Give a real review about the difficulty of choosing a SIM card for Japanese phones
There are a lot of choices of Internet SIM cards in Japan now. In addition to the phone cards launched by general telecom operators, which allow you to travel to Japan with the same SIM, there are also some lesser-known small companies that sell their own Internet SIM cards. In addition, there are WiFi sharing plans suitable for local use in Japan, whether you pick them up before departure or after arriving in Japan, different plans will have different prices and speed options.
To put it simply, it is actually not easy at all to find a relatively cheap but stable Japanese Internet SIM card. If you are not careful, you will choose some Japanese Internet SIM cards that are sold at a low price, but you will find that they are completely unnecessary after arriving.
Although there are free WiFi services available in different places in Japan, a reliable SIM card for phone and Internet access is actually not very important for the current itinerary that needs to be shared with family and friends and constantly looking at maps. So today's article will focus on sharing those Internet SIM cards and WiFi sharing solutions that are worth using during your trip to Japan.
Japan Internet SIM card vs WiFi sharing plan
I believe that those who have a certain amount of travel experience in Japan will know the difference between the Internet SIM card and the WiFi sharing plan, that is, the difference in price budget, sharing ability, speed, and convenience. And many years ago withWiFi Sharing SolutionAs an online choice for mainstream Japanese itineraries, but it has been slowly converted toInternet SIM cardIt is the main network choice for Japanese itineraries.
Of course, it does not mean that only the Internet SIM card is the best, or that the WiFi sharing solution is the best, because only the most suitable Internet access solution is the best solution.
Features of SIM cards for Internet access in Japan
The Japanese Internet SIM cards that can be bought in the market mainly do not need to pay a deposit for the Internet SIM card, and can be discarded at will after use. Even if you lose your mobile phone in the middle of the trip, you don’t have to worry about it like renting a WiFi sharing machine. Need to lose money. Simply put, it is a convenient and cheap choice.
Calling cards for major telcos
Currently, there are two types of SIM cards for Internet access in Japan. One is the self-operated phone card launched by large mobile telecommunications operators. The main feature is that you can go to Japan directly without changing the card, and you don’t need to buy an extra phone card. , just pay what you need on your monthly bill.
Taking Hong Kong as an example, 3 Hong Kong and Smartone will provide Japanese Internet SIM cards to their monthly fee plan users.
To put it simply, this type of calling card is suitable for people who don’t spend too much time dealing with Internet travel plans, but the required consumption will be relatively high, and the amount of available data will be relatively small.
Calling cards for small and medium telecommunication companies
Another choice of Internet SIM card is the travel Internet plan provided by some small and medium-sized independent telecom operators. These Internet SIM cards are characterized by relatively cheap prices and more data volume, but the speed is faster than that of large mobile telecom operators. Directly operated calling cards are slower.
In addition to the fact that these calling cards mainly rent the lines of large mobile telecommunications operators, and that large mobile telecommunications operators will give priority to their customers in providing services, the calling cards of these small and medium-sized telecommunications companiesChances of getting a premium line are lower during peak hours, at the same time the price will be cheaper, and the amount of data can be provided to you a little more.
And these small and medium telecommunication companies can sometimes be sub-brands of those large telecommunication companies, or some small companies that operate independently, so you should choose carefully when considering different travel SIM cards.
In addition, of course, there will be some unscrupulous small telecommunications companies that will attract customers with very cheap prices. The general tactics are "unlimited traffic" and "all you can eat" to attract you to buy their calling cards, but their selling price is only half of that of ordinary calling cards.
Although they are very favorable on the surface, but in actual useThe speed is only 128kB/s to 1MB/s Wait, basically it is impossible to browse the website, open the map, let alone upload a video to share on social media or watch a YouTube video.
Therefore, it takes a little more time to research when purchasing this type of Japanese Internet SIM card, especially if you encounter some less famous brands that will add Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms, and kimonos on the cover.Pay attention to their maximum speeds, data allowances, and expiry dates on Internet SIM cards, Make sure that there are no problems before deciding to buy.
Features of WiFi Sharing Solution
There are currently two WiFi sharing solutions suitable for traveling in Japan, one isWiFi Sharing Plan Received Locally in Japan, the other isWiFi sharing solutions provided by local companies. Generally speaking, there is no big difference in the use of the two WiFi sharing solutions, both of which can be shared by multiple people at the same time.
However, in fact, there will be obvious differences in deposit, maximum speed, plan charges, and the method of receiving and returning. Those plans with higher charges will have better experience in terms of speed, data lift, and machine return.
To put it simply, if you have certain requirements for Internet speed and daily data usage, the WiFi sharing solution will be a better choice than the Japanese Internet SIM card. But you need to take good care of the WiFi sharer, and don't lose it when you go out and you need to pay a fine.
Japan WiFi sharing plan – pick up by local company
Take KlookJapan 4G High Speed WiFi SharerFor example, it can be said that it is the cheapest of all WiFi sharing solutions, and it is even cheaper than the Japanese Internet SIM cards of some telecommunications companies, so this WiFi sharing solution will be the most popular on Klook choose.
Compared with the general Japanese Internet SIM, if you can share it with multiple people at the same time, you can save the cost of the Internet SIM card, but there are some points that deserve your attention.
For example, due to the limitation of the amount of data, although this solution is very attractive in terms of price, butThe daily traffic limit is only 500MB, In fact, it is very little for the current Internet usage habits of ordinary people. Especially now that many websites have a lot of pictures, if there is only a 500MB traffic limit, it may be used up before lunch.
Although the plan can be converted into an "unlimited data" Internet plan, the charges are similar to the WiFi plan of the Japanese company that will be introduced below, and the network speed there will be better. in other words,Unless you can control the daily usage below 500MB, this type of relatively cheap WiFi Internet access plan will be suitable for you,Otherwise, the WiFi sharing solution provided by Japanese companies will be more worthy of consideration.
Japan WiFi sharing plan – pick up by Japanese company
Different from the local company's WiFi sharing plan, there will be obvious differences in the way of collection and return, speed, and data allowance.
for exampleWiFi sharing solutions provided by Japanese companiesFor example, although they all need to be picked up at the service counters of Tokyo Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, and Osaka Kansai Airport in Japan, the way to return them is nothing more thanSend the WiFi router back in the enclosed return envelopeThat's it.
In other words, if you enter the country from Tokyo and then transfer to Hokkaido, you don't need to spend time running back to Tokyo Narita Airport to return it, but just return the WiFi sharer before leaving Hokkaido.
In terms of speed and data volume, it is also because the WiFi sharers of these Japanese companies areUsing locally registered Japanese calling cards, that isA phone card that can only be registered as a Japanese resident. Therefore, in terms of speed and data volume, it will be much better than other overseas companies' WiFi sharing solutions.
For example, the singleThe amount of data per day can only be used up to 10GB before the speed will be limited, compared to other overseas WiFi sharing solutions whose speed is limited when the usage exceeds 1GB, the daily usage of 10GB is almost 3-5 times the data limit of the general plan, so sometimes the cheap plan is not really cheap.
Another point is that the WiFi sharing solutions of these Japanese companies all use local phone cards.The network delay value Ping will be very low. If you need to use real-time maps for navigation for a long time, it is actually better to spend a little more budget on the WiFi sharing solutions of Japanese companies.
In summary, the WiFi sharing solutions of Japanese companies willIt is more suitable for the itinerary where many people start together, or you need to live broadcast and share videos continuously in the middle of the itinerary, it will be better to use a WiFi sharing solution with large traffic and low network delay value.
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How to choose the right SIM card plan for traveling in Japan?
Just like I shared several different Japanese Internet access plans to choose from, some plans are more expensive, and some plans are more suitable for multiple people to travel at the same time. But also because everyone's itinerary to travel to Japan is different, so you can choose an Internet plan that suits you best according to the following conditions.
Decide from travel budget
if yourThe travel budget is not very large, and don’t plan to spend too much on Internet phone cards. At the same time, if you just use your mobile phone to find restaurants and check maps in the middle of the trip, someJapanese prepaid phone SIM card for small and medium-sized telecommunication companieswill be very suitable for you. Basically, spending about one rice ball in a convenience store every day can meet the needs of surfing the Internet in Japan, and there is no need to give a credit card to pay a deposit, and there is no need to worry about losing the WiFi sharing machine and having to pay for it.
On the contrary, if your travel budget is relatively sufficient, you can get the same network quality as home WiFi by choosing the WiFi sharing solution of the Japanese company, which is especially suitable for some travelers who need to deal with unexpected business during the itinerary.
Determined from daily usage habits
If your usual mobile phone usage is mainly watching YouTube videos, browsing Instagram, Facebook, if you add different restaurants and checking maps during the trip, it is very convenient.It is recommended to choose some Internet access plans with a data limit of more than 1GB per day. That can be some telecommunication company's Internet SIM card, orKlook's 4G WiFi Sharing SolutionIt's all right, basically the required budget will not be too much.
But if you expect to use a lot of data during the trip, and you may need to host live broadcasts, self-driving trips, and video conferences with corporate customers,Has low network latencyofWiFi Sharing Solutionwill be more important.
Determined by the number of travelers
As I said just now, if your mobile phone usage habit is to watch videos frequently, it means that the daily data usage will be more than 1GB. If you are traveling with multiple people at the same time, consider"WiFi Sharing Solution x Internet SIM Card"configuration will be most suitable.
The method is to first rent a WiFi sharer with unlimited data volume and speed, and then configure a cheapest Internet SIM card for each person. In this way, you can share the data quota of the WiFi sharing plan when you are sightseeing together, and you can also use the Internet SIM card to communicate when you are separated, and then connect to the WiFi sharer when you meet next time.
In this way, you can save the most travel budget, and you will not worry about losing contact when you travel separately.
Determined by the number of travel days
Since self-guided tours in Japan have become more and more convenient, the number of travel days has changed from 3-5 days to 7-10 days, or longer trips of more than 14 days. Therefore, when choosing an Internet SIM card, in addition to looking at how many days the applicable date is, it is also necessary to calculate whether the average data allowance per day will be sufficient.
For example, take two Japanese Internet SIM cards as an example, one is 7GB for 7 days, and the other is 10GB for 14 days. If you are a 14-day Tokyo-Northeast wide-area itinerary this time, although 14 days is 10GB Japanese Internet SIM cards can meet the length of your trip, but when youChance to use up all data allowance by the 10th day.
That's because the average amount of data per day is only 700MB, which is not enough for the daily usage of 1GB per day. So what you need is 2 7-day 7GB Japan Internet SIM cards instead of 1 14-day 10GB Japan Internet SIM card.
Of course, if you can prepare enough budget, orIt would be more suitable to directly rent a WiFi sharing solution, in addition to the fact that there is no date limit, it also allows you to watch videos more freely and without speed limit!
How important is eSIM to you?
How important is eSIM to Japan travel itinerary? I believe that as long as you have experienced that the amount of data is not enough in the middle of the trip, but you can’t find a store selling data SIM cards nearby, you will understand how important eSIM is.
In simple terms, eSIM is a virtual phone SIM card, which is different from the usual physical SIM card.None of the eSIMs require opening the phone's slotPut the SIM card in it. The point of eSIM is that when you purchase an eSIM Internet phone card in an online store, the store can send you the QR code of the eSIM via email, so that you can register and use it directly.
To put it simply, the advantage of eSIM is that even if you go to places in Hokkaido where you can’t find a convenience store within a radius of 50 kilometers, you can easily buy an eSIM for you to continue to the next attraction. It is also a very good backup plan for travelers who plan to go sightseeing in the suburbs.
SIM card options to avoid for travel in Japan
Although under normal circumstances, the following Japan travel Internet SIM cards are not considered, but sometimes because of "cheap, free" and other reasons, it will affect the usual rational decision.
If your friends who are traveling with you are planning to use the following Internet SIM cards to go to Japan, it would be better to prepare a backup plan for them.
All you can eat at a low price, unlimited traffic plan
There are many small and medium-sized telecommunications brands to attract customers to buy their Japan travel SIM cards. Many times, they will package them as selling points with "all-you-can-eat data traffic", "unlimited data subscription" and so on. Of course, in fact, these Internet SIM cards do not set any restrictions on data traffic, but the speed is often only 128kb/s, 384kb/s, and the fastest one is only 1Mb/s.
The experience of using these Internet SIM cards is like giving you an unlimited amount of rice for a year, but you can only eat one grain of rice every day. It's as simple as opening Google Maps to find an address. It takes half a minute. It will be very difficult to open a webpage with many pictures.
The price of this kind of travel Internet SIM card is indeed very cheap, but its performance is not worse than that of ordinary Internet SIM cards.
Travel Internet SIM card that is about to expire
Basically, as long as it is a prepaid tourist Internet SIM card, it basically has an expiration date like milk. If it is the first time to buy a SIM card for traveling in Japan, you must pay more attention.
In particular, some Japanese travel Internet SIM cards are sometimes unsalable due to different reasons. Therefore, in the month before the expiration date, there will be frequent price reductions and promotions, hoping to sell out the shelves earlier.
In fact, these tourist Internet SIM cards that are about to expire are no different from ordinary Internet SIM cards in use, as long as you leave for Japan before the expiration date, instead of preparing the Internet SIM card two months in advance Well, before the official departure, I found out that the Internet SIM card had expired and could not be used.
Free Internet SIM card
Maybe you've seen some on different sitesFree travel SIM card, and some of them will contain 500MB of data for you to use as you like.
Of course, for some people, this kind of free Internet SIM card seems to save more money, butIn fact, there is a good chance that it will cost you more money.
First of all, in terms of connection speed, since it is a free Internet SIM card for you, it is impossible to be faster than the paid Internet SIM card in terms of speed, that is to say, even if there are slow speeds such as 128kb/s and 384kb/s The speed is absolutely no surprise.
In addition, since it is a free Internet SIM card, of course, behind it is the hope that you will have the opportunity to pay for their services. However, the follow-up payment plan for this kind of free Internet SIM card is actually not cheap, about ¥2,000 yen to get a 2GB data limit.
For the same ¥2000, you can book a WiFi sharer with unlimited speed and unlimited data usage at Klook, or buy an Internet SIM card with more data quota at Yodobashi. Knowing which one is more worth choosing.
Unknown brand Japan travel SIM card
If you don’t want to find out that the speed of the Internet SIM card is too slow or unusable when you arrive in Japan, you need to avoid those Japanese travel Internet SIM cards from unknown brands and independent small companies when purchasing an Internet SIM card .
There are many ways to avoid it, one of which is to avoid buying some Internet SIM cards with Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms, and kimonos on the cover of the package.
Although the cover packaging has nothing to do with the quality of the network, according to different tests in the past, the "unusable" and "too slow" Internet SIM cards are mainly small independent brands, and there are also many packages. The covers all have Mount Fuji, cherry blossoms, and kimonos. Maybe there are some unscientific and imprecise places in the middle, but when purchasing these Internet SIM cards, it would be better to prepare a backup Internet SIM card.
Things to pay attention to when choosing a SIM card for traveling in Japan
For city itineraries with Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto in general, there is basically no need to face the problem of not being able to receive signals. But when you leave the city and go into the suburbs,The network of the telecommunications company you choose will determine how much signal your mobile phone can receive.
Areas covered by Docomo and Softbank
To put it simply, the three major Japanese telecom brands will be responsible for the network infrastructure, namely NTT Docomo, Softbank, and au mobile. Among them, NTT Docomo has the strongest coverage. In some rural areas, only NTT Docomo can receive it, while Softbank and au mobile cannot receive it.
Therefore, when considering different Internet SIM cards and WiFi sharing solutions, it is recommended to first look at the area you plan to go to, and then look at the network company behind those Internet SIM cards and WiFi sharing solutions, and finally look at the price, factors such as data allowances.
From the picture above, you can see NTT Docomo's network coverage in cities, suburban areas, and major tourist areas. The redder the location, the better the reception. The same coverage hotspot maps can be found on the websites of Softbank and au mobile.
Note that the mobile phone can correspond to the frequency spectrum
Also because the 4G and 5G spectrums used in Japan are different from those in Taiwan and Hong Kong, sometimes your mobile phone with good reception may experience poor reception in Japan. The reason is not that there is a problem with the SIM card you bought for traveling in Japan, but that your mobile phone lacks certain frequency spectrums used locally in Japan. And this situation is more serious among Android phones.
On the contrary, the iPhone can be received in the spectrum of different telecommunications companies, whether it is Docomo, Softbank or au mobile, basically there will be no major problems.
So if you plan to go to some suburban attractions, it is highly recommended to use Docomo's network with the recently launched iPhone, so you don't have to worry about not being able to receive any mobile phone signal.
Recommendable Japanese Travel Internet Plans
If we talk about the choice between different travel Internet plans in Japan, we have always been clinging to it."WiFi sharing plan comes first, Internet access SIM card comes second"idea.
The reason is that the charges for the WiFi sharing plan are actually not very expensive, especially if several people share and use it together, the average consumption will be cheaper than a SIM card for Internet access. In addition, the WiFi sharing solution does not need to spend time replacing the original SIM card, reducing the risk of losing the SIM card, and can also solve the problem that the mobile phone spectrum cannot be matched.
Moreover, the WiFi sharing solution will be better than the Internet SIM card in terms of speed and data limit. And if you don’t want to take one more device out, and you are worried that you may lose the WiFi sharer and need to lose money, of course, the Japanese Internet SIM card is also worthy of consideration.
So in the end, it depends on your usage habits. You can choose one of the recommended plans below to book.
Klook WiFi Sharing Solution
To put it simply, there are two WiFi sharing solutions worth considering on Klook, mainly using Ymobile/SoftbankJapan 4G High Speed WiFi Sharer, and using NTT Docomo Network'sJapan DOCOMO 4G LTE Portable WiFi.
Which one to choose depends on the attractions in the area you will go to and your data usage. If your data usage is relatively large, there are many people traveling together, and you have the opportunity to go to some suburban areas, use NTT Docomo NetworkJapan DOCOMO 4G LTE Portable WiFiIt will be a good network solution choice.
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But if you do not require high network speed, and you will only be active within the city limits of Tokyo, Osaka, etc., use Ymobile/Softbank-basedJapan 4G High Speed WiFi Sharerwill be cheaper. However, when receiving each WiFi sharer, you need to pay an additional deposit, which is worth noting.
In summary, the power of the two WiFi sharers is enough for a day, and the WiFi sharer is also very light, and it does not cause too much burden for the whole day's trip.
Klook Internet SIM Card Solution
As I said just now, if your mobile phone can use eSIM, I will recommend you to use eSIM. You can also consider using this one from Softbank on KlookJapan 4G Virtual eSIM Card.
Although the daily data allowance will be a little less, it is very convenient as a backup SIM card for Internet access. Basically, as long as you use it with your friends with a WiFi sharer, it will be more favorable than booking multiple SIM cards for Internet access.
Of course, if your mobile phone is not equipped with eSIM function, this one mainly uses NTT DocomoSAKURA TRAVEL SIM physical Internet SIM cardAll can be considered, because there are as many as 8-31 days of plans to choose from, and there is not much restriction on the traffic, as long as it is used for normal travel itineraries instead of playing videos, basically there will be no any question.
Although many restaurants and convenience stores in Japan provide free Wi-Fi services, for ordinary travelers, the most frequent time to surf the Internet is to check maps, restaurants, and scenic spot information at stations, scenic spots, and other places. So having a reliable Internet SIM card and WiFi sharer will be of great help to your itinerary!
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