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Jp

Basics Edit

Japan has 3 networks on 3G or 4G/LTE:

  • NTT DoCoMo
  • SoftBank (absorbed Y!Mobile (E-mobile, Willcom), also includes WCP)
  • au (KDDI, also includes UQ)
Greylist

Japan can be a tricky country to buy a local SIM card. It's the only industrial nation (besides S. Korea, Singapore and Australia) without 2G/GSM coverage and doesn’t allow visitors to buy voice SIM cards by law. However, for data on 3G or 4G/LTE on a data-only SIM card, you are free to go.

Frequencies Edit

You should first check their frequencies that are quite unusual even for Asian standards:

Operator 2G 3G HSDPA (MHz) 4G LTE (MHz)
NTT DoCoMo n.a. 800, 2100 700*, 800, 1500, 1800TNO, 2100, 3500 (TDD)
SoftBank incl. Y!Mobile PHS 900, 1500, 1700, 2100 900, 1800, 2100, 2500 (TDD), 3500 (TDD)
au (by KDDI) n.a. CDMA/EVDO 700*, 800, 1500, 2100, 2500 (TDD), 3500 (TDD)

GSM or CDMA-incompatible WiMAX operators are not mentioned in this survey.

700* = LTE on 700 MHz is on band 28 like in Australia and soon in Europe, not on band 12 like in the US. Note that because NTT Docomo and Softbank's band 28 frequency belong to the Upper Duplex section of the band 28, some phones like Google Nexus 5X that only support the Lower Duplex section of the band 28 will not be able to use the band. Because the 700 MHz band is shared with some other digital services in some area of Japan, this band is not universally available yet. It's expected to last until 2017, before the band can be completely cleared for mobile use.
TNO =
only available in area around Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. See http://imgur.com/VeMs3qd for legal definition

CDMA Edit

Both major CDMA carriers in the US, Verizon and Sprint, have cancelled their special CDMA roaming agreements. While Verizon customers will be charged $10 daily to make use of the new UMTS/LTE roaming, Sprint, as part of SoftBank, offers two cheaper options to its customers: unlimited text and data at 64kbps on SoftBank for free, or everything unlimited and high-speed data for US$5 a month. Make sure to enable the Global (free) or Japan ($5) roaming add-on before leaving the US.

If you are roaming from a CDMA carrier in another country, you may still use au's CDMA network.

GSM Edit

Almost all offers for tourists are hosted on the NTT DoCoMo network. SoftBank only started to open up (or is available through roaming from other countries) and au/KDDI is only accessible to visitors using iPads with Apple SIMs. Having a device from other parts of the world, this normally limits you to 3G on 2100 MHz in the cities and to 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka greater area. That's why WiFi, other roaming SIM cards and links to many rental services are mentioned at the end as an alternative for a broader coverage and this country remains greylisted.

Regulations Edit

Since 2006 the “Mobile Phone Improper Use Prevention Act” (携帯電話不正利用防止法) requires anyone who intends to buy a voice-call-capable SIM card (prepaid or postpaid) to show a proper identification documents which indicates that he/she has a residential (permanent) address in Japan. A hotel address is not sufficient for this purpose.

All foreigners must have an alien registration to purchase a voice SIM. As a tourist without a visa which permits to stay for more than 90 days, you won’t get one. So most SIMs capable of voice calls are not available to you. This law is enforced strictly and store managers have been penalized before for not asking for the proper “proof of residence” paper. B-Mobile and SoftBank are now the only exceptions; B-Mobile is expensive but uses the DoCoMo network while SoftBank is cheaper but must be purchased at an airport service counter in Tokyo (Narita/Haneda), Nagoya, or Osaka (Kansai).

More on this you find here. However, this law does not apply to data services and data-only SIM cards. If you want to place voice calls out of Japan, you will be limited to these choices:

  • use your own SIM card on roaming or an international SIM card (expensive)
  • use a special Japan roaming offer on China Unicom Hong Kong SIM
  • rent a device with local SIM card at arrival in Japan (see bottom of this page)
  • borrow a local SIM card from a Japanese resident (cheap)
  • use VoIP with local data-only SIM (cheap)
  • use SoftBank Simple Style or Wi-Ho! (see below).

As we focus on data in this Wiki here, check this link for more voice call options from Japan.

Giteki

Giteki mark

The other legal restriction you should be aware of is the requirement of the Giteki mark (see pic). Officially all electronic devices used in Japan need to be certified and labeled with this sign. It's illegal even using an iPhone without it. While this law is quite outdated and is slowly becoming less relevant as Japan forms Mutual Recognition Agreements to recognize other countries' equivalent marks, be sure to stay responsible and discreet using your own non-Japanese electronics in Japan. More info: here.

Note that in Japan there are now many offers that can be purchased from places such as airport vending machines,Yodobashi Camera electronic stores, BIC Camera and others. The prices for these cards are set by the retailers and can vary slightly from the given numbers.

NTT DoCoMo network Edit

NTT docomo

NTT DoCoMo has the best network in the country and a market share of almost 50%. A 2G-only phone does not work, because there is simply no 2G.

Its 3G network is called FOMA (stands for "Freedom of Mobile Access") and on 800 MHz in the countryside, 2100 MHz in the cities and a few 1700 MHz stations. The 800 MHz and 1700 MHz (not AWS like in the US, but EAWS) are used only in Japan, so are most likely not covered on your phone. A device that works on 800 MHz in 2G or 4G/LTE will not carry 800 MHz in 3G. You can expect to get NTT's 3G only in cities on 2100 MHz with a device bought outside of Japan.

Its 4G/LTE is called Xi on 700 (on band 28 like in Europe or Australia, not 12 like in the US), 800, 1500, 1800 and 2100 MHz. Some of these frequencies are used in other countries too, but the worldwide most usual 1800 MHz is only available in the cities of Nagoya, Tokyo and Osaka.

First the prepaid SIM of the MNO is shown, then the different resellers of NTT DoCoMo in alpha order.

NTT Communications (OCN) Edit

NTT card

NTT Communications prepaid SIM for smartphones uses NTT Docomo’s 4G/LTE and 3G networks and gives users up to 100 MB of high-speed data per day for either 7 or 14 days. SIM card comes in standard, micro, and nano sizes and is for:

  • ¥3,218 (tax incl.) for 7 days
  • ¥3,780 (tax incl.) for 14 days

After purchasing the card, activation process in which personal information is asked to enter is required to start using.

Availability Edit

Up until May 31th, 2016 it was possible to purchase SIM cards online from the official website and get delivery to hotels, post offices at selected airports, or any set address in Japan. This option is no longer available. Instead, they have published a long list of sales points at airports, ports, bus terminals, train stations, tourist information centers, convenience stores, electronic retail stores and travel agencies.

SIM cards can also be purchased at Xcom Global counters at Haneda, Narita, Kansai, and Chubu Centrair airports as well as from a machine located inside the Narita Excel Hotel Tokyo. Vending machines at Narita Airport Terminals 1 and 2 sell the cards priced with a surcharge at ¥3,726 for the 7-day plan and at ¥5,345 for 14-day plan.

SIM cards come with English instructions and an option for connecting to the Japan Connected-Free WiFi service. This is a free WiFi hotspot service by NTT-BP, designed for visitors to Japan, which is found at international airports, Shinkansen train stations, major tourist attractions and popular locations across Japan.

For travelers flying to Japan from Hong Kong, NTT has a special deal with Klook for SIM cards that MUST be picked up at Hong Kong International Airport

  • ¥ 1845 for 8 day SIM card loaded with 2GB 4G daily plus unlimited 3G for use in Japan

Data Rate Edit

Data is up to 100 MB per day at a max. of 150 Mbps. After the daily high-speed allotment is used, the max. speeds will be reduced to 200 Kbps. All three SIM sizes are available.

Technical Settings Edit

  • PDP type: IP
  • APN for 3G devices: 3g-d-2.ocn.ne.jp
  • APN for 4G/LTE devices: lte-d.ocn.ne.jp
  • Username: mobileid@ocn
  • Password: mobile
  • Authentication type: CHAP

More info Edit

b-mobile Edit

81iE4y-CImL. SL1500

The prepaid smartphone data SIM cards offered by MVNO B-mobile provide data on NTT Docomo’s 3G/4G network. They used to have voice too, but this has been suspended.

Availability Edit

SIM cards must be purchased either at a branch of AEON, Yodobashi Camera or BIC Camera chains (stores list) or online at the b-mobile site or Amazon.co.jp. Cards bought online can be delivered to hotels, post offices at major airports, or any Japanese address in 2–4 days.

They used to have three different products on offer, but this is reduced to one now as the PAYG SIM and PAYG data SIM has been discontinued.

Visitor SIM Edit

Their Visitor SIM card includes 21 days of data access to the 4G/LTE and 3G networks with an included allowance of 5 GB. Note that the 21 days start with your selected delivery date for online purchases, not on first use or activation in the handset.

The SIM is rechargeable, but only from the handset containing the SIM, which must currently be located in Japan. Recharging must be done within 10 days of the expiry of the previous plan. Recharging uses a credit card and is ¥ 500 for 1 GB per day.

Traffic may be controlled for VoIP, video, and other streaming contents. Starter price is ¥ 3,223 (plus tax) or ¥ 3,480 (tax included) and users can choose standard, micro or nano varieties.

The APN must be set manually (see below) and you must fill out an online form with your personal data for SIM cards that have not been bought on their website.

Technical Settings Edit

  • Name: b-mobile
  • APN: bmobile.ne.jp
  • Username: bmobile@4g
  • Username for 1 GB visitor SIM: bmobile@fr
  • Password: bmobile
  • Authentication type: CHAP or PAP (if available)
  • MVNO type: SPN (if available)

More info Edit

COMST DATA-SIM and VISITOR-SIM Edit

COMST sells prepaid data SIMs called T-SIM that use NTT docomo's 3G and 4G/LTE network. You don't need a credit card for activation or re-charge of the SIM.
Data sim 140x210

Availability Edit

You can order the SIM card online at http://www.comst.jp/ (available in Japanese/English) or buy in H.I.S. travel stores (branches) or at Yodobashi camera/BIC Camera stores (see above). At Yodobashi you might need to show the staff that they have the SIM in stock by searching for "COMST SIM" on yodobashi.com, because it is not a SIM they advertise or have out on the showroom floor. You can recharge online using a card or at convenience stores.
Vistor sim 140x210

Data Plans Edit

They have two SIM cards available for data:

  • T-SIM 3 GB for 30 days: 3,780 Yen
  • T-SIM 1 GB for 7 days: 2,980 Yen

They previously had different/additional SIMs but those are no longer sold.

The SIMs can be recharged once you are using it by visiting http://comst.tokyo (available in Japanese, English and Chinese by opening the menu in the top-right of the page and choosing your language) either using a credit card or in these convenience stores: Lawson, Ministop, Family Mart, Circle K, Sunkus, Daily Yamazaki, Three F and Seicomart using their payment machines. The menu at http://comst.tokyo will have instructions on how to do this. You only need an email address to register.

Recharge prices are:

  • 3 GB for 30 days: 2,160 Yen
  • 5 GB for 30 days: 3,456 Yen
  • 10 GB for 30 days: 5,400 Yen

You must recharge before your SIM expires, but if you do, your SIM will stay active through the next calendar month.

Technical SettingsEdit

  • APN: vdm.jp
  • Username: 8888@vdm
  • Password: 8888
  • Authentication Type: PAP or CHAP

More info Edit

  • Customer support desk 10am-6pm Mon-Fri except national holidays: 0570-066-777 in English, Chinese and Japanese.
  • Setup document: in English, Chinese and Japanese
  • In actual speed tests using a Japanese LTE router, downloads of 4-8 Mbps and uploads of 6-7 Mbps were regularly achieved.

eConnect Japan Inc. Edit

Japanprepaidsim

The Japan Prepaid SIM is offered by eConnect Japan Inc. through SORACOM and provides data-only on NTT Docomo's 3G and 4G/LTE networks (for frequencies and coverage see Basics and NTT Docomo sections above). The SIM is supported by a special app that helps users manage their plan. They additionally provide a 24-hour customer support service.

Availability Edit

SIM cards can be purchased on eConnect's website . It can be delivered to hotels, post offices at major airports, or any Japanese postal address (including private apartments) in 2-4 days without additional fees. Accepted payment method is only PayPal. Alternatively, it can be bought at Amazon with further payment options to be delivered worldwide.

Japan Prepaid SIM Edit

The SIM card offers a variety of data plans that run on the 3G (FOMA) and 4G/LTE (Xi) networks of NTT docomo with a max. speed of around 2 Mbps. Note that the SIM doesn't support voice calls or SMS but calls through VoIP and tethering are supported.

SIM Plan Starting Price Top-Up Price
100 MB/day, 7 days 2,980 Yen 1,600 Yen
100 MB/day, 15 days 3,680 Yen 2,220 Yen
100 MB/day, 30 days 4,480 Yen 3,400 Yen
500 MB, 7 days n/a 1,200 Yen
1 GB, 15 days 3,480 Yen 1,800 Yen
2 GB, 30 days n/a 2,800 Yen
3 GB, 30 days 5,480 Yen 3,800 Yen
5 GB, 30 days 7,480 Yen 5,800 Yen

For the 100 MB/day plans, once the user uses up their 100 MB for the day, speed will be slowed down to 128 Kbps. The speed will go back to normal once the clock hits 0:00h JST the following day. Users can optionally choose to make a 'Refill100' to add 100 MB for the rest of the day for 300 Yen. However, if this data is not all used up, the remaining data will not be rolled over to the following day once the clock hits midnight. For the other plans, once all the data is used up, Internet gets disconnected immediately. You are only able to access the ecoonect website to top up credit. If users cannot make a top-up within the 3 days, the SIM is automatically terminated. Otherwise, the SIM card can be used up to one year, if the user continuously makes top-ups.

Web and Mobile App Edit

The special application by eConnect Japan Inc. gives users full control over their SIM. The app allows users to set the SIM, make top-ups, check data usage, and much more. The app is available for both iOS and Android. Users can also use the web application .

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN: soracom.io
  • Username: econnect
  • Password: econnect
  • Authentication Type: CHAP or PAP

More info Edit

IIJmio Edit

Japan Travel SIM

Japan Travel SIM & Brastel VoIP card Edit

These prepaid SIM cards aimed at visitors to Japan from overseas are made available by internet service provider IIJmio that is going to become the first full MVNO of the country in 2017. The cards entitle you to three months of up to 2 GB or one month of up to 1 GB of data transmission over NTT Docomo’s 3G and 4G networks, and are available in standard, micro, and nano sizes. They are combined with a Brastel VoIP phone card.

Availability Edit

Japan Travel SIM cards can be purchased from all Yodobashi camera stores, along with selected branches of Bic Camera, Kojima, and Sofmap, as well as from Tourist Information Center Tokyo (at the Nihonbashi exit of Tokyo Station), and from Khaosan hostels in Tokyo and Kyoto and more: points of sale . Price may vary depending on location, but, for reference, Bic Camera is offering the 3 months / 2 GB Japan Travel SIM card for ¥4,082 (tax incl.), on the Brastel website it's ¥4,300.

This card can be ordered online prior to arrival in Japan and delivered to anywhere in Japan including post offices, airports, hotels and a private address with additional postage (for a ¥550 delivery fee).

From 2015 they offer a second product line valid only for 30 days and including 1 GB data sold e.g. at Bic Camera for ¥2,656 (tax incl.).

The package also includes a Brastel prepaid IP phone card, which can be charged by credit card or PayPal via Brastel website and enables domestic and international calls, as well as payments for data transfer over the 2 GB IIJmio limit. Additional data can be purchased at a rate of ¥1,100 for 500 MB and ¥2,200 for 1.25 GB (both including tax).

The 30 days or 3 months validity period cannot be extended. A private IP address is assigned to this package. The initial PIN code is set to "0000".

Global Travel SIM Service Edit

In August 2016 IIJmio introduced their Global Travel SIM Service. This roaming SIM card is intended for travellers outside of Japan. It includes voice calls and data in 42 countries (list of operators) on 2G and 3G networks all over the world. The telephone number that comes with voice plan is of Netherlands (country code: 31).

Availability Edit

The service is sold on the IIJmio website (only in Japanese) and at all BIC Camera Group (BIC Camera, Kojima, and Sofmap) stores that handle BIC SIM cards. Two starters are offered plus ¥3,000 for subscription:

  • data includes 500 MB of data volume for 14 days: ¥3,850
  • data with SMS/voice also adds SMS and voice call services. It includes 500 MB, 25 SMS and 30 mins of voice calls for 14 days: ¥4,600

The same fee schedule can be used in all compatible areas, and if more data are required, customers can purchase a plan matching their requirements to recharge the service. They may choose from 4 recharge plans, regardless of the starter pack purchased:

  • 100 MB for 1 day: ¥800
  • 500 MB for 14 days: ¥3,850
  • 100 MB, 5 SMS and 6 mins voice for 1 day: ¥1,000
  • 500 MB, 25 SMS and 30 mins voice for 14 days: ¥4,600

All prices plus taxes. Up to 9 times of purchases may be made during the month when a starter pack was purchased.

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN: iijmio.jp
  • Username: mio@iij
  • Password: iij
  • Authentication type: PAP or CHAP

More info Edit

So Net Prepaid LTE SIM Edit

So-net

So Net is another MVNO on the NTT DoCoMo network on 3G and LTE. It's managed by Sony Corp.

Availability Edit

SIM cards can be purchased from machines at Kansai International, Naha, and Sendai airports, Mobile Center outlets at Narita airport, Haneda terminal, and New Chitose airport, Kyoto City Bus and Subway Information Center, Akibaoo shops in Akihabara, Laox outlets in Akihabara and Ginza, and Dospara shops throughout Japan: list of shops

Data plans Edit

So-net prepaid SIM cards provide visitors to Japan with speeds up to 150 Mbps on 4G/LTE. Prices are variable. Below they are given for the Yodobashi chain stores. At airports they are more expensive:

  • 1 GB for 30 days: starting at ¥3,000
  • 2.2 GB for 30 days: starting at ¥4,000
  • 3 GB for 60 days: starting at ¥5,000
  • 12 GB (only online) for 180 days: ¥12,000 only at amazon.co.jp (in Japanese).

Extra data can be purchased for ¥1,620 for 200 MB, ¥2,160 for 500 MB (both have 30 day limits), and ¥3,065 for 1 GB, which has a 60 day limit. All prices include tax. Refills require a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, American Express or Diners Club).

Cards are available in standard, micro, and nano sizes.

Technical Settings Edit

  • Certain phone models are not supported, check this site: http://www.so-net.ne.jp/prepaid/unavailable.html
  • If you have an iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone6 or iPhone6 Plus, you must install the APN profile from the following website beforehand via a WLAN or other Internet connection: http://www.so-net.ne.jp/prepaid/i/ Visit the page using Safari on your iPhone.
  • No initial PIN, not even 0000!
  • If used in a portable router, some insist on a phone number to dial. That would be *99#
  • APN: so-net.jp
  • Username: nuro
  • Password: nuro
  • Authentication type: CHAP or PAP

More info Edit

U-mobile Edit

U-mobile

U-mobile by U-Next is another MVNO using the NTT DoCoMo network on 3G and LTE. They offer a data-only SIM on prepaid to foreigners without voice or text also called JPSIM.

Availability Edit

SIM cards can be purchased from vending machines at Tokyo Narita International Airport Terminal 1/2 arrival lobby and Terminal 3 Level 2 entrance or at these shops (scroll down for list). Cards are available in all three sizes. The prepaid SIM cards can not be refilled or extended in time and will run out automatically after the purchased time period.

Data plans Edit

Prepaid SIM cards provide with speeds up to 225 Mbps on 4G/LTE. Following 3 packages are available in various locations like at airports for a surcharge, online at Amazon.co.jp or offline at Yodobashi Camera stores:

  • 7 days: ¥1,800 plus taxes, ¥1,940 at Yodobashi and ¥2,000 at Narita airport
  • 15 days: ¥2,800 plus taxes, ¥3,020 at Yodobashi and ¥3,500 at Narita airport
  • 30 days: ¥3,500 plus taxes, ¥3,780 at Yodobashi

Each card includes 200 MB per calendar day (0-24h) of data on the high-speed 4G/LTE and 3G networks without voice calls or texts. Beyond the quota, speed will be throttled to 128 kbit/s. On Amazon look for 'JPSIM'. Sales taxes are currently at 8% in the country.

Other U-Mobile plans Edit

If you have a local address and phone number (can be someone you know), then you can sign up for a monthly rate plan. U-Mobile has the only monthly plan at Yodobashi Camera with "unlimited data". New SIM card costs about ¥4000 and the monthly charge is ~¥2700. However, in practice even though it is advertised as not under Fair Use Policy (e.g. no speed max, no data max, no data/speed max per period of time), the actual speeds achieved using a Japanese LTE router were only around 1 Mbps.

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN: umobile.jp
  • Username: umobile@umobile.jp
  • Password: umobile
  • Authentication type: CHAP or PAP

More info Edit

Wirelessgate Prepaid SIM Edit

JP-Wirelessgate

Wi-Fi provider and MVNO Wirelessgate offers a prepaid smartphone SIM card aimed at visitors to Japan. The card offers both connection to NTT Docomo’s LTE and 3G networks, as well as the use of 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, the biggest Wi-Fi network nationwide.

Availability Edit

JP-WG-Yodobashi

Wirelessgate - Yodobashi Camera Original SIM

As of 2015, these cards are only available at Yodobashi Camera electronic chain (shop list see above). The cards come in three sizes: standard, micro, and nano. You can adjust your settings, check how much data headroom you have left, search for WI-FI spots and take advantage of automatic login using the Wirelessgate mobile application.

Data plans Edit

The available options are (prices include tax):

  • 1 GB over a 14-day period: ¥2,650
  • 2 GB over 30 days: ¥3,590
  • 3 GB over 60 days: ¥3,980

Users who reach their data-transmission limit can purchase an extra 1 GB to be used in a 14 day period, priced at ¥1,000 (including tax).

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN for 3G devices: foma01.wi-gate.net
  • APN for 4G/LTE: xi01.wi-gate.net
  • Username: wg@sim
  • Password: wg
  • Authentication type: CHAP or PAP

More info Edit

FREETEL Edit

Freetel

FreeTel is a MVNO running on the DoCoMo network in 3G and 4G/LTE (for frequencies see above) with products mainly aimed at local Japanese and also tourists. They offer a data-only SIM which is valid for a max. of 30 days. Voice and data is not offered.

Availability Edit

This SIM card can be bought in Japan on Amazon.jp and in the usual shops of Yodobashi and BIC Camera. Additionally it's also available overseas in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Australia, Thailand and on Amazon.com for a discount. Mini and micro or a seperate nano SIM card are sold.

Data rates Edit

The SIM is either valid for 7 or 30 days according to package and not extendable in time, only expandable in volume:

  • 1 GB for 7 days: ¥1,780 plus tax (Amazon.jp/Yodobashi: ¥1,922; Amazon.com: US$12.99)
  • 2 GB for 30 days: ¥2,780 plus tax (Amazon.jp/Yodobashi: ¥3,000; Amazon.com: US$24.99)

When you have used up your data allowance, speed will be reduced to 150 Kbps for the rest of the validity. The only add-on option is 500 MB for ¥980 to be bought on their website. Social media of Facebook, WeChat, WhatsApp, Kakaotalk and Line is not debited from the data allowance and is free of charge.

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN: freetel.jp
  • User ID: freetel@freetel.link
  • Password: freetel
  • Authentication: CHAP/PAP

More info Edit

Yokoso Japan SIM Edit

Logo-1

Yokoso Japan is another MVNO (run by JP Mobile) using the good NTT DoCoMo network on 3G and LTE. They offer a data-only SIM on prepaid to foreigners without voice or SMS.

Availability Edit

You can order SIM cards online at http://www.yokososim.com or selected countries where you can buy SIM before you arrive in Japan. (Click here for list of countries). It's available only online to be sent abroad or in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, both in micro and nano size.

Data Plans Edit

Yokoso Japan Prepaid SIM cards provide visitors to Japan with speeds up to 150 Mbps on DoCoMo's LTE/4G network. Sales price varies depending on the country of purchase. The following price quotes are given for the Australian eBay store and US and European Amazon with free worldwide delivery:

  • 3 GB for 8 days: AUD$ 35, € 15
  • 3.5 GB for 15 days: AUD$ 40, US$ 16.90, € 20
  • 4 GB for 31 days: AUD$ 45, € 25
  • 5 GB for 91 days: AUD$ 55, € 36

On eBay or Amazon look for 'Japan Travel SIM'. After the 4G/LTE downloadable value is used up, maximum download speed drops to 256 kbps. Download is 'unlimited' at this speed until the available period lapses.

Technical Setting Edit

If you have an iPhone 5-7 you need to install the APN profile from the following website beforehand via a WiFi or any other internet connection: http://jpmob.jp/i

  • APN: jpmob.jp
  • Username: 1@jpmob
  • Password: 888
  • Authentication type: CHAP or PAP

More info Edit

Wi-Ho! Edit

Download (23)

Wi-Ho! by Telecom Square used to be a rental agency for overseas visitors. Since 2016 they offer a data-only and a data & voice SIM card to visitors. The data & voice SIM operates on the former Y!Mobile network that has been absorbed into Softbank. For 3G you need a device on 900 and 2100 MHz which is very usual in Europe or Asia, for their 4G/LTE 900 MHz (band 8), 1800 (band 3) and 2100 (band 1) to be added by the rare 2500 MHz (band 45 on TD-LTE), but not required. The data-only SIM is on the NTT/DoCoMo network (see above).

Their data & voice SIM is one of the few offers that include regular voice transmission (not only VoIP) as this is normally banned for foreigners.

Availability Edit

Both SIM cards are sold only at the Telecom Square airport counters in New Chitose, Narita, Handeda, Kansai and Fukoka airports (exact locations here). Visa, Mastercard, JCB, AmEx and Diners Club are accepted. Micro and nano SIM sizes are available. You can check your consumption online.

Data-only SIM Edit

Their data-only SIM comes in 3G/4G speed on the NTT DoCoMo network with speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s.

  • 1.5 GB for 7 days: ¥3,500 plus tax
  • 3 GB for 30 days: ¥5,500 plus tax

Voice & data SIM Edit

Their voice & data SIM comes in 3G/4G speed on the Y!Mobile (Softbank) network with speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s. It includes unlimited domestic calls and ¥300 airtime for internatl. calls:

  • 1 GB for 15 days: ¥5,500 plus tax
  • 3 GB for 15 days: ¥7,500 plus tax

More info Edit

SoftBank Edit

Softbank

SoftBank as 2nd network in the country (check frequencies at Basics section) has recently opened up its services to prepaid subscribers. Under very limited conditions prepaid subscriptions to foreigners on short-term are now possible. In 2016 it started to market a Tourist SIM for inbound visitors too, that is much more accessible for foreigners.

Simple Style prepaid plan Edit

Availability Edit

Foreigners visiting Japan short-term can sign up for prepaid SoftBank service only at airport counters in Narita, Haneda, Centrair (Nagoya), and Kansai showing a passport. In addition, certain SoftBank stores can handle upgrades from voice/mail only prepaid to smartphone service with data. When purchasing SoftBank's prepaid service, you have two options:

  • buy a SIM & phone package: Only this package has an extendable validity period, but it currently costs ¥15,000 for a phone and ¥10,000 airtime credit. This is a very steep start-up cost, intended for those who plan to visit frequently.
  • buy a stand-alone SIM: This SIM is cheaper, costing only the preloaded ¥3000, ¥5000, and ¥8000 credit, but only lasts for 14 days and is not extendable in validity. You must buy a new SIM when the 14 days are over and you'll lose any remaining credit on the SIM. This can be a great inconvenience, if you are not near an airport SoftBank counter when it expires.

Pricing Edit

Data is priced as follows:

  • 2-day plan: ¥900 for 200 MB LTE data
  • 7-day plan: ¥2700 for 700 MB LTE data
  • 30-day plan: ¥4980 for 3 GB LTE data

These plans don't have so good rates as the data-only SIMs. In part you are paying for the convenience of not having to buy a new SIM every time when you return, in part you are paying for having the voice service with a domestic number. The data plans now have a hard cap instead of throttling; if you are on an LTE data plan you will now be cut off instead of throttled. There is a frequent user discount: the 30-day plan drops in price to ¥3980 for the life of the account once it has been signed up for 12 times (not necessarily consecutive periods).

Recharge vouchers can be purchased with cash at any SoftBank store, any convenience store, or certain discount ticket shops (locations vary by city) for a ¥100-200 discount off face value. If you have a renewable SIM+phone package, both ¥3000 and ¥5,000 vouchers will extend validity for 60 days, after which the number itself is valid for another year and can be reactivated at any time by depositing more funds after arriving in Japan.

You can read more at the official website, including pricing, terms and conditions, and English-speaking shops addresses.

Prepaid SIM for Travel Edit

Softbank traveller

SoftBank Prepaid SIM - Mt.Fuji

SoftBank started their new product called Prepaid SIM for Travel aimed at inbound travelers to Japan in Nov. 2016.

Two different SIM card designs are available: Mt.Fuji and "Hello Kitty". Only design differs, both cards come with same terms and conditions.

You can read more at the official website (available in English).

The SIM card contains 1 GB for 31 days data-only on 3G and 4G/LTE. Before use, you will require to run an online registration process, which asks your personal identity and to get your passport photographed or scanned. This process is only possible from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Apple SIM offer Edit

SoftBank has recently also opened up sign-ups for its data service to iPad users with Apple SIMs. At ¥1620 for 1GB, it is both significantly cheaper than the regular Prepaid SIM for Travel, and matches au's Apple SIM plan price exactly. Unlike au, when signing up, you have to provide the address in Japan you are staying at, not the billing address of the credit card you want to charge the plan to. Foreign Visa, MasterCard, and JCB cards are accepted. Further refills are also ¥1620 per GB, and like au, initial registration must be done between 9AM and 9PM.
JP-SoftBank prepaid-2

SoftBank Prepaid SIM - Hello Kitty

Availability and pricing Edit

The SIM cards are available at Softbank shops, electronic shops and the Softbank rental counter at airport. It has an open price meaning the seller is flexible about it. At the Softbank rental center in Haneda airport ¥4,500 is charged.

The top-up charge is a fixed 500 MB for 31 day validity extension at ¥1,620 tax included.

Top-ups can be purchased only online by credit card.

Technical settings:Edit

  • APN: plus.4g
  • Username: plus

au (by KDDI) Edit

Au-0

au is Japan's 3rd mobile operator, and for most tourists will be of no use, both because of CDMA network type and because they normally don't sell to short-term visitors. However, those with an iPad and an Apple SIM may prefer it to other providers since it won't require purchase of a separate SIM, and for 1 GB data it's competitively priced.

Note that you may receive a letter from au in Japanese at home after you return. Do not be concerned, it is simply a written confirmation of the service you signed up for.

Availability Edit

Only if you have an iPad with an Apple SIM, you can sign up. au does not otherwise sell service to tourists. You can only sign up between 9am and 9pm (but if you are already registered, you can perform the refill at all hours). and instructions are given here and foreign credit cards and billing addresses are accepted.

Pricing Edit

au sells data to visitors using Apple SIMs at one price only: 1 GB for 30 days at ¥1620 (tax incl.). It can be set to auto-refill with another 1 GB once you have run low or once 30 days are over. Tethering is allowed on this plan.

Validity Edit

One registration is good for 365 days. Every refill extends the registration validity to 365 days from that refill. After 365 days, you will need to register once again.

Free Wi-Fi Passport (by SoftBank) Edit

Free wifi

SoftBank who runs about 400,000 WiFi access points in the country is giving out FREE WI-FI passports to anyone who visits Japan for business, vacation and other reasons from July 2015.

Registration Edit

You need to roam on the SoftBank network with your home SIM card in your phone. For this you need to have a 3G phone on the frequencies mentioned in the Basics chapter roaming on Softbank network. Users simply dial a dedicated number with their mobile phones at no charge to complete registration. For English dial *8180. They will send you the password rightaway. This password is valid for 2 weeks and can be renewed thereafter. In order to use this service, you must provide your mobile phone number, password, gender and age group.

Log-in Edit

You have to look for the SSID ".FREE_Wi-Fi_PASSPORT" (starts with a dot) from your list of available Wi-Fi hotspots. Pick this Wi-Fi, give your country code + phone number as ID and enter the sent password. Up to 5 devices can be connected but some SoftBank hotspot locations cannot be used with this service.

Normally Wi-Fi schemes are not a part in this Wiki, but given the situation in Japan, they might give a good alternative for mobile data. This free program seems to be extended now indefinitely. Their Wi-Fi service is not encrypted. Use this service after taking into consideration the security risk.

More info Edit

China Unicom Hong Kong Edit

China unicom

For heavy data users on short visits and/or those needing voice and text but not necessarily a local Japanese phone number, China Unicom Hong Kong offers SIMs that roam in Japan on SoftBank network for reasonable prices:

  • Cross-Border King SIM (data and voice, 4G/LTE): Initial purchase at HK$ 138, currently discounted to HK$ 118 including HK$ 80 credit. Default rate of HK$0.02 per KB, charges (but not data usage) capped at HK$ 68 daily. It no longer comes with a mainland China number, only a HK number, but data is now LTE instead of 3G and voice and text work on this SIM in the mainland too.

Availability: Edit

Thew SIM cards can be ordered online from China Unicom HK online store and shipped anywhere in the world for a HK$ 50 fee on top of the SIM price or prepaid.com.hk and HK$ 25 for shipping worldwide, shipped ready-to-use. Leave about 2 weeks for shipping at least. As an example while shipping from Hong Kong to Singapore, it took about 1.5 weeks and it was posted using regular mail (not trackable).

If ordering from a 3rd party, make sure that the SIM is associated with Hong Kong, not mainland China. It's nearly impossible to top-up a mainland China SIM from outside of China without a Chinese credit card, while HK SIMs can be topped up online with Visa, MasterCard or PayPal from any country, moreover it will suffer Chinese censorship.

Technical settings: Edit

  • APN: 3gnet

Rental services for SIM cards and mobile Wi-Fi devices Edit

As there are incompatibilities with non-Japanese devices and legal restrictions, many visitors may choose to use a rental service to hire a mobile device (Wi-Fi router, or hotspot) together with a SIM card or a SIM card only. There are more than a dozen agencies available offering such services. You should book in advance if you are looking for a particular kind of service or device. Mobile routers can be picked up airport counters or post offices, or arrangements can be made for delivery to your accommodation in Japan. Some agencies also offer insurance for a surcharge. The agencies below are listed in alphabetical order with links to their pages in English:

Blank-WiFi Edit

CDJapan Rental Edit

eConnect Japan Inc. Edit

Free NINJA WIFI Edit

Global Advanced Communications Edit

Japan Mobile Rental Edit

Japan Wi-Fi Rental Service Edit

JCR Corporation - Japan Cell Phone Rentals Edit

JRailPass.com Edit

Klook Edit

Purupuru Edit

Rentafone Japan Edit

Sakura Mobile Edit

Sally's Rental Edit

Softbank Global Rental Edit

Wi-Fi Hire Edit

Wi-Fi Rental Store Edit

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