How to Rent a SIM Card in Japan

Looking to make use of your cell phone in Japan? Read this.

We typically don’t bring a phone with us when we travel so we can disconnect.
However on this RTW trip, having a working phone has been pretty helpful… especially when meeting up with other people abroad.

Getting a SIM card in most countries we visit is usually a piece of cake, however Japan is a different story. Purchasing prepaid SIM cards is not possible, but guess what, you can rent one!

Luckily, there is one company who offers a great easy solution – Mobal.

What makes Mobal different from the other phone/SIM rental companies is that they have NO daily rental fees. Incoming calls & texts are free, but once you start making calls, the bill starts racking up like nobody’s business. So if you’re a light phone user, this is perfect!


Easy Pickup

You can make a reservation on Mobal’s website and pick up your SIM card or phone soon after you land into Tokyo’s Narita airport in Terminal 1.

Now this is a rental, so you have to return the SIM card before you leave Japan. If you’re flying out Narita airport, it’s as easy as dropping it off at their booth. If you’re not, you can still return the SIM card by sending it to Mobal via  snail mail.

Need data?

Another great option to use before you arrive to Japan would be eConnect Japan and rent a pocket wi-fi. They’ll ship it to your hotel and when you’re finished, you can simply drop it off any post office/post box in their prepaid shipping envelope.

If you’re already in Japan, another option would be to rent a data-only SIM card at a local electronics store.

We didn’t buy any mobile data during our time in Japan, but this might be worth it if you’re an interweb junkie since Wi-Fi isn’t easily available in the land of the rising sun. Be careful of additional charges when choosing a wireless carrier plan. Features like data roaming on your iPhone and data overages may increase your monthly bill.

I’m sure there are other SIM card options out there, but these are good ones for foreigners like myself. Plans and offerings are always changing, so it always helps to do some research before you make your decision.

Disclaimer: Mobal didn’t offer us any discounts or freebies to write this post. I’m just simply spreading the word about a great service to other travelers.

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