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Prepaid SIM card for Tokyo: Where to Buy in 2024?

If you want to enjoy excellent internet connectivity during your trip, a Tokyo SIM card may be the best option.

Leoneska Ruiz

January 1, 2024

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If you want to know how to stay connected during your experience, you have come to the right place. We will discuss the options you have to buy your Tokyo SIM card, where and how you can do it, and introduce you to an alternative that may be the most interesting solution for you.

There is something for everyone in Tokyo. This city is a combination of modernism and tradition. You can find temples and ancient gardens, but at the same time, you will be in the leading territory of technology and innovation. These are important reasons to visit this Asian city.

There are alternatives like international roaming or staying connected to pocket WiFi, but these are expensive and inconvenient options. That’s why prepaid SIM cards are often the choice of many tourists arriving in the city. Regarding what is trending among travelers, we also find the virtual SIM card or just eSIM for Tokyo.

Unlimited data eSIM for Tokyo

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Where can I buy a prepaid SIM card for Tokyo?

It is no secret that you have a lot to do once you are in Tokyo, and probably the first thing you have in mind is not to buy a prepaid SIM card. The options that tourists have to buy one are varied. Telecommunications are constantly evolving, and the market keeps expanding every day. 

tourist in tokyo
Tourist in Tokyo. Source: Freepik.

Nowadays, you can find stores that sell data SIM cards for Tokyo or any other destination in the world, either locally or even online. As you can see below, getting an internet connection as a tourist will not be a problem, and you will not have to depend on a public network or any other alternative.

Mainly tourists or travelers have a couple of alternatives to buying their Tokyo prepaid SIM card, and among these options, they will find multiple providers they can use:

  • Buy a Tokyo travel SIM card or virtual SIM card before your trip starts through online stores.
  • Buy once you are in Tokyo through physical stores of cellular operators working in Japan with coverage in the city.

You may be interested in Best SIM card for Hong Kong

Buy before you travel.

On many occasions, this is the most popular option for the moment, thanks to the money you can save and the convenience it comes with. No one likes to use travel time to figure out how to stay online or in contact with friends and family. The virtual stores that offer prepaid SIM cards have accessibility in several languages and through different channels. So clearly, we can recommend purchasing your data SIM card for Tokyo before your trip starts through online stores. 

Generally, the purchase process is simple, so you don’t have to worry about anything else. Find one of these online stores using your web browser, choose your destination and convenience plan, and then complete your payment.

The prepaid SIM card you purchased will be shipped to your address, so keep in mind the time that delivery might take to plan. Before choosing a store, we encourage you to verify information such as the coverage and operator that will support your service in Tokyo. This may affect the speed of your internet there. Finally, if you have an eSIM-compatible phone, the best solution may be to connect with Holafly’s eSIM for Tokyo, like the one you will find in Holafly’s online store.

We want to help you make your decision, so if you are still thinking about it, we will give you the advantages of buying your Tokyo prepaid SIM card:

Pros of buying a data plan for abroad before traveling

  • From start to finish   

Just as you read, you can get internet access and communication from the very first moment you get off the plane. Buying your prepaid SIM card before your trip will allow you to have this perk in case you need to order a cab, find an address, or any other situation that requires a connection.

  • You can save money.

Cellular services in Japan can be a bit expensive compared to other destinations. The online stores adjust their plans to the length of stay of their customers, so you can save money by buying a Tokyo travel SIM card this way.

  • You can find unlimited data plans.

In some cases, like with Holafly and their virtual SIM card for Tokyo, you can enjoy unlimited data within the package’s use period. Convenient for destinations like Tokyo, where the internet is high-speed, and you can quickly run out of data if it is limited.

  • Accessibility for all

Within the city of Tokyo, many of the advertisements and stores are in their native language and with their lettering. Online stores maintain their websites and customer service in several languages so your shopping can be made more tourist-accessible.

Buy your tourist SIM card in Tokyo.

So far, we have talked about how to buy your data SIM card for Tokyo before your trip. However, another option is to do it once you arrive at your destination. You can do this through the physical stores you will find if you walk around the city.

Operators like NTT Docomo or SoftBank sell their prepaid SIM cards all over Japan and Tokyo. Not only do they do it through their stores, but in some franchises like 7-Eleven or Family Mart, you can also find it at airport counters. It is essential to mention that if you opt for these options, you will probably have to pay in local currency, and you may be asked for your passport to get the chip.

NTT Docomo

This is one of the best cellular carriers in Japan and its capital. It offers services with almost total coverage throughout the territory and also has about nine Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Among the sub-operators, we can find Bmobile, Mobal, and Nippon SIM, all managing similar tariffs and supported on NTT Docomo’s network.

Their Tokyo prepaid SIM cards have options ranging from 8 to 90 days of use, offering unlimited data in some packages but no local calls or messages. Among the channels most used by tourists, we can find Mobal and Sakura for having customer service in English.

Mobal 

As mentioned above, it is one of NTT’s MVNOs. This company offers short-term SIM cards, which you can pay for on their website and pick up once you arrive in Tokyo. It also provides customer service in English and Japanese and options of 8, 16, 31 days of use or more in their unlimited data packages. These plan versions do not include local calls or messages. To include them, you must buy a prepaid SIM card for 30, 60, or 90 days of use for a higher cost.

SoftBank

It can be considered the second-largest cellular company in Japan as it is independent of NTT, does not lag behind its competition, and offers Tokyo prepaid SIM cards to its customers. You can purchase at SoftBank shops, consumer electronics stores, and the SoftBank rental counter at the airport. Their tourist data package includes 3 GB of browsing for 30 days but does not offer local calls or messages. In the purchase process, you will also be required to have a passport and be of legal age.

How much does a prepaid SIM card for internet in Tokyo cost?

It may surprise many, but although there are many local providers to buy your Tokyo SIM card from, they are expensive compared to remote solutions. You can base your choice on the amount of data you expect to use and the length of your stay in the city.

For more basic solutions, prices can range from $15 to $30 for 100 MB to 5 GB data packages. If you are a customer with higher consumption or plan to spend a long time in Tokyo, the ranges go up to $55 to $75 for use in 30 or 90 days, respectively. The latter can include unlimited data and offer calls and messages to local numbers.

Unlimited data eSIM card for Tokyo

Unlimited data eSIM for Tokyo
Holafly unlimited data eSIM for Japan – Tokyo.

Lately, virtual SIM cards have been gaining great fame among travelers, and as you have seen, we have been recommending this product throughout the article. And that is because these eSIMs will offer you practically the same or similar benefits as a physical SIM card. The eSIM is digital, so buying and using one is very easy. By this, we mean you will save time buying a physical SIM card in a store or waiting for the delivery. You can also learn more about eSIM cards with us.

Holafly is an online store specializing in selling eSIMs for numerous countries, including, of course, eSIM for Tokyo. With this eSIM, you can enjoy an excellent internet connection in Tokyo, and best of all, with unlimited data! Yes, as you are reading, if you want to be able to use all the internet you wish to during your trip, this could be your ideal option. Read on to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of this prepaid virtual SIM card.

Advantages and disadvantages of Virtual SIM cards

Advantages:

  • Quick purchase and activation processes.

Purchasing and activating an eSIM is easy. You just make your purchase from an online store like Holafly and wait a few seconds for a QR code to arrive in your email. With this, you can activate your eSIM and get connected.

  • Get an eSIM anywhere in the world.

Are you already in Tokyo and struggling to get data? No matter where you are, you can always buy an eSIM, and it will arrive directly on your email to use your cellphone in Tokyo with an internet connection. There is no delivery cost, and you don’t have to wait more than a few minutes.

  • You can renew services with top-ups

All data plans are unlimited as long as you are within the usage days. If your stay is extended, you can purchase a top-up to extend the data plan for the same destination for more days. The best thing is that you can also use it for hotspots with up to 500 MB per day for this feature.

  • Multi-country coverage

If you’re traveling around multiple countries on your vacation, with Holafly’s multi-country virtual eSIMs, you can connect to the internet in different Asian countries with their eSIM for Asia, and there are no additional charges! In other cases if you should use specific packages like the eSIM for tourists in Indonesia.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited compatibility with cellphones

The main disadvantage of eSIM cards is their limited compatibility. Being new tech, many older cell phones do not offer support, so before you buy, check your cellphone is compatible.

How much does a tourist eSIM for Tokyo cost?

Virtual cards with data for Tokyo usually vary in price depending on the days the data is valid. In addition, the price will also depend on the provider you purchase your eSIM from. Below are the reference prices of a virtual store that offers virtual SIMs for Tokyo with excellent benefits.

Virtual SIM card for travel in Tokyo

If you wish to use a Holafly Tokyo city eSIM plan with unlimited data card with data for your trip to Tokyo, here are their prices:

DataDays of validityPrice (USD)
Unlimited data5$19
Unlimited data7$27
Unlimited data10$34
Unlimited data15$47
Unlimited data20$54
Unlimited data30$64
Unlimited data60$87
Unlimited data90$99
Table 1. Plans and prices of eSIM for Tokyo.

eSIM Card Asia

On the other hand, if you travel to different cities in various Asian countries, we recommend that you take an eSIM for Asia with you. You get Internet connection in South Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Laos. The available plans and prices are as follows:

Days of useData PlansPrice (USD)
5 daysUnlimited data plan$27
7 days Unlimited data plan$34
10 daysUnlimited data plan$37
15 days Unlimited data plan$47
20 days Unlimited data plan$54
30 daysUnlimited data plan$79
Table 2 Plans and prices of eSIM for Asia.

Frequently asked questions about SIM cards for Tokyo

We have reached the end of this article, and we hope that the information provided will greatly help. However, below we will leave you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the internet while traveling.

What kind of SIM card do I need for Tokyo?

If you are only traveling for a few days or weeks, then you will need a prepaid SIM card. This way, you will avoid signing up for a subscription plan. But remember that you can buy both prepaid physical SIM cards and prepaid eSIMs, but if you have an eSIMs compatible phone, we recommend you to use this one, as it is easier to buy and use.

How else can I connect to the internet in Tokyo?

Currently, there are plenty of options for having an internet connection during your trip. Such as international roaming or renting a pocket WiFi, but these options are costly. Also, you can get free WiFi points in many places in the city, but it can be unstable and insecure.

How to check if my smartphone is compatible with eSIM?

To check if your phone is compatible with an eSIM, you must check with the company from which you’re buying the eSIM. This information will be on their website. You can use Holafly’s list of supported devices to confirm

How much does roaming cost in Tokyo?

Roaming services in Tokyo vary between cellular providers as each operator has a different rate. But on average, the value per MB is usually between $5 and $10. Watching a show on Netflix at that rate could cost hundreds. That’s why we recommend buying a SIM card or virtual SIM to avoid roaming costs.