Friday, May 16, 2014

Which service in Japan has the best SIM cards for foreign tourists?

According to a survey, the difficulties to find internet connection is what dissatisfies foreign tourists the most during their stay in Japan.

Following such issues, many companies now offer SIM cards.
There are prepaid SIM cards and rental SIM cards.

But which one is best for your stay in Japan?
Lets compare SIM cards chosen by foreign tourists which can be
picked up at popular airports, in the chart below.

Prepaid Sim CardUseable periodData speedData amountPriceshipping feeMemo
b-mobile VISITOR SIM 1GB14Max 150mbps1GB4094216no activation required
eConnect Standard Speed30?1GB4100790no activation required
sonet 500M *160Max 150mbps500MB30000activation required
sonet 100M *130Max 150mbps100MB50000activation required
*1 sonet sim cards can be purchased in a vending machine at the airport.

Rental Sim CardUseable periodData speedData amountpriceshipping feeMemo
CDJapan 7 days *27Max 150mbps *3unlimited2300540no activation required
CDJapan 14 days *214Max 150mbps *3unlimited3500540no activation required
CDJapan 30 days *230Max 150mbps *3unlimited5900540no activation required
*2 Return is required. Return fees are included in the shipping fee.
*3 When the total data traffic reaches 30MB, the maximum traffic will be limited to 200kbps until 11:59 PM for that day. However after that LTE/3G high-speed data transmission will become available again.

SIM cards in the chart above are all from the same carrier, Docomo.
Therefore there are rarely any differences in the quality of data communication. The only difference is the price, data amount, and period.
The max. data speed of 150mbps is only based on a theoretical value but in reality, should be around 1mbps.

If we only compare prepaid SIM cards, "b-mobile VISITOR SIM 1GB" has limited data usage up to 1GB, but has hi-speed data communication and should be enough for a 14 day stay.

The max. data speed of "eConnect Standard Speed" is unknown but 1GB is probably not good enough for 30 days.

Sonet can be easily purchased in a vending machine at the airport. However the set up can be quite troubling. Also while the useable period is long, the data amount is very little so you will probably end up charging your battery many times.

Overall, if you are staying around 2 weeks, we think b-mobile VISITOR SIM 1GB is best out of the prepaid SIM cards.
If your stay is over 14 days, we recommend "eConnect Standard Speed".

The downside of prepaid SIM Cards are, while you can extend the useable period and charge if you exceed the data amount, it can be a hassle to cancel the contract, and may have to purchase any unused amount of data.

Rental Sim Card
CDJapan offers the rental type SIM cards, which is the best SIM cards for tourists in Japan.

Why we have the best service

  1. Best price in the market.
  2. Comes with a SIM card holder to keep your SIM cards safe.
  3. Unlimited data. No need to additionaly charge data.

The downside is that you have to return it, but the return fee is free.
If you are visiting Japan, why not use your rental card service.


  1. nice post !!!

  2. The Info in the blog is out of this world, I so want to read more compare prepaid cards .


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