00pm).
    • Terminal 2 – International Arrival Lobby (1F), Central Building, Easygo Counter (8:30am to 10:00pm).
  • Tokyo – Haneda International Airport – International Terminal Arrival Lobby (2F), Easygo counter located on the right hand side on the arrival lobby exit (8:30am to 10:00pm).
  • Osaka – Kansai Airport – Terminal 1 – International Arrival Floor, Easygo Counter located next to the north exit.
  • Osaka – City Air Terminal (JR Namba Station) – Japan Holiday Travel OCAT Tourist Information Center (1F) (8:30am to 8:30pm)
  • Chubu Centrair International Airport – Arrival Lobby (2F), Easygo Counter (9:30am to 6:30pm)
  • Chitose International Airport – Arrival Lobby (2F), Easygo Counter (9:30am to 6:30pm)

Click here to check out the details and book your Klook Sim Card

Best Prepaid Data Sim Card in Japan for Tourists

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!


Your Japan Planning Calendar

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