Your Guide To The Best Japan SIM Cards in 2020

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If you are traveling to Japan soon and want to make your trip a fun and memorable one,  one of the things that you must have is your own Japan SIM card. Whether you are a first-time visitor to Japan or have been to the country multiple times before, a Japan SIM card can offer you a long list of benefits that can lessen the stress, hassle, and confusion, and boost the convenience and enjoyment.

Question: Why should I buy a Japan SIM card for my trip to Japan?

Answer: There are many good reasons why you should buy a Japan SIM card that you can use during your trip to Japan. Below are some examples:

  • You can avail of 24/7 super fast and reliable internet anywhere in Japan – Do you need to call your family and friends back home to let them know you are okay? Are you expecting an important email from a client? Can’t you wait to upload your pictures and videos to your social media? With a Japan SIM card, you can have easy and immediate access to various apps and be able to do all these things whenever you want to, wherever you are in Japan.
  • It can help with navigation, public transportation, and translation. – Do you need directions from the airport to your hotel? What time does the next Shinkansen going to Osaka Station leave from Tokyo Station? Are you worried about ordering food at restaurants? With a Japan SIM card, you can use Google Maps, Hyperdia, Google Translate, and other similar apps to help you get around Japan and communicate even just some basic phrases with the locals.
  • Getting one is very easy. – Do you not want to deal with lots of paperwork and pay exorbitant fees just to have an internet connection in Japan? If you buy a Japan SIM card, you do not have to submit various identification and financial documents, nor pay hefty amounts of money and be surprised with sky-high hidden charges. Just place an order online prior to your trip, and have it shipped to your home address or a pick-up location in Japan.
  • You can use it as soon as you land in Japan. – How long will it take for a Japan SIM card to be activated? Will the wait be long and force you to spend your first few days without the internet? Fortunately, Japan SIM cards are generally ready to be used as soon as you insert it into your phone and tweak a couple of your phone settings.

Question: Are Japan SIM cards data-only and not allow me to make phone calls?

Answer: There are many types of Japan SIM cards. Some offer data-only plans while others have data+voice plans that give you a real and working Japanese phone number. Some are valid for about a week while others can be used for up to a month. They also come in varied data allowances.

Check out the tables below to see what Japan SIM cards are available for you, depending on your needs:

For short-term use in Japan (DATA-ONLY):

For short-term use in Japan (DATA+VOICE):

Question: I might be staying longer in Japan. Are there Japan SIM cards available for long-term visitors?

Answer: If you will be staying in Japan for more than 90 days, whether for work or school, you can look into the following Japan SIM card options:

For long-term use in Japan:

Question: How much data will I need while in Japan?

Answer: To help you determine how much data you will need on your Japan trip, you need to examine your internet habits.

  • On average, how many hours do I spend online per day?
  • How many photos, videos, and files do I upload?
  • How often do I go to Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts?
  • Do I spend a significant amount of my time online streaming videos, downloading podcasts, etc?
  • Do I talk to family or friends via Facetime, Facebook Messenger, or some other video calling apps frequently and for hours?

Then, ask yourself this: Do I expect to be doing the same things while in Japan?

If you think you will only occasionally browse the web, voice or chat message, and check your emails while in Japan, having 1GB to 3GB of data allowance a month will probably be enough.

If you think you will use some navigation and translation apps sometimes, and do some basic internet tasks, having 4GB to 8GB a month will probably suit you better.

Now, if you will also be streaming videos and music several hours a week, and uploading and downloading large files, having at least 9GB of data a month is recommended.

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