If you're planning a trip to Japan, a top tip for avoiding airport queues and getting out of the terminal quicker is to purchase a Japan sim card here in Australia, before you leave.
Until recently, there weren't many options for purchasing a Japanese travel SIM before you left Australia. However, today we are looking at five of the best companies that offer such a service, allowing you one less thing to worry about.
Simply choose the activation date, pop it in your phone when you board the plane and once switched on, the sim card will start working.
You won't have to wait around at the airport, trying to change your dollars to purchase a SIM card on arrival, plus you won't have to worry about topping it up. It works once and then you throw it away. You don't need to provide ID either.
Today, we'll be looking at the best Japan travel sim cards that you can purchase in Australia with fast free shipping to your door within a matter of days.
The 5 Best Japan Travel Sim Cards
SIM corner is amongst the best places to acquire SIM cards at a realistic price. If you should be travelling overseas, then SIM corner can offer cards which can be activated on arrival for various countries such as Japan.
You need to look for the country you are visiting on the website (for example. Japan), you choose the SIM card duration that you would like, i.e. 8 or 30 days.
Japan sim cards come with 6GB of 4G data on their 8 day plan or you can opt for a smaller 3GB data plan on a 30 day package which includes free social media apps such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram usage.
You can enter your arrival date and the sim will work on arrival.
They do not require any identification, there isn't any commitments and as soon as the sim card is finished you can just throw it away.
You can only buy with PayPal only. However, they accept charge card payments through this platform. Shipping is fast if paid, or 4-6 days with free delivery.
If you wish to top up on, unfortunately most of their SIM cards will not offer this functionality. So if you think you are going to need more data, then chances are you should purchase multiple SIM cards. i.e. Buy 1 starting 1st and the second starting 10th.
SIM corner is one of the cheapest providers, and it is also probably the most well known companies in Australia and across the world for providing SIM cards.
Sims direct is another provider that we recommend when it comes to purchasing a SIM card for Japan. They have similar prices to Simcorner.
However, you get a 15 day SIM card with six gigabytes of data for $45 with the data speed being 4G. If you're going elsewhere you can upgrade to 18 countries for $$10 more.
Sometimes they offer promos such as extra data.
The SIM card comes in three sizes, a nano SIM, micro and standard, and you can simply break off depending on the size of SIM card that you need.
The $55 SIM card works in 18 countries, across Asia, including Japan plus countries such as China, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
Similar to other Simcorner, you do not need to provide any identification, and the SIM card will work as soon as you arrive in your destination by simply plugging it into your phone and turning the mobile data roaming on.
They offer payments via Paypal although you can pay with your credit/debit cards via this platform and allows for faster dispatch.
Shipping is a lot faster with Sims direct and if you purchase within a certain time frame, chances are it will be delivered within 48 hours.
They currently offer a discount code of 10% off should you need to purchase multiple SIM cards. They are highly rated online and offer local Aussie support.
If you want to get off the plane and have a fully activated sim card rather than purchasing locally, a prepaid Japanese SIM card is probably the best option for you.
Prepaid Sims is another company that offers Japan SIM cards on an 8, 15 or 30 day plan. They are the only provider to offer 'Unlimited 4G Data.'
At $29, they are one of the cheapest Japan sim card providers offering unlimited data. This sim card can be extended to 15 days for $44 or 30 days for $69.
Alternatively you can buy a 4GB 4 day All Asia sim for $34 or 8GB 16 day for $52.
You can also hotspot and tether with this SIM card, and it also includes a multi SIM for nano, micro and SD, depending on your cellular device. Similar to the other providers.
They offer a self activating plug and play SIM card, and the coverage is valid in 18 countries across Asia, including Japan.
Calls are not included in this SIM card, so you will need to use a platform such as WhatsApp or line to call your contacts. They offer various delivery services including standard delivery and express post.
If you need your SIM card in the next few business days, they recommend that you purchase the express post option.
TravelSIM is another option, trusted by over 100,000 Australian travellers and allows you to receive calls for free in 180 countries, including Japan.
While their fees for calling and data are lot more expensive than other providers mentioned today. this is the number one SIM card should you want to provide your loved ones with a way to contact you for free when you're away.
While many are focused on data, if you just need a way for people to contact you, then the TravelSim seems like the obvious choice.
TravelSim costs $25 and that includes $25 of overseas credit, which you can use for data, talking and texting. If you are travelling with a companion who also has a travel SIM, you can send SMS messages to each other for free.
The coverage in Japan is widespread.
If you're looking for lots of data, then TravelSim is not for you. Their data rates are 10cents per megabit which means 1GB of data would cost you $100.
With those data rates, you may quickly run out of your allowance so the SIM is a good option for receiving calls while travelling and also calling or messaging other people affordably. It's free to msg other people with TravelSims. It is not advisable for excessive data use.
You can purchase with PayPal as well as credit cards, including MasterCard, visa, and American express.
Shipping is fairly quick and you can recharge your SIM card via their website at any time. They have a support office in Australia and you can contact them any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also use their SMS support desk as well.
One of the interesting features with travel SIM is you can also set it up as an Australian SIM card should you wish, and you can get a monthly plan starting at $30 per month, which he uses the Optus 4G network.
That means when you go travelling, you don't need to change your SIM card. It will just start working overseas with your travel SIM credit.
This is quite handy for people who maybe do a lot of travelling and do not want to constantly swap SIM cards every time.
5. Klook Japan Sim Card
Klook is a platform for booking activities in countries such as Japan. They also sell sim cards such as their 4G Japan Sim Card.
You will need to collect your sim card from the airport when you arrive. You should take note that the desk isn't open 24/7 so read the small print if you've got a late night flight.
You can get an Unlimited Data 4G sim card for 8, 16, 21 or 31 days with various pricing.
Pickup can be done from Osaka and Tokyo International Airports. Choose the location pickup from the drop menu during the checkout process.
No registration is necessary, you just put the SIM in your phone, activate and you're good to go, pretty straight forward.
Pickup locations are open 8.30am until 10.00pm daily.
How To Use Japan Prepaid Travel Sim?
Gone are the days of having to call up a call centre and activate your travel sim. Most sim cards are self activating once inserted into your phone.
Simply turn off your phone. Remove the current sim card and replace with the travel sim card. You may need to break your sim card from the plastic to match the existing sim. Usually this is Standard, Micro or Nano sim. Newer phones are almost always nano sims.
Turn the phone on, enable data roaming. Restart the phone. Your device should connect to the new network. If it doesn't then you will need to manually enter APN settings.
Your sim card provider will provide instructions on how to do this.
Make Sure Your Phone Is Unlocked
Some customers have issues trying to use a travel sim card because they bought a phone locked to another network. This is common in phones that are purchased under a 'leasing' agreement, where you don't actually own the phone.
This is to stop you selling your phone to someone else and defaulting on your contract with your telecommunications provider. If you're unsure if your phone is locked then you should visit the retail store for your telco and ask, or call the help desk.
Most phones that are on a contract but you're paying to own the phone will not be locked and can be used with travel sims. In Australia it's rare for phones to be locked (with the exception of leasing). If in doubt, try a friends sim card from a different network in your phone before buying your travel sim card. If it works then you're good to go.
It's unlikely you'll get a refund if your phone is locked and the sim doesn't work so ensure you're fully sure it will work before purchasing. Also it's nearly impossible to unlock newer phones while on the road so unlock it before leaving the country.
All five recommendations above are good options when it comes to purchasing a prepaid travel sim card for Japan. After using all five options, we recommend checking out Simcorner for the best prices.
If you want unlimited data then you can do no wrong with choosing prepaidsims or even using Klook and picking up your sim card in the airport.
An engineer by trade, he’s a lover of all things tech. His passions include home networking, latest trends and gaming. He loves to travel around Australia in his Ford Ranger.