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Mobile Internet in Japan: What is the best option?

Are you traveling to Japan? Then you probably wonder how to get mobile internet in Japan, and we'll explain it.

30 sierpnia, 2023

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If you are thinking of traveling to Japan soon, or simply already know that you are going to this beautiful country, then you should be preparing everything for your trip. From the things you should bring, your legal documents, and, very importantly, the connectivity you are going to have in this Asian country. So you are probably wondering how to connect to mobile internet once you are in Japan. 

Let us tell you that today we will be helping you check the different alternatives you will have to stay connected to the internet in Japan. Also, help you understand which is the best option for your trip, so you can have the best experience of your life. 

Getting internet abroad can be difficult…

If you don’t know the language or if it is your first time traveling to Japan, we know it can be difficult to acquire an internet connection when you land in the country. But with an eSIM for Japan, you will be able to connect to the internet in just five minutes and in your native language. Easy-peasy! – Get 5% OFF. Code: MYESIMNOW5

Mobile Internet in Japan

If you wish to use your phone once you are in Japan and stay connected to the internet with it, let us tell you that currently there are many alternatives to make this possible. that’s why through this article we will be giving you information about the following alternatives to have cellular internet in Japan: 

It is important that you know everything about each of these alternatives, both advantages, disadvantages, and costs. Also, know what the internet coverage will be for each of these options once arrive in Japan. Continue reading to find out more about each of these alternatives, so you can get the best one for you.

>>You may also be interested in Things to do in Kyoto

Japan internet providers

You already know what each alternative is, however, it is of utmost importance that you know much more about the features that you will have with each service, and to know which internet providers we recommend. We have done some research to show you the best options, and you will have to choose between the best options. Therefore, we will be explaining each internet provider alternative in more detail below. 

Prepaid SIM Card for Japan

To buy a prepaid SIM card for Japan, you will have two options. First, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card through online stores and have it delivered to your home address, this way, you can have it with you before you travel. Or, as a second option you can buy it when you arrive in Japan, in physical stores or points of sale. The question you must ask yourself is which option will be more comfortable and convenient, keep in mind that it is a new country for you, if you don’t speak the language, you will have trouble communicating with others, and you will be tired once you arrive. 

Next, we will tell you about two physical stores that you can find in Japan, such as NTT Docomo and Softbank. Likewise, we will also tell you about an online store where you can purchase your virtual SIM card before arriving in Japan, which is Holafly. 

NTT Docomo branch in Japan

The Japan SIM card offered by NTT Docomo is characterized by exclusive plans for devices that support 5G networks with data allowance from 1 GB to 7 GB. With this company, you’ll have telephone support for users. And a good thing is they won’t ask for long-term contracts. 

Softbank Shop in Japan

When you are at the Japanese airport you will most likely see a Softbank operator shop. Their prepaid SIM card is characterized by unlimited SMS to send throughout Japan. It connects to 4G LTE networks and even 5G in some cases. And with this SIM card, you’ll be able to share data with other devices. Also, take into account that this shop requires a contract minimum clause to purchase their SIM card. 

International eSIM for traveling to Japan

eSIM for Japan
eSIM with unlimited data plans in Japan. Source: Holalfy.

If you need a faster option for your trip an International eSIM could be a good option. It is a device that is embedded in the hardware of the cellphone. It is set up using a QR code that you could scan through your phone. Holafly has one of the best eSIM for this Asian destination.

For this reason, we advise you to buy the Holafly eSIM for Japan, because you can make this purchase from anywhere and at any time through the online shop! 

>>You may also be interested in Things to do in Tokyo

eSIM Japan by Holafly

Thanks to all the benefits Holafly’s eSIM provides, it is a great option to remain connected on your travels. To purchase their eSIM for Japan you need to consider their different cellular data plans, with different prices. Here are the current options:

Days of useData PlanPrice (USD)
5 daysUnlimited data$19
7 daysUnlimited data$27
10 daysUnlimited data$34
15 daysUnlimited data$47
20 daysUnlimited data$54
30 daysUnlimited data$64
60 daysUnlimited data$84
90 daysUnlimited data$99
Table N° 1. eSIM Card rates with data for Japan from Holafly. Source: Holafly

If you choose the Holafly eSIM for Japan, this device will bring you advantages and disadvantages. We detail its features now:

Advantages of the Holafly eSIM for use in Japan

  • There are no registrations or subscriptions to purchase this eSIM.
  • You keep your WhatsApp number without any problem.
  • High-speed connections in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.
  • Purchase and receive the QR code instantly, via email.
  • Unlimited data plans are available.
  • Recharge your eSIM through top-ups when you need more days or data.
  • You can use your physical SIM card and eSIM at the same time.

Disadvantages of Holafly’s eSIM for Japan

  • Most eSIM cards do not offer voice calls, only data. 
  • eSIMs can only be installed once, so if encounter any problems don’t remove them from your cellphone, instead contact your eSIM provider.
  • Not all cell phones are compatible with eSIMs.

Roaming in Japan with your local operator

Many carriers in different countries around the world offer their users the option to activate international roaming when traveling to another country. So you will probably be able to use your cell phone service in Japan. However, you should keep in mind that international roaming services tend to be the most expensive alternative

T-Mobile

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, you’ll be able to choose from three different plans. These plans are Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus. The last two plans offer 5GB and 40GB of cellular data, respectively, whereas the Essentials plan only provides 3G unlimited speed. For text messages and phone calls, you’ll get unlimited service on both.

O2 UK

This operator from the UK will allow you to have access to their local data allowance, which can be extended, and unlimited text messages and phone calls too. And you’ll only have to pay around 6 dollars per day for the roaming Japan service. 

AT&T USA 

As the last option, if you are an AT&T user, then you’ll be able to have international roaming in Japan with The international Pass, which provides text messages, phone calls, and cellular data, for only 10 USD per day. On the other hand, you can also have use of a pay-per-use option, and you’ll have to pay 2.05 USD per MB. 

Pocket Wifi for Internet in Japan

There’s another option, which is very feasible in case you travel in a group, the Pocket WiFi. This is a small modem, that provides Internet to your devices, and that you can take anywhere. The upside of these devices is that you can rent them for as many days as you need. However, the downside is that it tends to be very expensive. Here are two companies that rent Pocket WiFi for Japan. 

As a first option, we have Ninja Wifi, which is a Japanese Pocket Wifi provider. The price for a week’s rental with them is around $49,19 USD plus $8,79 if you want the Pocket to be delivered directly to your accommodation in Japan. If you receive it at the airport, the delivery is free of charge. In case of loss of the portable router, you will be charged 351,37 dollars for it.

Another option for renting a Pocket WiFi is Japan Experience, which is a travel agency from France that has different services for foreigners who want to visit Japan, mainly from Europe and North America. Their Pocket is priced at $61,45 USD per week, with no shipping costs, and it is shipped directly to Japan. The minimum you can rent a Pocket Wifi with them is five days and it must be returned before you leave Japan.

Free WiFi

As the last option, we bring you the Free WiFi, this alternative will be of great help in case you have a low budget or can not afford any of the other services. However, you must take into account that connecting to free WiFi is not the safest option, since many people can connect to the network.

There are several applications to find free Wifi in Japan that also allow you to identify the quality of connection, passwords, and best connection times. Among the best applications, we find Japan Travel by Navitime and Japan Travel by wi2.