Internet Access in Japan for Tourists: Pocket WiFi, SIM Card, eSIM

Greetings, fellow travelers! If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful country of Japan, one of the most important things you’ll need is reliable internet access. Today, I’ll share with you the best ways to access the internet while traveling in Japan, focusing on the best pocket WiFi for Japan, SIM cards, and eSIM options.

1. WiFi Rental

Renting a portable WiFi device is a popular choice, especially for group travelers. These devices are convenient and can support multiple users at once. However, some travelers have noted that the group needs to stay relatively close together, as the WiFi signal range is limited. If you’re traveling with a group and plan to stick together most of the time, this could be a good option for you.

Here are two options for you to consider:

  • Softbank WiFi Rental: Known for its affordability, Softbank offers a reliable service that can be picked up directly from the airport. They offer three package options:
    • Unlimited data with high speed up to 3GB per day
    • Unlimited data with high speed up to 5GB per day
    • Unlimited data with high speed up to 10GB per day
  • NTT Docomo WiFi Rental: While a bit more expensive, NTT Docomo is praised for its superior signal and speed. This service can also be picked up from the airport.

It’s worth noting that it’s generally cheaper to rent a pocket WiFi device before departing for Japan. Prices can be significantly higher if you try to rent one after landing in Japan.

2. SIM Cards

Many travelers prefer buying a local SIM card. This option provides individual internet access, which is perfect if you plan to split up and explore different areas. However, some travelers have expressed concern about losing their original SIM card while swapping it out for the Japanese one. So, make sure to keep it safe!

Here are two SIM card options with different validity periods:

  • 7-day SIM Card: This SIM card from NTT Docomo offers 7 days of service and can be picked up from the airport.
  • 8-31 days SIM Card: Also from NTT Docomo, this SIM card offers a longer validity period of 8 to 31 days and can be picked up from the airport.

3. eSIM

eSIMs are a newer form of technology that’s gaining popularity. They’re virtual SIM cards that you can store in your phone, eliminating the need to physically swap out cards. However, some travelers have pointed out that not all phone models support eSIM cards. So, check your phone’s compatibility before choosing this option.

Here are three eSIM options:

  • NTT Docomo eSIM: This eSIM card from NTT Docomo can be delivered via email.
  • Softbank eSIM: This eSIM card from Softbank can also be delivered via email.
  • Ubigi eSIM: This 5G eSIM card from NTT Docomo is perfect for those with 5G compatible phones and can be delivered via email.

4. Roaming Services

Some travelers opt for roaming services provided by their home telecom company. This is a convenient option as it doesn’t require changing SIM cards or carrying an extra device. However, it can be quite expensive compared to other options.

Traveler Insights

Travelers have shared their experiences and insights, which can help inform your decision. Many have found SIM cards to be cost-effective and reliable, while others have appreciated the convenience of WiFi rentals for group travel. The importance of internet access for tasks like navigation and translation was also emphasized.

Remember, the best choice depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Consider your travel plans, budget, and personal preferences before making a decision. Safe travels and enjoy your trip to Japan!

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