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Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/24 17:04
Hi All,

We are a family of 4 traveling to Japan in September for 16 days. We need a way to be able to keep in touch when we are out and about in case we get separated. I know a Pocket WiFi is typically recommended but it is only good for internet access when we are together. An individual SIM seems to be an expensive option when we have to buy 4 but seems like the only option. Therefore, could we please have recommendations for the most cost effective SIM card which would allow us to keep in touch? Perhaps a data-only card which would allow us to use Skype/Whatsapp etc? We don't need a lot of data as it would only be needed if we do get separated.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
by j69  

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/24 23:30
There are wifi all around Japan at depertment stores, conveniences stores etc.
by kms899 rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/25 09:24
Thanks for the tip kms999! But just for peace of mind that we can get in touch wherever we are, a cheap calling option might be worthwhile. It could be a cheap data only SIM which allows VOIP calls and we won't need a huge data allowance as, you have pointed out, free WiFi can be found in stores for browsing etc. It is only for those instances where we can't find WiFi and find ourselves separated.
by j69 rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/25 13:04
Mobile renting. All major airports have shops which rent.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/25 14:02
Thank you JustMyDay. We would prefer using our own mobile phones though so a SIM card will be the best option I think. That way we can have access to all the other information we already have on our phones. So I guess what I am looking for is the cheapest data SIM that allows VOIP calls.
by j69 rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/25 21:13
Check through the internet thread in this forum, all the information regarding cheap sims are available, you can also check what is available in your country, I always get data sim from my country, they are cheaper than buying from Japan, but you have to check what is available first.
by kms899 rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/25 23:36
Hi,
I checked some Japanese websites, and the best option would be U-mobile prepaid SIM card which costs \3,024 for 15days with 200MB/day data capacity. You can use it just after put it in your phone without activation, and you will find it at Lawson or Mini-stop(a convenient store) in Narita airport. Note buying it at bending machine costs a little more.
Have a good trip to Japan!
by Ryota (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/26 07:47
Get more than one wifi unit.

Do not rely on free wifi spots.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/26 09:53
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Japan
Checkout above link for some of available data sim in Japan.

Softbank traveller simcard seems to fit your usage
"The SIM card contains 1 GB for 31 days data-only on 3G and 4G/LTE for \1620. Before use, you are required to run an online registration process, where you will be ask for your personal identity and to get your passport photographed or scanned. This process is only possible from 9:00am to 9:00pm. "

by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/27 23:15
Many thanks to all for your valuable suggestions!
by j69 rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/29 06:01
I used a https://www.econnectjapan.com/products/sim/100mb
The nice thing is that you have 100MB free which is far more than enough if you are not a heavy user. But if you should ever run out of data and need it, ie. for whatsapp or google maps when you get lost, you still have GPRS.
So as long as your phones battery does not run out you always have a that security.
by WortPirat rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/29 10:26
Thanks WordPirat. The econnect SIM is not that cheap though.

@Guest, regarding the Softbank Prepaid SIM for Travel, the website says the price is set by retailer and I haven't seen anyone selling it for 1620 JPY. Would you be kind enough to share where I can purchase it for this amount? Thanks!
by j69 rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/29 12:05
Sorry cant help you there.
You can try check with softbank rental shop at airport.
http://www.softbank-rental.jp/e/rental-location.php

by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Mobile phone usage in Japan 2017/8/29 20:26
@WortPirat

GSM/GPRS is not supported in Japan, only 3G and 4G.
by kms899 rate this post as useful

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