UPDATED:2023-11-12

Where to Buy A Prepaid SIM Card in Japan

When traveling to Japan and planning to use a prepaid SIM card, the most convenient and cost-effective way to get one is by reserving it online and picking it up at the airport or your hotel. Having it delivered to your accommodation, like a hotel, is especially handy. If this option isn't available or if you find yourself needing an additional prepaid SIM card in Japan, keep in mind that, apart from airports, there are limited places where you can purchase them.
While you can also buy prepaid SIM cards through online services like Amazon Japan, it typically takes 1 to 2 days for delivery. So, buying one in-store is the fastest way to get your hands on one.

For travelers to Japan, SIM cards and eSIMs are data only

You may be considering using a SIM card or eSIM in Japan, but be aware that the SIM cards and eSIMs available for purchase for travelers and short-term visitors to Japan are designed for data only. It means that SIM card (eSIM) is not support making or receiving phone calls or SMS in Japan. If you wish to purchase a SIM card or eSIM that supports phone numbers, you y need a Japanese address, a credit card issued in Japan or a Japanese bank account to verify your identity. This makes the purchase process complicated and not easy to obtain.

However, for short-term stays in Japan, there are ways to use the service without a Japanese phone number: communication applications such as IP phone applications or Facebook Messenger, Skype, and LINE can be used to communicate without a phone number. Thus, for short-term visitors, the lack of a local phone number should not be a major problem.

Prepaid SIM Card - What's the most cost-effective way to purchase?

There are four ways to purchase Prepaid SIM cards for use in Japan:

A rough summary of their characteristics is as follows:

SIM Types Selling Price
Japanese Online Services Most abundant Inexpensive
Japanese Electronics Retail Stores Abundant Inexpensive
Japanese Airports Abundant Expensive
Online Services Outside Japan Limited Average

Prepaid SIM Card Providers in Japan(Online Service)

Purchasing a Prepaid SIM card from an online shop that specializes in Japanese Prepaid SIM cards and having it delivered is considered the best method.

The advantages of buying online include
Wide Variety of Options

You can choose the most suitable Prepaid SIM card from a diverse range of options. Japan offers various types of Prepaid SIM cards, allowing you to select a plan and price that align with your preferences.

No Stock Shortages

When buying a SIM card at the airport, such as from vending machines or stores, there may be limited choices, and during peak travel times, items may be sold out. When purchasing online, stock shortages are rare.

Cost-Effectiveness

Buying a SIM card at the airport can be relatively expensive. Online purchases are often sold at prices without additional airport fees, making it a cost-effective way to obtain a SIM card.

Nationwide Delivery

With reliable delivery services throughout Japan, ordering online ensures that your SIM card can be delivered anywhere in the country.

It is advisable to order a SIM card online before coming to Japan. However, even if you forget to make a purchase, online ordering and delivery services are available, making online purchases a convenient option.

ProviderOfficial Site
CDJapan Rentalhttps://rental.cdjapan.co.jp/
b-mobilehttps://www.bmobile.ne.jp/intro_for_foreigner.html
Sakura Mobilehttps://www.sakuramobile.jp/
mobalhttps://www.mobal.com/
eConnect Japanhttps://www.econnectjapan.com/products/sim/
Jp Smart SIMhttps://jpsmart.net/pages/prepaid-sim
HIS mobilehttps://his-mobile.com/domestic/service/prepaid#googtrans
Japan Wirelesshttps://www.japan-wireless.com/
Amazon.co.jphttps://www.amazon.co.jp/

Electronic Stores

In some major cities like Tokyo , Osaka,Nagoya and Fukuoka you can buy Prepaid SIM cards at certain electronics stores. Consider visiting large electronics retailers such as Yodobashi Camera; it's often more cost-effective than purchasing at the airport.

YODOBASHI CAMERA
Yodobashi Camera
They have a wide variety of prepaid SIM cards, and for buying the best one for your purpose,
they have "SIM Counter," which gives you an advice on it.
One of their largest stores is located in front of Akihabara Station.
Yodobashi Camera Store Information

BIC CAMERA
Bic Camera
Their flagship store in Ikebukuro in Tokyo is the biggest.
Meanwhile, Yurakucho store located in Ginza is very convenience and close to the Palace area.
Bic Camera stores List

Airports in Japan


In Japanese airports, Prepaid SIM cards for travelers are available for purchase at vending machines and shops. Airports are the most common locations for handling a variety of Prepaid SIM cards.
However, it's worth noting that Prepaid SIM cards sold at airports are typically more expensive than usual. To obtain a Prepaid SIM card at a lower cost, one effective method is to order online and pick it up upon arrival at a Japanese airport. Another option is to place an online order and have it delivered to your accommodation, such as a hotel.

There are some shops and vending machines of prepaid SIM cards at airports in Narita, Haneda, Kansai, Chitose, and Naha.