Investigation Result: Are prepaid SIM cards from Japanese convenience stores good quality? prices high?

For those planning a trip to Japan, ensuring internet access is crucial. Free Wi-Fi in Japan is not as readily available. Therefore, to use a comfortable online experience, it’s essential to either purchase a Prepaid SIM card or eSIM or consider renting a Pocket Wi-Fi.

If you prioritize communication quality, ample data capacity, and easy connectivity in Japan, renting a Pocket Wi-Fi is often the best choice over Prepaid SIM cards or eSIM. For more details, please refer below.

Pocket Wi-Fi Rental – The Best Solution for Your Trip to Japan. Reserve Yours Before Arrival!


Recently, Prepaid SIM cards have become available for purchase at convenience stores in Japan. If you haven’t reserved a Pocket Wi-Fi before coming to Japan and can’t rent one at the airport, considering buying a Prepaid SIM card from a convenience store might be a suitable option.

You might be curious about the quality and cost of Prepaid SIM cards available at convenience stores.

Prepaid SIM cards are sold only at very few convenience stores

Prepaid SIM cards are sold at a small number of Seven-Eleven, Lawson, and FamilyMart. Not all stores carry them.

For those planning a trip to Japan thinking of buying a Prepaid SIM card at a convenience store, it’s essential to understand that they are not available everywhere. Only a few selected stores within these chains carry Prepaid SIM cards.

In cases where you didn’t pre-book a Pocket Wi-Fi before coming to Japan and couldn’t rent one at the airport, attempting to buy a Prepaid SIM card at a convenience store might be challenging, as they are not widely sold in all stores.

Please consider reserving a pocket wifi before arriving in Japan. It’s cost-effective, you can pick it up immediately upon airport arrival, and also they even deliver it to your hotel.

Pricing of Convenience Store Prepaid SIM Cards

Here are the prices for Prepaid SIM cards available at convenience stores:

Convenience StorePrepaid SIM cardPriceData
Family MartIIJmio SIM 3,300 yen500MB
NewDaysJapan Travel SIM 3,500 yen3GB
LawsonIIJmio 3,500 yenfrom 500MB
Seven-Eleven

While convenient, these Prepaid SIM cards from convenience stores tend to be relatively expensive for the limited data they offer.

Quality of Convenience Store Prepaid SIM Cards

While we haven’t surveyed all types of Prepaid SIM cards, those available at convenience stores are generally provided by IIJ.

Actual communication speeds for IIJ’s Prepaid SIM card, measured on January 13, 2024, are as follows:

Download Speed13.44 Mbps
Upload Speed6.15 Mbps

Although communication quality is lower compared to Pocket Wi-Fi, these speeds are generally acceptable for a Prepaid SIM card. If faster speeds are essential, it’s advisable to rent a Pocket Wi-Fi before arriving in Japan.

After conducting our research, it turns out that Prepaid SIM cards from Japanese convenience stores might be on the pricier side compared to other options. While these SIM cards offer convenience and can be readily obtained, the rates can be higher when compared to purchasing from other sources, such as online providers or specific telecommunication stores.

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, exploring alternative avenues for obtaining a Prepaid SIM card in Japan, such as online services or dedicated stores, could potentially result in a better deal. It’s always a good idea to weigh the convenience against the cost to find the best option that suits your needs.