The number of tourists visiting Japan has been rapidly increasing and most of them have a smartphone for Map, e-mail, game and SNS so on. That makes the trip enjoyable and even more. So, it is essential to connect internet with Smartphone brought from thier country.
There are a couple ways to connect internet. (1) using mobile communication with roaming. It is the easiest way but it might be expensive depending on condition and price you have for roaming. (2) WIFI service area at Cafe, airport and Hotel etc. Especially, most of hotels now have WIFI facility for free! It means people are ensured to make internet connection during stay at Hotel.
In some cases, people want to use smartphone outside of WIFI service area, for finding place you try to go with Google Map, take a picture and post to SNS in real time and use WEB service, like UBER to get taxi etc.
So, the other way to get internet connection is with SIM card. Those who are traveling in Japan on temporary return and short-term leave are likely to acquire prepaid SIM cards in Japan.
Prepaid SIM Cards in Japan
There are some venders of SIM card available in Japan; (1) U-Mobile Prepaid, (2) IIJmio Prepaid and (3) OCN Mobile ONE Prepaid etc. Information is available on the WEB by Googling to select the best provider fits to your needs and budget. Some sources recommend U – Mobile ‘s prepaid SIM with some reasons below;
1. Immediately available without connection opening process;
In addition to availability to purchase this at stores listed below, U-Mobile Prepaid SIM is also sold at vending machines at airports. After purchasing from the vending machine, you can use it immediately after making APN setting. For iOS such as iPhone, iPad, etc., just install the profile.
2. High-speed communication is possible up to usage 200 MB / day;
From investigation, SIM for tourists is mostly short-term for 1 to 2 weeks and average of usage is about 1 to 2 GB in total during trip, thus it is about 300MB with max usage which is 2GB for a week. U-Mobile prepaid SIM can communicate at high speed up to 200 MB per day, that might be sufficient at most of cases. If exceeded, speed is getting slow for a day to 200 kbps, but from the next day it will be back again.
3. Good cost performance with reasonable (7days: 1,800 yen, 14days: 2,800yen, 30days: 3,500yen);
Common subject matters from comparison are as follows;
- Standard size, Micro and Nano compatible
- No Voice call supported
- No SMS supported
- LTE compatible
It is said that U – Mobile prepaid SIM would be the best. Even though SIMs do not have voice calls and SMS capabiliies, you can speak with Skype, Facetime and others to talk/text, Of course, you can use email as well.
Places to get U – Mobile prepaid SIM;
Yamada Denki and U-NEXT Store are the place to get U – Mobile prepaid SIM. There were plenty of “prepaid YAMADA SIM powered by U-mobile”. Please note that there are some Yamada Denki which don’t have it.
Yodobashi camera, Bic camera does not seem to have prepaid SIM of this U-mobile for now.
In addition to Yamada Denki, it is a U – NEXT store where you can purchase, with 4-locations in Tokyo and some others in surrounding Tokyo, in Sapporo, in Kyoto and Fukuoka.
In Narita Airport, Vending machine is placed at the 1st Passenger Terminal, 2nd Passenger Terminal and 3rd Passenger Terminal. However, purchasing with a vending machine is more expensive than the one you can purchase at U-NEXT store or Yamada Denki.
News!! Free SIM distributed at Chubu International Airport;
Announcement “We provide a SIM card that can be attached to a smartphone etc. for FREE and Communication Services for foreigners visiting Japan that undertake reservations for accommodation and taxis” stated recently, according to Nogoya local newspaper.
It recently started in Central Japan International Airport, Aichi Prefecture. Following Narita airport, the second nationwide, card dispensing machine from one day. It appeared in the international arrival lobby.
Service operated by WAMEINGING, Tokyo of IT venture;
Guests visiting Japan put a special application before arrival and register name and credit card information. Upon arrival, they can receive SIM cards put in small box from vending machine. It can communicate for free up to 500 megabytes, you can add communication capacity with credit card.
WAMEINGING is saying that we are registering to travel industry, arrange accommodation facilities and taxis for visitors to Japan, get a commission. A free communication environment can be provided for visitors to Japan and tourist information is also available thru internet communication. CEO of WAMEINGING said, “There is superiority in Chubu Airport near Tokyo and Osaka”. A woman from Taiwan received a SIM card and said at interview, “Although I have visited Japan several times, Wireless LAN was a little troubled. We are pleased that wireless SIM is very appreciated” According to WAMEINGING, at present it corresponds to short-term travelers from Taiwan and Hong Kong, and expand the target to the mainland of China within the year. We hope this service successfully will expand in Worldwide to promote domestic sightseeing / traveling industry.