Comprehensive Japan Prepaid Data SIM Card Comparison Review

1
1180

In Japan, shops not allowed to sell voice call SIM cards to non-residents. but if you need the calling function no matter what there is one option which is the PAYG SIM by b-mobile.  But not to worry with apps like WhatsApp, LINE and Skype, all you need to make a call nowadays, is a data SIM card.

Data SIM cards are better and cheaper alternatives to WIFI routers for people who are travelling alone or those who may find it more convenient to have their own access to internet especially in situations where you have to/are separated from your group. However, ample research has to be done before deciding which SIM card to purchase and that can be a real headache!

To make things a little easier for you, here are some common SIM cards used summarized in a table to better assist you in your decision.

  1. Fixed Data Limit for a period of time (eg. 1GB, 2GB packages), usually no speed limit.
Name Data Limit Duration Cost Available @ airport? Top-up
T-SIM by COMST 3GB 30 days 3980yen No Yes
5GB 90 days 6980yen

eConnect

Order online, pick up at hotel, residence or airport

1GB 30 days 4100yen No No
3GB 30 days 4700yen
JAPAN TRAVEL SIM by IIJmio 1GB 30 days 3980yen Yes Yes
2GB 3 months 3780yen
Prepaid BIGLOBE NINJA SIM by BIGLOBE 1GB 30 days 2700yen No Yes
3GB 4500yen
7GB 7300yen
Prepaid LTE SIM by So-net 1GB 30 days 2778yen Yes Yes
2.2GB 30 Days 3704yen
3GB 60 days 4630yen
PAYG SIM by b-mobile data 3GB, voice 60min 7 days ¥9,980 (tax incl) No No

Sakura Mobile (Rental)

Order online and pick up at hotels, airport post offices, post office branches and residential addresses
Return by postbox (also available at airports)

3GB 45 days ¥3500 + ¥50/day daily rental fee & ¥890 shipping No Yes
5GB ¥4500 + ¥50/day daily rental fee & ¥890 shipping
7GB ¥5500 + ¥50/day daily rental fee & ¥890 shipping

 

2. Fixed data limit per day, usually speed slows down to 100/200kps after exceeding the data limit.

Name Data Limit Duration Cost Available @ airport Top-up
eConnect

Order online, pick up at hotel, residence or airport

100MB/day 7 days 2800yen No No
15 days 3100yen
30 days 3800yen

Yokoso SIM

Order online and deliver to local address/Buy at designated stores

215MB/day 7 days 3200yen No No
Prepaid Sim for Japan

Order online, pick up at hotel, residence or airport or purchase from stores http://service.ocn.ne.jp/mobile/one/visitor/en/store/

 100MB/day 7 days 3218yen (tax incl) Yes No
14 days 3780yen (tax incl)
U-Mobile (Rental) 200MB/day 15 days 2980yen Yes No
30 days 3980yen
CDJapan (Rental)

Order online and pick up at airport, hotel and residence

110MB/day 5 days onwards 1700yen ~ + ¥ 540 shipping fee No Yes
T-SIM by COMST 110MB/day 31 days 3980yen No Yes

*These prices do not include tax unless stated.

Of course other than just zooming in into the cheapest option, here are some considerations you should have before deciding on a SIM card:

How long are you going for? Just a week or at least a month?

Do you prefer the flexibility of managing how much data you use per day? Or you prefer a fixed limit which you can use per day?

Fixed Data Limit for a period of time

Fixed data limit per day

Can adjust how much you want to use each day, can be used over longer spans of periods (at least 30 days).

Helps to control data usage each day

No speed limit

Speed slows down after exceeding data limit per day

Would you prefer to buy order online and pick it up at the airport/hotel/residence? Or would you prefer to buy straight at the airport or designated shops?

Some of them are rental SIM cards which you have to return before leaving Japan. Do you mind the hassle/easily forget about returning them?

The SIM cards with fixed data limit per day usually comes with fixed days such as 7 days or 15 days so if it tallies with your days you might want to consider getting them, unless you prefer flexibility in your usage. eConnect is probably the cheapest and most convenient service as you can order online and collect it at the airport. If you feel that 100mb/day is too little, you can opt for Yokoso SIM which provides 200mb/day at a slightly higher price. CDJapan is also an affordable option, but it has to be returned. Luckily there are post offices at the airport which facilitate easier returning of the device.

As for people who are looking to rent for 15 days, U-Mobile is the most affordable, but has to be returned as well. However, you get 200mb/day for 15 days so it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

If you are looking at SIM cards with fixed data limit for a period of time, the cheapest and most convenient option seems to be Prepaid LTE SIM by So-net. However, you will have to purchase at the airport.

Personally, I have used 2GB JAPAN TRAVEL SIM by IIJmio and have stayed in Japan for 1 month. I chose this option as I liked more flexibility in my usage eg. I can use more internet on days which I have to travel for long hours on the train. The installation is easy and the speed is great as well. However, it was a little difficult trying to maintain below the data limit of 2GB within a month, so 3GB may have been a better choice for me.

Do check out their website for more details and the compatibility before making your decision. Don’t worry, they are usually in English so it will be easy to navigate!

Have you used a data SIM card in Japan before? Share with us which type of SIM card you have used before and how you feel about it on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

 

WRITTEN BY: Pascalle Ji

Comments

comments

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here