Mobile Phones and Internet
Can I use my mobile phone in Japan?
You can use your mobile phone (smart phones only) in Japan in SoftBank Mobile or DOCOMO’s 3G (3rd Generation) or 4G/LTE service areas. Ensure global roaming has been activated with your service provider before you leave home and the phone is unlocked from the network.
How do I stay connected while in Japan?
Here are some options:
- Global roaming – Vodafone customers can activate global roaming with their plan for an additional $5 per day. For other networks, check with your service provider.
- Renting or purchasing a SIM card – SIM cards for smart-phones (iPhone and Android) can be rented from airport kiosks, or ordered online and delivered to your hotel. Phones must be unlocked from your network. Prepaid SIM cards tend to be for data (internet) only and restrict your data usage to 100mb per day. Voice calls are possible using an app like Viber, Skype or even Facebook Messenger. Some data SIMs allow you to purchase additional data online.
- Renting a Wi-Fi router – Wi-Fi router rentals, sometimes called “Pocket Wi-Fi” usually offer unlimited data for a daily flat rental fee. Multiple devices can connect to the same hot-spot, so one device can be shared between a group.
- Renting a Japanese mobile phone – if you need to make calls to Japanese phone numbers, renting a Japanese mobile phone might be a good option. There are two types of phones available, smartphones (calls, email and internet) and normal phones (calls and text only). Receiving calls is usually free, but additional charges apply for making calls, texting or using the internet.
• Ninja WiFi (Pocket WiFi rental)
• Softbank Global Rental (data/voice SIM rental, Mobile phone rental, Pocket WiFi rental)
• NTT Communications Prepaid SIM for Japan (Prepaid data SIM)
• So-Net (Prepaid LTE data SIM)
• Telecom Square (Prepaid data SIM, Mobile phone rental, Pocket WiFi rental)
Where can I find free Wi-Fi in Japan?
Free WiFi spots in Japan are on the rise and can be found at many hotels, convenience stores and public areas like shopping malls and train stations.
Download an app like Japan Connected Free WiFi or Travel Japan Free WiFi before you leave. Both apps allow you to search for free hot-spots and connect to them with a one-time registration.