Unlike in many countries where getting a sim card owned by just about everyone in the country is easy, Japan is a bit different. As Japanese long-term residents or citizens, you’ll have to get into a contract with a provider company. The Japanese long-term residents are required to have a subscription plan that usually occurs at the same time they get their mobile phones. So how can you as a tourist get a constant, guaranteed access for internet in Japan?
Things such as train routes are easily accessible through the internet. All you have to do is insert stations’ names or your destinations on the map and you have your routes. Aside from the everyday activities, you needed internet for, internet these days is almost like a basic need for travelers. Luckily, getting a guaranteed internet access in Japan is not difficult. Here are some of the most convenient ways you can get connected while traveling in the country.
Free Wifi hotspots are not always readily available
Relying on free wifi without the means of your very own data plan may get you into trouble, especially when you’re traveling to a foreign country. While Japan is known for its cutting-edge technology and funky multipurpose robots, that does not mean they provide free internet in every corner of the country. So make sure to bring your own. There are some hotels or guesthouses that included a “pocket wifi” in your stay. Make sure to check with them for your money’s worth and to avoid paying twice for the internet.
Pocket Wifi Rental
These compact portable devices are small wifi routers you can bring anywhere. This is perfect for those who travel with a companion. While each device and services differ slightly, one pocket wifi device can accommodate up to 4 to 8 people at a time. You’ll need to return your pocket wifi before you go back home by dropping it off at the nearest post office or a post box. These post offices and post boxes are usually available at the airport. Make sure to check the location and the office hours.
There is usually the option of regular phones (usually a Japanese old flip phones). But most people these days won’t have a use of that anymore, I’d imagine. Smartphone rentals are commonly available for rent at the airports. This option is good for those who are not sure their phones would be compatible with Japan sim card, or those who didn’t have the opportunity to unlock their phones before going to Japan.
Japan SIM Card
One of the most straightforward ways to connect to the internet in Japan. The option of sim card is also generally cheaper for individual use compared to a pocket wifi. Japanese sim card for tourists are for data-only and cannot be used for calls. Data-only sim card is more often than not, afford you unlimited data, with data throttling after the fair use has been spent. If you absolutely needed to use your phone for calls made not over the internet, then you need to buy it by presenting a tourist visa.