What is the List of SIM cards available in Japan?

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mobal4,730 yen and upUnlimited (Data speed may be reduced after exceeding 3GB per day)/8 days and up
Sakura Mobile4,950 yen and upUnlimited (Data speed may be reduced after exceeding 2GB per day)/8 days and up
Nippon SIM for Japan1,980 yen and up3GB/30 days and up
IIJmio Travel SIM2,480 yen and up3GB/30 days and up
B Mobile Visitor SIM1,980 yen and up5GB/10 days and up

In Japan, several SIM card services cater to different needs, including those of tourists and residents. Here’s a list of popular SIM card providers in Japan:

  1. NTT Docomo: One of Japan’s largest mobile service providers, offering a wide range of services and extensive coverage.
  2. SoftBank: Known for its strong network and variety of plan options, including prepaid SIM cards for short-term visitors.
  3. au by KDDI: Offers both long-term contracts and prepaid SIM options, with good coverage across the country.
  4. Rakuten Mobile: A newer entrant to the mobile scene, providing competitive pricing and innovative services.
  5. IIJmio: Popular for its “B-mobile” visitor SIM, which is geared towards tourists and offers data services at competitive prices.
  6. Y!mobile: Operates under SoftBank and provides more budget-friendly mobile services and SIM card options.

Here’s a comparison of some popular SIM cards available in Japan for travelers:

Here’s a comparison of some popular SIM cards available in Japan for travelers:

Nippon SIMDocomo3GB/30 days and upStarts at 1,980 yen
IIJmio Travel SIMDocomo3GB/30 days and upStarts at 2,480 yen
B Mobile Visitor SIMSoftBank5GB/10 days and upStarts at 1,980 yen
Mobal SIMSoftBankVariesVaries
Sakura MobileDocomoVariesVaries

Here’s a quick comparison of the factors to consider:

  • Network: Docomo, SoftBank, and au are the major mobile network operators in Japan. Docomo generally has the widest coverage, especially in rural areas. However, SoftBank often offers the most competitive data plans.
  • Data: Consider how much data you’ll need during your trip. Most SIM cards offer data packages ranging from a few GBs to unlimited data.
  • Cost: SIM card prices can vary depending on the provider, data allowance, and validity period. Be sure to compare prices before you buy.

Additional factors to consider:

  • Voice calls: If you need to make voice calls in Japan, you’ll need a SIM card that includes voice minutes. However, many travelers find it more convenient to use internet calling apps like WhatsApp or Skype.
  • Activation: Some SIM cards require activation upon arrival in Japan. Be sure to check the activation process before you buy.
  • eSIM vs. physical SIM: eSIMs are becoming increasingly popular for travelers. They are digital SIM cards that can be downloaded to your phone. This can be a convenient option if you don’t want to carry around a physical SIM card.

Here’s a comparison of various SIM card options available in Japan, focusing on their network coverage, data allowances, and costs:

  1. Mobal: Offers a range of plans including a SIM with Voice+SMS+Data. Initial plans start at $39 per month for 7GB of high-speed data, then unlimited at reduced speeds. This plan includes free incoming calls and SMS, with outgoing costs of ¥39/min domestically and from ¥65/min internationally​ (Pretraveller)​.
  2. Sakura Mobile: Known for flexibility and good English support. Plans range from 3GB to 200GB costing from approximately ¥2,000. They also provide options for voice and data services with prices starting at around ¥4,500 for 8 days of unlimited data​ (Sakura Mobile WiFi)
  3. IIJmio: Offers a basic 30-day plan with 3GB of data for ¥2,480. Known for affordability and customer support in English and Japanese, but does not allow for top-ups—once the data is used, a new card must be purchased​ (capturetheatlas)​​
  4. B-Mobile: Provides plans such as a 10-day option with 5GB for ¥1,980. They offer flexibility in plan extensions and good network coverage, suitable for short visits​ (capturetheatlas)​​
  5. Rakuten Mobile: Offers competitive pricing with plans like a 30-day unlimited data for ¥2,300. However, reviews suggest that while affordable, the network speed may not be very fast​ (capturetheatlas)​.
  6. Nippon SIM: Provides varied plans like a 30-day package with 3GB for ¥1,980, catering to those who need less data​ (Matcha JP)​.
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