Are you traveling to Japan this year? Lucky you – you can look forward to the most incredible sights from the Imperial Palace or the Nijo Castle. But can you look forward to a good internet connection? No traveler wants to be left disconnected in a foreign country, and paying for data roaming from your provider can be extremely expensive. In this article, we’ll explain how you can use your cell phone in Japan by getting cheap, reliable internet with a SIM card for Japan.
Also, we will discuss about the new alternative to the physical SIM cards; International data virtual SIM cards. Companies like Holafly offer virtual SIMs with unlimited data, so you’ll stay connected wherever, whenever. It’s the perfect option if you’re working, studying, or vacationing.
Digital SIM card for Japan
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Where to buy a SIM card for Japan?
As we have already mentioned, it is important to stay connected during your travels and even more so when the destinations are remote countries. Indeed, a prepaid SIM card for Japan is not the only way to stay connected to the internet, but on many occasions, it is more practical than having an extra device like a pocket wifi, paying the high cost of data roaming for Japan, or always looking for free public wifi connections in some places like cafes and restaurants.
For these reasons having a prepaid SIM card for tourists on your trip can make your experience a smoother by enjoying the best mobile internet in Japan. There are two main ways to buy a SIM card for Japan:
1. Buy before you travel from an online store like Holafly.
2. Buy once you arrive in Japan from local stores
But which is the best option for you? We recommend buying before you travel, and let’s take a look at why.
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Buy your SIM card before you travel
You must be wondering why we recommend you buy your SIM card before your trip. Nowadays, online shopping is more than well-known by customers of all kinds of services. Telecommunications have also evolved in this trend, and nowadays, with a simple search for minutes, you can find plans and SIM cards available for your trip to Japan. Before the whole range of possibilities, we will give you some recommendations, so you don’t get lost.
If you want to buy your SIM card for Japan through an online store, it is important that you check what coverage the provider you choose offers, if it has support from a good local operator, and at what speed you will be connected. It is also advisable that you check the delivery times since this SIM card, being physical, must be sent to your address before it can be used. Finally, you should know the costs and payment methods. Also, confirm that you can proceed with the purchase process or if any documentation is required.
Another clear point of the prepaid SIM Card and its purchase before the trip is that, in many cases, it can be more expensive, both because you must consider the payment of shipping or that the purchase is not directly with the operator but with an intermediary online store. We indeed recommend you buy your sim card before, and this is why we want to mention the Virtual SIM card with which you can take full advantage of the virtual purchase without waiting for a shipment. We will give you details of this virtual option later on.
Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling
- Internet the moment you land
If you buy a SIM card for Japan before you travel, you will be able to access the internet as soon as you land in this country. So, you’ll be able to book a cab from the airport and let friends know you’ve arrived safely.
- Don’t waste time
All you will have to do is insert your SIM card into your phone. Forget about lines at airport stores, long installation times, and activations. Don’t waste time looking for airport stores – start discovering Japan right away!
- Avoid communication difficulties
If, like us, your Japanese is a little rusty; you might find it difficult to communicate while at shops in Japan. Online shops offer information in your language so you can be sure you know what you’re purchasing.
Buy your SIM card from a local operator in Japan.
Actually, for many reasons, the best way to buy your SIM card for Japan is through an online store. However, as we said at the beginning, another way you can take it is to buy it through a local Japanese operator once you arrive at your destination. If you are not related to the local companies, we will talk about the Japanese SIM card tourist you can find.
This is known as one of the largest telecommunications companies in Japan. Its reach is such that it has about nine Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) through which you can purchase their services. Among these providers, we can find Bmobile, Sakura mobile, Mobal, and others. All of them offer prepaid SIM Card services for Japan supported by the NTT Docomo communication system. Their plans are for short and long stays and range from 8 days to 90 days of use or more, including unlimited data, but in many cases, they do not include calls or messages.
This is another company with great reach in the country. SoftBank offers a Prepaid SIM card for tourists in japan that you can purchase at SoftBank shops, consumer electronics stores, and SoftBank rental counter at the airport. This option is for data only. It includes LTE and 3G connection but no access to local calls or messages. This 3GB data package is to be consumed in 30 days. It is important to mention that at the time of purchase, you will need documentation such as a passport or ID, you must be of legal age, and payment must be processed in most cases through international credit cards (VISA/MasterCard/JCB).
How much does a SIM card for Japan cost?
As we have mentioned so far, there are multiple options to purchase your Japan SIM Card through a local operator. Just as there are a variety of providers and data package options, the costs also vary in part by the amount of data they offer, by the provider you are using, by the location where you are purchasing it, and by the duration of the service. So we invite you to evaluate in which price range you want to make the decision to purchase your SIM card on your trip.
For short stays, providers such as NTT Docomo and its MVNOs offer prepaid sim card options from $15 to $30 for 100MB to 5GB data packages to be used in 10 days or less. There are other longer-stay alternatives with unlimited data ranging from $55 to $75 to be used in 30 or 90 days, respectively. These providers indeed offer these prepaid SIM cards on their websites, but they are generally focused on local customers, so again, we invite you to consider the virtual SIM cards for Japan that we will present below.
Unlimited data virtual SIM card for Japan, the future of SIM cards
We have come this far, and after knowing the physical SIM cards that you can buy for this Asian country, we will introduce you to the improved versions known as virtual SIM cards or just eSIM. These cards are the new trend in telecommunication. As the name suggests, they are completely digital. Their activation only requires a QR code to scan and, of course, a compatible mobile phone.
In addition to the purchase speed and configuration, virtual SIM cards offer more competitive prices than their physical version. Virtual stores like Holafly offer their eSIM cards for almost any destination in the world at the click of a button, with accessibility to people in various languages and communication channels.
There is little reason not to consider a Virtual SIM card for Japan on your next trip. If you are still undecided, we will let you know the advantages and disadvantages of these chips shortly:
Advantages and disadvantages of a virtual SIM card.
- A virtual SIM card for everyone
The language barrier can always be a problem. In the case of Japan, local providers have their advertisements and offer in their native language. Holafly offers these virtual SIM cards in its online store in several languages, such as English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and others.
- Meets your needs
Holafly’s virtual SIM cards for Japan are available for various periods, so you are sure to find one that fits your stay. In addition, they offer competitive rates for all their data packages.
- Unlimited data plans
All Holafly virtual SIM cards for Japan offer unlimited data within the plan usage period.
- Thinking of you and your time
The purchase process, as well as the activation of your eSIM, has never been so easy and fast, you only have to search for your destination country, select the plan of your convenience, make the payment, and you will receive a QR for its activation in your email. In case of any doubt, you can use Holafly’s customer service system.
- 24/7 Customer Service
As mentioned above, Holafly offers communication channels in different languages for its customer service system 24 hours a day for any eventuality with your service or activation.
- Limited compatibility with cellphones
The main disadvantage of eSIM cards is their limited compatibility. Since this is a new trend in consumer tech and communication, many older cellphones do not offer support, so before you buy, check your cellphone is compatible.
How much does the virtual SIM Japan card cost?
Virtual SIM Card for Japan
Let’s take a look at how much the virtual SIM for Japan costs:
|Days of use||Data Plan||Price (USD)|
|5 days||Unlimited data||$19|
|10 days||Unlimited data||$34|
|15 days||Unlimited data||$47|
|20 days||Unlimited data||$54|
|30 days||Unlimited data||$64|
|60 days||Unlimited data||$84|
|90 days||Unlimited data||$99|
Buy your Japan virtual SIM card with Unlimited data.
Virtual SIM Card for Asia
Traveling to multiple countries in Asia? There’s no need to buy a SIM for each country. Buy a multi-country Asian digital SIM card from Holafly, and you’ll be able to connect throughout the continent with just one card.
|Days of use||Amount of cellular data||Price (USD)|
|15 days||6 GB||$44|
|30 days||10 GB||$54|
Buy your Asia eSIM
Multiple countries with one card
Frequently Asked Questions
You can activate data roaming and use data from your current domestic provider. But this will be very expensive. If you intend to use this option, expect a hefty phone bill when you return home. Alternatively, you could buy Pocket Wi-Fi (a portable device that generates WiFi for your phone and other devices). This option is also expensive, and you’ll have to carry the device everywhere. A virtual SIM card for Japan is the cheapest and most convenient way of connecting to the internet.
The cost of data roaming depends on your provider, but on average, it costs $7-15 per Megabyte. So if you watched a movie on Netflix, it could cost you $100s. That’s why we recommend a virtual SIM card for Japan, which provides unlimited internet for one upfront cost!
You should choose a SIM card that offers a fast internet connection at an affordable price. With no additional prices, Holafly’s virtual SIM card for Japan is the best option. In addition to including the internet from one of Japan’s fastest providers, they offer 24/7 tech support for any problems you encounter.
If you buy your virtual SIM card from Holafly, you can contact their customer support team 24/7. All virtual SIM cards come with set-up instructions.