For people planning on visiting Japan, Japanese companies offer a lot of prepaid SIM card services with many plans.
However, as the plans are many and separated, you may be puzzled on which one is the best for your itinerary.

We provides you a list of all of the prepaid SIM card services available for getting around Japan.
The list also has their details (data capacity, period, price, and more) so that you now can see them all in one place and compare with the others easily.
Along with it, we also have pages on each service's details.

Find the best prepaid SIM card, and enjoy your wonderful experience in Japan.

NTTDoCoMo has the largest network coverage, and almost all of the prepaid SIM card services in Japan are based on their network.

NTTDoCoMo's 3G (the third generation) network is called FOMA, Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access.
FOMA uses the 800 MHz band in rural areas while it uses the 2100 MHz band in metropolitan areas (1700 MHz band in a few areas).

However, the 800 and 1700 MHz bands are exclusively assigned to Japan.
So, if you have the 3G network with the 2100 MHz alone, you practically can connect to the internet only in major cities.

NTTDoCoMo also offers 4G (LTE) network under the service name of Xi, having a wide range of frequency bands: 700, 800, 1500, 1800 and 2100 MHz.
Some of the frequency bands are also used in countries other than Japan, however, the 1800 MHz, one of the most usual bands in the world, is available only in the following major cities: Nagoya, Tokyo, and Osaka.

As you have seen above, a usable frequency can vary from place to place, so, its highly recommended to check which band do you need for the area you want to go and which band is your device compatible with before you actually visit Japan.

Also, you have to make sure that your device must be unlocked (sim lock free)
and must support one of the following frequencies:

4G[LTE]Band 1(2100MHz), Band 19 (800MHz), Band 21 (1500MHz), Band 3 (1800MHz, limited to the Toumeihan area).
3G[W-CDMA/HSPA (FOMA)] Band 1(2100MHz), Band 19 (800MHz).

mineo

mineo

mineo provides a prepaid SIM card for travelers in their service, "Prepaid SIM for Japan Travel." Prepaid SIM is just suited for travel and business trip for its simple and easy access to data communication, and their plans are quite simple so that you can compare them with the others easily. Although they do not have their physical stores, except for mineo Antenna Shop in Osaka, or ones in the internet, you can buy their prepaid SIM card at electronics retail stores and several airports.

IIJ

IIJ

"Japan Travel SIM" is a prepaid SIM card service powered by IIJmio. You can purchase their cards through a wide variety of places around Japan such as airports, stations, and electronics retail store chains, and the prices of the card prices may vary depending on retailers accordingly. The card is combined with a Brastel VoIP phone card, allowing you to place calls by using its dedicated app. Their service is divided into 2 types: 2GB data capacity in 3 months / 1GB data capacity in 1 month. IIJ's SIM card service for the Japanese is highly-acclaimed for their quality of network stability.

eConnect Japan

eConnect Japan

eConnect Japan provides a prepaid SIM card service with 6 plans, each available in multiple SIM sizes, with different data capacity and period of use: 1-5GB data / 100MB/day data (7-30days). You can purchase their prepaid SIM card via their web site and they deliver it to the place you want to receive such as hotel, airport, residence, and major international airports. Although they do not open the maximum download speed to the public, it can be assumed 2Mbps as their service is based on SORACOM Air, which enables eConnect Japan to offer various plans and features.

b-mobile

b-mobile

b-mobile's prepaid data SIM cards are offered by Japan Communications Inc., one of the most popular MVNOs in Japan. PAYG SIM, one of their services, can be used for both voice call and data transmission, and it is the only prepaid SIM card service with a voice call feature among all the ones sold to tourists to Japan. Note that a PAYG SIM card is not available for customers having a residential address in Denmark, Finland, or Sweden when customers purchase the card at retail stores or online. However, this does not apply when the customers purchase the cards at hotels. Identity verification is required for using PAYG SIM. You can purchase their prepaid SIM card via their web site and they deliver it to the place you specified in Japan such as hotel and airport.They do not open the maximum download speed to the public.

Sakura Mobile

Sakura Mobile

Sakura Mobile provides prepaid SIM card service with 3 plans (data capacity: 3GB, 5GB, 7GB), and each available in multiple SIM sizes. Their prepaid SIM card is required to return. Their base plan fee is reasonable but you need to pay daily rental fee of 50 yen per a day. You can purchase their prepaid SIM card via their web site, and they deliver it to the place you specified in Japan such as hotels and airports.

So-net

So-net

Prepaid LTE SIM by So-net offers 3 basic plans (1G, 2.2G, 3G), and their SIM card is available to purchase at various locations throughout Japan such as airports and major stations. Almost all of Dospara stores, a large computer-related chain that has 20 branches all over Japan, sell Prepaid LTE SIM cards. And if you have a plan of shopping on PC-related items, it might be a good choice. You can top up easily from your user page from 3 additional plans.

COMST

COMST

COMST sells prepaid data SIM cards called T-SIM, using NTT docomo's 3G and 4G/LTE networks. The cards are available to purchase via their online store, which has product descriptions in English to them. You can recharge it at convenience stores throughout Japan such as Lawson, Family-Mart, Mini-Stop, Three F, and Circul-K-Sunkus.

U-mobile

U-mobile

U-mobile is run by U-Next, a video streaming company and one of major MVNOs in Japan. They use NTT DoCoMo's 3G and LTE networks. Their plans are relatively easy to understand than the other services as the only differences between 3 plans they offered is service period:7 days, 15 days, 30 days. Plus, there is no need to activation, which is usually needed before connecting to the internet. Available to purchase at U-NEXT stores located at major airports and U-NEXT vending machines at Narita airport.

WirelessGate

WirelessGate

Wirelessgate Prepaid SIM service offers access to the networks from NTT Docomo's LTE and 3G as well as to 40,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, the biggest Wi-Fi network throughout Japan.

Yokoso Japan

Yokoso Japan

The biggest feature of SIM service by Yokoso Japan is that their cards are available to purchase at their official stores online not only in Japan but also outside of Japan as follows: Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, HongKong, and the US. This means that you can surely get the card before arriving to Japan.

FREETEL

FREETEL

With FREETEL Prepaid Data SIM for Japan, you can access for free to the popular SNS applications as follows: Facebook, Wechat, WhatApp, Kakaotalk, and Line. Although they offers only a 1GB plan, it might help a lot if you are a are a heavy user on these SNSs. Available to purchase it at major electronics retail stores and several airports.

NTT commnucation

NTT commnucation

NTT Communications' prepaid SIM service, "Prepaid SIM for Japan" uses NTT Docomo's 4G/LTE and 3G networks, and gives users up to 100MB of high-speed data per a day for both 2 plans woth 7 and 14 usable periods. Each plan is available in 3 sizes (standard, micro, and nano). Their prepaid SIM can be purchased via their website and they deliver it to hotels, post offices at major airports, or appointed places. Their prepaid SIM cads can also be purchased at Xcom Global counters at Haneda, Narita, Kansai, and Chubu Centrair airports as well as from a vending machine located inside the Narita Excel Hotel Tokyo or at Yodobashi Camera, a large shopping chain.

BIGLOBE

BIGLOBE

BIGLOBE NINJA SIM using NTT docomo's Network. 3 Data Plans are available.You can order from the web and pick up the product at the designated airport post office or hotel.

Telecom Square

Telecom Square

Telecom Square has counters at most of all international airport in Japan. They provide prepaid SIM card and portable WiFi. one of their SIM has voice call.


To be connected with the internet in Japan, 3G or 4G enabled devices are required.
2G (GSM only) phones are not usable as Japan doesn't provide the 2G network.

4G (FDD-LTE)

Frequency
Band 1 (2100 Mhz) : Most Area
Band 19 (800 Mhz) : Rural Areas, Mountains, Lakes
Band 21 (1500 Mhz) : All Cities (incl. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya)
Band 3 (1700 Mhz) : Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya

3G (W-CDMA / UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA)

Frequency
Band 1 (2100 Mhz) : Most Area
Band 9 (1700 GHz/1800GHz) : Tokyo,Osaka,Nagoya
Band 19 (800 Mhz) : Rural Areas, Mountains, Lakes

Android / Windows Phone / Apple Devices

Every 3G enabled device is compatible with band 1, which is used for roaming. Compatibility for band 19 depends on your devices.
Band 19 is often used to cover rural areas.
In cities, most areas are covered by band 1.

Since 2006 the "Mobile Phone Improper Use Prevention Act" requires anyone who intends to buy a voice-call-capable SIM card (prepaid or postpaid) to show a proper identification which indicates that he/she has a residential (permanent) address in Japan. A hotel address is not sufficient for this purpose.
All foreigners must have an alien registration to purchase a voice SIM.
As a tourist without a visa which permits to stay for more than 90 days, you won't get one. So you cannot obtain any local cellphone SIM with a voice-call, under your name, period.

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