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Data Roaming in Japan: Which One Should I pick?

If your next travel destination is Japan, then Data Roaming Japan is what you need to stay connected to the internet.

Leoneska Ruiz

August 30, 2023

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Japan is one of many people’s favorite destinations. Both for its strong Asian culture and the beautiful places to visit and see, such as Mount Fuji. So if this Asian country is your next destination to visit, Data Roaming Japan will allow you to enjoy your experience while being connected to the mobile internet in Japan at all times. 

But, besides talking about roaming in Japan, we will talk about other alternatives that will help you stay connected. Such as eSIM cards, one of our favorite alternatives so that you can have different options to choose from and get the one that best suits your needs and travel plans. 

Avoid roaming fees in the Land of the Rising Sun

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What is Roaming?

International roaming is a service offered by most international carriers. It allows users to make use of their telephone services while traveling to another country. So, roaming is simply the service that will provide the ability to stay connected to the internet and to have access to other telephone services while traveling. 

The advantage this service has over others is that it allows you to use all your cellphone services. As you will be able to make calls, send text messages and stay connected to the internet. Most other services tend to offer mostly cellular data only. 

On the other hand, while roaming has its positive aspects, we can also find some disadvantages. The biggest is that it is a service that can be very expensive. Mostly, you will be charged for the telephone services you use. So at the end of your trip, you could have very high bills when you return home. 

(You may also be interested to know about roaming in New Zealand)

Roaming rates in Japan

Indeed, the question you must be asking yourself right now is how much you will spend if you activate roaming with your domestic operator. Even though each international operator has its own prices, we can say that the basic price is that you will have to spend around $10 per day. However, this price may increase or decrease depending on different factors and how much you spend while using travel apps in Japan

Also, you can consider that most of the local operators have different types of charges. The most usual ones are available through daily or monthly packages. Or with the famous pay-per-use option, which usually charges for MB usage, minutes of calls, and messages sent. Below, we will talk more in-depth about different international operators. 


As a first option, we will talk about Vodafone. This is a UK-based telecommunications company. So if you are currently a Vodafone user, you will be able to use the international roaming serivce while traveling to Japan. 

Currently, to make use of roaming in Japan, you must have the Xtra Airtime Plan active. Which will allow you to use your services while traveling to this Asian country for a daily payment of 7.2 dollars a day. In Japan, you will be able to be connected at 4G speed with Vodafone roaming. 


If, on the other hand, you are a user of the American company T-Mobile, you will be able to choose between three different plans to make use of international roaming. The plans that T-Mobile offers to its customers are Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus. However, each of these has different benefits for the customer. 

In general, the three plans are pretty similar. However, the Magenta and Magenta Plus plans have the most benefits for their users. These two plans offer 5 GB and 40 GB 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.


Another option coming from the UK is the company called O2. Which also allows its customers to activate their roaming service while traveling to Japan. O2 offers one of the cheapest roaming services of all, As you will have to pay 6 dollars a day. And you will be able to enjoy your phone services while you are in Japan. 

By paying this daily fee, you will be able to have a certain amount of MB available. Keep in mind that you can extend this plan if you need to, later on during your trip. However, you can have unlimited messages and minutes of calls. To activate your roaming with O2, simply send a message to 2336 with the word O2TRAVEL. 


Finally, if you are a user of AT&T, another U.S. company, you can roam to Japan through different options. First, you can purchase an International Day Pass for Japan, with which you can access the internet, minutes of calls, and messages for a price of 10 dollars a day.

You can also use the pay-per-use option, with which you can have cellular data for 2.05 dollars per MB consumed. As well as make calls for $1 dollar per minute.

How to avoid roaming charges in Japan

While roaming may have many advantages when traveling to another country, it may not be the best option for you and your pocket. So, we have brought you other alternatives a little more accessible, with which you can also stay connected to the internet during your trip. 

Among the options we will be talking about, you will find first of all the eSIM and SIM cards for Japan. But in addition, we will talk about how you can find free WiFi in Japan, as well as how to rent Pocket WiFi for this country. 

Prepaid International Japan SIM Card

As a first alternative we will talk about SIM cards, these are basically the same as the ones you use every day, but they are specially designed for those who travel to other countries and need to stay connected to the internet. 

This is an excellent alternative if you want to have cellular data for a specific period of time. What makes these SIM cards stand out is that they tend to be much cheaper than other options. In addition, there are many places where you can buy SIM cards.

eSIM for Japan

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

If you are familiar with SIM cards, understanding what an eSIM will be easy. These are basically virtual SIM cards, which will allow you to have an internet connection while traveling to another country. They are effortless to purchase and activate, as the entire process can be done online. 

So if you have a phone that is eSIM compatible, then we recommend you to get one of them. As well as SIM cards, you can also get an eSIM in Japan through Holafly. They currently have plans with unlimited data available from 6$ for one day to 139$ for 90 days.  If you need more days of use you can extend the package through the purchase of top-ups. Also, note that in any case, you enjoy 500 MB per day for hotspot use.

This online store, Holafly, has proven to give its customers good service and competitive prices, making it a good option on the market. In addition, with their eSIM to Japan, you will have advantages such as being connected to the best network in Japan from KDDI, and you can continue to use your WhatsApp with your phone number, among other benefits. 

Pocket WiFi

Pockets WiFi are small devices designed to give people access to the internet while traveling to another country. Renting one of these devices is cost-effective, especially if you are traveling in a group, as you will be able to connect several devices to the same Pocket WiFi at the same time. 

Nowadays, there are many companies that offer people the possibility to rent a Pocket WiFi for a certain period of time. Specifically for Japan, you can rent one of these devices with Japan Experience, costing around 70 dollars for seven days. Another company you can rent a Pocket WiFi from is Travel WiFi, which charges around $80 to $90 dollars for their service in Japan. 

As you can see, renting a Pocket WiFi can be quite expensive, so it is something to consider. Also, you will have to be very careful with the equipment because if you lose or damage it, you could be charged a penalty by the company. 

Free WiFi

Finally, in a country like Japan, you can find different places where you can connect to the internet for free. This option could be very helpful in case you run out of data, and you don’t notice, or if you have an emergency. 

In case you think that this is a viable alternative for you to use, then you can search and download Avast Wi-Fi Finder, WinMan, and WiFi Map, some of the apps that are designed to help users to find WiFi in a matter of seconds without people worrying. However, keep in mind that if you connect to a free WiFi network, you should be careful not to provide your private information or sensitive data, as it could be dangerous.