Cheap SIM cards in Japan

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Buy a Cheap SIM Card in Japan

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Buy a Cheap SIM Card in Japan

Buy a Cheap SIM Card in Japan

Japanese major mobile phone operators offer you to contract at least two years for use. If you stop using it before your contract is over, you will get the penalty charges. On the other hand, Japan's SIM cards do not have these rules. The contract term is shorter, and no need to pay penalties to cancel the contract (not all the cases). In addition, SIM cards usually cost lower price than these major operators. They are good for those who stay for working holiday or study abroad in Japan.

However, there are plenty of types, plans, and features for each SIM card. Now, we will introduce them and recommend SIMs for each different situation. Hope you can find the best one!

Types of Japan's SIM Cards

There are three types of SIMs: “data-only”, “data + SMS”, and “data + voice call”. Check the functions with the following table.

The Internet Communication SMS (short Message Service) Phone Call
Data + voice call SIMs
Data + SMS SIMs ×
Data-only SIMs × ×

Sizes of Japan's SIM Cards

There are three kinds of sizes for SIMs: “regular SIM”, “micro SIM”, and “nano SIM”. Each smartphone requires different size for it. Make sure which one is needed for your smartphone as you buy a SIM. In addition, if you bring your mobile phone from your country, you'd better check whether it is an unlocked smartphone, or not. (*Notice: a smartphone which is not from Japan may not be able to use in some cases.)

Highly Recommended Japan's SIM Cards

It is awarded the first place by “SIM Award 2015”. It is quite trusted and popular by Japanese consumers. The data speed is sustainable. There are three plans provided: “Minimal Start Plan (3GB)”, “Lite Start Plan (6GB)”, and “Family Share Plan (12GB)”. You can transfer the remained data traffic to the next month. Even when the data traffic is limited, the first part of the Web page is loaded quickly so that simple pages are able to browse comfortably all the time. There is a Web page explaining how to buy a SIM for the non-Japanese so is easy to understand.

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It is provided by LINE. Using LINE App is free of charge. Also, “Communication Free Plan” does not charge using some kinds of SNS. The price plans are nine types: “LINE Free Plan (1GB)”, “Communication Free Plan (3GB / 5GB / 7GB /10GB)”. “MUSIC + Plan (3GB / 5GB / 7GB /10GB)” starts from ¥540 for a month (data-only SIM). If you always communicate by LINE App (text messages / voice calling), this plan is a good choice. Also, “Communication Free Plan” is good for those who use SNS much often because it does not charge for use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LINE.

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It is provided by Rakuten Communications. The monthly price is comparatively reasonable. You can choose from six plans: “Basic Plan”, “3.1GB / 5GB / 10GB / 20GB / 30GB Plan”, which are depend on the amount data. “3.1GB Plan” cost almost the same as other SIMs' but, 0.1GB (100MB) more data are included. In addition, you can transfer the left data traffic to the next month. Moreover, the first month is all free of charge. You can get the Rakuten Super Point as each ¥100 of the monthly payment. It is highly recommended for those who would like to save money for using smartphones.

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Data-only SIMs in Japan

Data-only SIMs allows you to use the Internet communication only. The good point is that monthly payment is quite low. It is recommended for those who do not call (or only uses an IP phone) and use SMS; It is for those who use the smartphone only for the Internet communication and Apps under the Internet connections.

Data-only SIMs Monthly Plan
  • Type D : Minimal Start Plan(3GB):¥972
  • Type D : Light Start Plan(6GB):¥1,642
  • Type D : Family Share Plan(12GB):¥2,765
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use The end of the next month
Data Transmission Speed Max downstream speed: 225Mbps
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. Get IIJmio's SIM card for first time by January 31st, and you can use following privileges;
1. Initial cost is reduced from ¥3240 to ¥1.
2. Get extra 3GB data per month for 3 months.
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data-only SIMs Monthly Plan LINE Free Plan(1GB):¥540
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use -
Data Transmission Speed Not opened
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. The first payment is free of charge!
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data-only SIMs Monthly Plan
  • Basic Plan (unlimitted data/200Kbps):¥567
  • 3.1GB Plan: ¥972
  • 5GB Plan: ¥1,566
  • 10GB Plan: ¥2,441
  • 20GB Plan: ¥4,374
  • 30GB Plan: ¥5,886
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use -
Data Transmission Speed Max downstream speed: 225Mbps (except Basic Plan)
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month (except Basic Plan)
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. The first payment is free of charge! Also you can get double points as shopping at the Rakuten Global Market.
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data + SMS SIMs in Japan

Data + SMS SIMs are enabled you to browse the Internet and send SMS. SMS is used for identity verification with Apps, such as LINE. It is recommended those who use Apps that require the confirmation of an individual through SMS.

Data + SMS SIMs Monthly Plan
  • Type A : Minimum Start Plan (3GB): ¥972
  • Type A : Light Start Plan (6GB): ¥1,642
  • Type A : Family Share Plan (12GB): ¥2,765
  • Type D : Minimum Start Plan (3GB): ¥1,123
  • Type D : Light Start Plan (6GB): ¥1,793
  • Type D : Family Share Plan (12GB): ¥2,916
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use The end of the next month
Data Transmission Speed Max downstream speed: 225Mbps
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. Get IIJmio's SIM card for first time by January 31st, and you can use following privileges;
1. Initial cost is reduced from ¥3240 to ¥1.
2. Get extra 3GB data per month for 3 months.
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data + SMS SIMs Monthly Plan
  • LINE Free Plan(1GB):¥670
  • Communication Free Plan(3GB):¥1,199
  • Communication Free Plan(5GB):¥1,771
  • Communication Free Plan(7GB):¥2,484
  • Communication Free Plan(10GB):¥2,851
  • MUSIC + Plan(3GB):¥1,955
  • MUSIC + Plan(5GB):¥2,311
  • MUSIC + Plan(7GB):¥2,916
  • MUSIC + Plan(10GB):¥3,175
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use -
Data Transmission Speed Not opened
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. The first payment is free of charge!
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data + SMS SIMs Monthly Plan
  • Basic Plan (unlimitted data/200Kbps): ¥697
  • 3.1GB Plan: ¥1,102
  • 5GB Plan: ¥1,696
  • 10GB Plan: ¥2,571
  • 20GB Plan: ¥4,504
  • 30GB Plan: ¥5,962
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use -
Data Transmission Speed Max downstream speed: 225Mbps (except Basic Plan)
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month (except Basic Plan)
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. The first payment is free of charge! Also you can get double points as shopping at the Rakuten Global Market.
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data + Voice Call SIMs in Japan

Data + Voice Call SIMs have a phone number which started with “080” or “090”, and enables you to make a phone call. Of course, you can use the SMS function and the Internet communication. These SIMs include the functions as much as the general mobile phones. Those who would not like to downgrade the function of the mobile phone, you should choose this type.

Data + Voice Call SIMs Monthly Plan
  • Type A : Minimum Start Plan (3GB): ¥1,728
  • Type A : Light Start Plan (6GB): ¥2,398
  • Type A : Family Share Plan (12GB): ¥3,521
  • Type D : Minimum Start Plan (3GB): ¥1,728
  • Type D : Light Start Plan (6GB): ¥2,398
  • Type D : Family Share Plan (12GB): ¥3,521
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use 12 months
Cancellation Penalty Fee ([12 months] – [used months]) x ¥1,080
Data Transmission Speed Max downstream speed: 225Mbps
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. Get IIJmio's SIM card for first time by January 31st, and you can use following privileges;
1. Initial cost is reduced from ¥3240 to ¥1.
2. Get extra 3GB data per month for 3 months.
3. Get ¥1100 discount for monthly payments for 3 months (just when you get data+voice call SIM)
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data + Voice Call SIMs Monthly Plan
  • LINE Free Plan(1GB):¥1,296
  • Communication Free Plan(3GB):¥1,825
  • Communication Free Plan(5GB):¥2,398
  • Communication Free Plan(7GB):¥3,110
  • Communication Free Plan(10GB):¥3,478
  • MUSIC + Plan(3GB):¥2,581
  • MUSIC + Plan(5GB):¥2,938
  • MUSIC + Plan(7GB):¥3,542
  • MUSIC + Plan(10GB):¥3,802
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use 12 months: it started to count from the first day and include 12th months' last day.
Cancellation Penalty Fee ¥10,584
Data Transmission Speed Not opened
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. Apply for data+voice call SIM card for first time and start to use LINE Mobile by January 31st,2019, you can get 1390yen discount for monthly payments for 3 months. (*If you apply for LINE Free Plan, you can get 900yen discount for monthly payments for 3 months.)
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

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Data + Voice Call SIMs Monthly Plan
  • Basic Plan (unlimitted data/200Kbps): ¥1,350
  • 3.1GB Plan: ¥1,728
  • 5GB Plan: ¥2,322
  • 10GB Plan: ¥3,197
  • 20GB Plan: ¥5,130
  • 30GB Plan: ¥6,642
Initial Cost ¥3,240
Minimum Period of Use 12 months: from the first month
Cancellation Penalty Fee ¥10,584
Data Transmission Speed Max downstream speed: 225Mbps (except Basic Plan)
Transfer the remained data traffic To next month (except Basic Plan)
Unlocked Cell Phone Enable to buy
Campaign Info. The first payment is free of charge! Also you can get double points as shopping at the Rakuten Global Market.
  • NOTICE: the information is based on December. 2018, the details may be changed.

Check Now (in Japanese)