Where Can I Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Japan? Introducing recommended prepaid SIM cards for international travelers.

This article outlines the following information regarding prepaid SIM cards in Japan.

What you can do with a Japanese Prepaid SIM card

There are three types of SIMs in Japan “data-only”, “data + SMS”, and “data + voice call”.
Most prepaid SIM cards sold in Japan are data-only. Some of them can be used for SMS. SIM cards with numbers that can be used for Voice Call in Japan are rarely sold, and various procedures are required to purchase them.

DataSMSVoice Call
Prepaid SIMΔX

It is important to understand that Prepaid SIM cards, which can be purchased at the airport or online, are for data communications only.
Prepaid SIM cards sold in Japan are designed to end when the data is used up, within a certain period of time. Therefore, they are not well suited for long-term use of more than 30 days.

Where to buy a prepaid SIM in Japan

In Japan, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card at the following places


Vending Machines

Prepaid SIM cards available at airports are relatively expensive.

Consumer electronics stores

Bic Camera
Yodobashi Camera
Yamada Denki
Nojima, etc.

Many well-known Prepaid SIM cards are sold and have good communication quality.

Convenience Store

Family Mart
Ministop, etc.

Only certain Prepaid SIM cards are available.

Online Store

telecommunications company

With the exception of prepaid SIM cards sold directly by telecommunications companies, many types are available in online stores. Note that Prepaid SIMs with low prices and large data capacities are not of good quality.

Points to note when buying a prepaid SIM card at online store

Low prices and large data capacities are not of good quality
Japanese who have a contract with a major telecommunications company purchase 1GB of data capacity for approx. Prepaid SIM cards are a little less expensive than that, but If you understand the fees in Japan, you will have a rough idea of what to expect. The following price range compares Prepaid SIM cards from major telecommunications companies.

3GB2000 JPY
5GB3000 JPY
10GB4000 JPY

(Sep 2022)

Please note that Prepaid SIMs cheaper than this price range may not be of good quality.

How to Buy Prepaid SIM Cards at Low Prices

A relatively inexpensive way to purchase a prepaid SIM card is to order online and receive it at a Japanese address.
You may think that there is no such thing as an address in Japan, but an address is ok, such as the hotel where you are staying.
Prepaid SIM cards are sold relatively low price at the following three Japanese online shopping malls. By setting the delivery address to the hotel where you are staying in Japan, you will be able to purchase a Prepaid SIM card at a relatively low cost in the price range that Japanese people purchase.

Purchasing at online shopping malls requires an understanding of Japanese, However, Amazon’s language-switching feature makes it relatively easy to make purchases even if you do not understand Japanese.

4 Recommended Japanese prepaid SIM cards

Online stores’ Prepaid SIM cards

I introduce prepaid SIM cards handled by online stores for foreign visitors to Japan. Since These online stores specialize in travelers to Japan, so they accept orders in English and deliver anywhere in Japan.

Unlimited Data SoftBank Prepaid SIM card

Period31 days

When I checked their Japanese website , this prepaid SIM card is not available and is only sold on the English and Chinese web pages. This is a prepaid SIM card designed specifically for foreign customers. This prepaid SIM card has a definite period of availability and is a bit more expensive, but it seems to offer unlimited communication.


As of September 2022: 3 good quality Prepaid SIM cards available on Amazon.
When you have decided where you will be staying in Japan, Please purchase from Amazon and have it shipped to that address.

Softbank 10GB Prepaid SIM


The quality of data communication is good, because it is a product of Softbank, a major telecommunications carrier.

docomo 15GB Prepaid SIM

Networkdocomo (MVNO)

Data Communication quality is a little lower due to MVNO SIM, but data capacity is larger than other prepaid SIM cards

docomo 15GB Prepaid SIM

Networkdocomo (MVNO)

Unusually for a Prepaid SIM card, this is 30 GB of data capacity. Data Communication quality is a little lower due to MVNO SIM.

The difference in communication speed between MVNO SIMs and those of major carriers varies greatly depending on the time of day.
MVNO communication speeds often drop to less than half. You might be felt slow speeds with a MVNO’s prepaid SIM, for example when watching YouTube video on your smartphone. However The speed is fine for use with a smartphone.
If you want to watch videos, rent a Pocket Wi-Fi instead of a Prepaid SIM.

If you want high-capacity data communication

If you need more than 50 GB of data, there are few high-capacity plans on Prepaid SIM cards, and even if there were large capacities, the quality of the transmission speed is often poor.
If you want data communications that exceed 50GB, rent Pocket Wi-Fi.
Pocket Wi-Fi is an essential item for visitors to Japan, as it provides convenient, easy, and stable Internet access.

2022 Best Pocket WiFi Rental at Narita Airport – Pocket WiFi Rental Comparison