Getting a SIM card in Japan is hassle-free and relatively quick. For non-stop internet on the go, having one with a data plan is the best suitable option. Whether you are a tourist or a resident, obtaining a SIM card is necessary to stay connected in today’s world, and Japan is one of the most modern countries on the globe. There are lots of telecom companies in Japan that offer SIM cards at varying rates and terms, option international calling and texting plans, and so on.
In this article, you will get to know several leading providers of SIM cards in Japan. Their official websites are in English, so it won’t be a problem for international tourists to understand the plans and offers they provide. Let’s start exploring them one by one.
1. Japan Wireless
Japan Wireless is one of the most competitive and popular telecom companies in the country. It serves more than 350,000 subscribers worldwide. The carrier offers three SIM plans offering 7 GB, 10 GB, and 25 GB of data along with the reliability of NTT Docomo’s 4G/LTE network. In it, you get free domestic calls but no international calling feature. You can still make and receive calls overseas with the help of VoIP apps like Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc. Though it has the best quality services, it is certainly not cheap.
2. Yolo Japan
This is a Japanese telecom company that offers foreigner-friendly SIM cards in Japan. Yolo Japan gives affordable services to outsiders who want a local SIM. The company offers 4 payment plans offering data worth 3 GB, 6 GB, 12 GB, and 20 GB per month. Its Customer Service team operates in English and Japanese languages. However, you don’t get any international calling capabilities on this SIM card. Luckily, VoIP apps like Skype and Zoom are always an option. The domestic calling rate it charges is 40 Yen/minute. Yolo operates on an LTE network across the country.
Mobal is one of the most reliable telecom companies in Japan and operates globally. It was founded in the United Kingdom in 1989 but started operations in Japan quite recently. Furthermore, it offers several options to choose from. For instance, 8 to 16 days validity SIM cards for short-term stayers and 60 to 90 days validity SIM cards for the long-term visitors. The carrier also brings international as well as domestic calling and texting along with its reliable 4G/LTE network. The domestic calling rate it charges is 29 Yen/minute, while the international calling rate is 65 Yen/minute. You can acquire a Mobal SIM card at all international airports in Japan.
4. GTN Mobile
GTN Mobile is the most affordable SIM card provider in Japan. It has been managed by a Japanese company called Global Trust Networks since 2015. It boasts several mobile plans for international tourists as well. For instance, the GTN MOBILE Lite is a plan that brings 4G data at the cheapest price in the country. This plan is divided into two contracts — 3 GB and 10 GB. The carrier also offers a 5G plan named GTN MOBILE Advance. It comes in three contracts — 3 GB, 10 GB, and 17 GB.
Likewise, it operates in specific areas where a 5G network is available and offers extremely high-speed 5G internet there. With both these SIM plans, you can make and receive domestic as well as international calls and texts. Its domestic calling rate is 44 Yen per minute, while the international one varies between 44 and 254 Yen per minute.
5. IIJ Mio
IIJ Mio is another popular SIM card provider in the country. It was initiated as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) company named Internet Initiative Japan Inc., established in 1992. Later on, in 2001, the company started its personal network services with the name IIJ Mio. The network provider has three SIM card data plans you can pick up from two major Japanese mobile operators: KDDI and NTT Docomo.
The first is the Minimum Start Plan, in which you get 3 GB of data. The second one is the Light Start Plan, which offers 6 GB of data. The last one is the Family Share Plan which nets you get 12 GB of data that can be shared among 3 IIJ Mio SIM cards. It offers both domestic and international calling and texting facilities. The domestic call rate is 44 Yen/minute, while the international calling rate is 68 Yen/minute.
6. Sakura Mobile
Sakura Mobile was established in 2014. It sells Wi-Fi services and mobile network services in Japan. It is an MVNO of NTT Docomo which has the most reliable mobile network in the country. Furthermore, it sells tourist SIM cards and pocket Wi-Fi on rentals. It offers two mobile data plans — one is 4 GB per month and the other one is 25 GB monthly. In both the plans, you will get domestic and international calling and texting capabilities. Its international calling rate is 68 Yen/minute while the domestic one is 44 Yen/minute.