Knowing the various mobile service plans a Japanese cell phone company can offer to a foreigner like you in Japan will help you pick one that matches your needs.
Each plan differ based on price and inclusions. Usually, a higher-cost plan offers more data and more freebies. To help you out in getting a mobile plan, we’ve rounded up the best choices for foreigners who will stay longer, as well as for those short-term stays.
Let’s begin by knowing the plan options that are best for those with long-term visas.
Mobile Plan Options For Long-Term Stay
For those who stay in Japan for a medium to long-term, you may opt to get a SIM Card or a subscription plan. These are the best mobile service options for those international students in the country.
1. Get a SIM Card With Monthly Subscription
Getting a SIM card is highly recommended for foreigners who come to Japan on a working holiday or short-term study abroad. It will let you enjoy having more features and data usage.
However, many users are having difficulty in the application process when getting a SIM card plan from one of the Major Network Companies in Japan. That is why we highly recommend getting a “Cheap SIM” that prices are lower and easier to apply.
Although Cheap SIMS are reduced in price, it doesn’t follow that the services to their costumer are also reduced. Like the one that we always recommend, the BIGLOBE Mobile.
It is the best one out there. This company is renting a line from major mobile phone networks such as DoCoMo and au. That is why line maintenance, etc., is not required. Therefore, plan rates are more affordable, which is preferred by most foreign users in Japan.
Why choose BIGLOBE Mobile?
- You can enjoy unlimited services such as YouTube without worrying about additional charges!
- Reliable with a long-established provider!
- You can select a call service option that suits you!
- You can use your current smartphone as it is! Save by replacing the SIM!
- The family discount makes it even more profitable!
Apart from BIGLOBE Mobile, other cell phone companies in Japan also offer Cheap SIM with a mobile phone package.
2. Subscribe to a Phone Plan
NTT Docomo, au by KDDI, and SoftBank Mobile are the giants in Japan’s cellular phone industry. When you apply for a subscription, the contract bond is usually for two years, and cancellation before the end of the contract means a penalty. Some Japanese people decide to switch to cheaper plans after their contract ends.
Here’s the overview of the contract price comparison of the cell phone companies in Japan.
Contract Price Comparison From Major Network Operators in Japan
|Mobile Network Operators||2GB||3GB||5GB||6GB|
AU by KDDI
Soft Bank Mobile
*Data as of 17 Sept 2018.
Japanese Cell Phone Company Service Options for Short-Term Stay
Getting a mobile phone contract would be difficult for those who only stay in Japan for a short-term period. You will need to consider finding another option, yet the best one that fits your budget and lifestyle. Here are the three options we can recommend so you can stay updated on your social media accounts and connect with your loved ones while in Japan.
1. Phone Rental
Phone rentals are available in Japan. You can find some as you arrive at the airport. Some traveling agencies or hotels will offer it to you upon booking your tour or hotel and sometimes deliver them to you in your hotel room. Reservations come cheaper, and it is a sure way that you can get one.
2. SIM Card only
If you choose to use your phone and get a SIM-only, you can purchase it at the airport or retailers in Japan. The SIM comes with a free terminal, but make sure that your phone is unlocked to Japan’s network and supports the GSM frequency of the SIM that you will buy.
Remember that SIM Subscription is limited, and once it expires, you won’t be able to extend the subscription. And make sure your mobile devices meet the Japanese communication standard to enable you to connect.
3. Pocket Wifi
Portable or pocket wifi is easy to use and handy, especially your purpose is to travel around the country. And you won’t need to purchase the device since you can have it for rentals.
Renting it is very simple.
- First, you need to fill up an online application before you arrive in Japan.
- Then, you can collect the router at the airport or have it delivered to your accommodation.
So, if it would not be easy for you to rent a phone or your phone is not compatible with Japan’s prepaid SIM cards, then try renting a wifi device.
To know how to rent pocket wifi in Japan, check out the following article.
Of course, we don’t want you to have a hard time deciding to choose from the list above. We prepared a comparison of the contract price that we most recommend you to get. Please click Phone Contract Services and know more about these companies and how to apply for a contract.
Feel free to contact us from the form below:
FAIR Japan provides useful information about Japan.