How to get BEST prepaid sim card in Japan
As one of my German friend had a difficulty to find a cheap and convenient SIM card for staying in Japan for 3 month, I've summarized price/available-traffic/available-days of each SIM card for a smart phone. Even for a Japanese native guy, it was a touch process... Hope this effort also help someone coming to Japan soon!
As with many things, buying a prepaid sim card in Japan is a tough process for a foreign tourist/worker.
....you cannot find prepaid card at a drug store, web site is written in Japanese and so on.
Then I have compared Japanese prepaid sim cards with some aspects (cost, availability and etc.) and summarized them for my German friend who is going to visit Japan for a few months.
(Today, 1 USD = apx. 100 yen, 1 Euro = apx. 140 yen)
The first and second prepaid sim cards are for foreign visitors (Easy and Expensive).
1. B-mobile visitor sim
You can buy it online (English web site) and receive it at airport post office or your hotel.
There are two course,
(1)1GB for 14 days, best effort speed, 3791yen (37USD, 27Euro)
(2)14days, unlimited internet at 300kBps, 3791yen (37USD, 27Euro)
2. So-net prepaid LTE sim
(1) 100MB, 3000yen, for 30 days (4500yen at Narita airport)
(2) 500MB, 5000yen, for 60 days (6500yen at Narita airport)
Refilling (top up):
(1) 200 MB, 1500yen, 30 days
(2) 500 MB, 2000yen, 30 days
(3) 1GB, 2838yen, for 60 days
You can buy this from machines located at Narita airport(Tokyo), Kansai international airport(Osaka), some places in Tokyo (Shinjuku and Ikebukuro). And English telephone service is available.
Both two above prepaid sim cards are very convenient for foreign tourists, especially in short-stay ones. The advantages are you can buy/get it at Japanese airports.
But these are tourist price (expensive!).
Given a tourist stay 3 weeks in Japan, he/she needs to pay 7600yen and 6500yen, for 1st and 2nd sim respectively.
The followings are cheaper prepaid sim.
3. b-mobile 1GB 30days pack
3315 yen, 1GB flat internet for 30days.
You can buy this at electronics shop (Yodobashi-camera, Big-camera) and amazon.
4. OCN mobile one (OCN モバイル one)
This is the cheapest, OCN mobile one, 100% network-covered,
150Mbps maximum (200kbps if exceeded)
To buy SIM 1699～3240yen
1GB/month 1,188 yen
You can buy this from online, amazon, rakuten and so on.
But you need to register and select plan on Japanese website.
- b-mobile visitor sim: Easy but expensive for a long stay, good for short trip less than 14 days
- so-net prepaid LTE: Easy but expensive, suitable for light user staying from 14 days to 1 month
- b-mobile 30days: cheap and good availability (shop & online), suitable for 14 days to 1 or 2 month(s)
- OCN mobile one: Cheapest but available only online, suitable for people staying more than 2 months
My German friend plans to stay Japan for 3 month. Then I recommended OCN mobile one because it's the cheapest option for him.