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3 SIM Cards in Japan; What Are the Differences?

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Getting a SIM Card in Japan can be quite confusing. There are plenty of SIM Cards available in the market. However, it’s difficult to understand everything since most of it can only be obtained by going to the store, and the majority of the time they only explain in Japanese. In this article, we would like to recommend to you the most foreigner-friendly SIM Cards in Japan with convenient applications. We also made a comparison table for you so it’s easy to check the details.

Line Mobile

Line Mobile is one of our top recommendations to register a SIM Card in Japan. The registration is completely online, so even foreigners who do not speak Japanese can easily register from their official website.

  • Registration details: They offer an online application where you’ll need to input your active email address, identification materials (e.g., MyNumber card, residence card, or driver’s license) and additional documents such as utility bills receipts with the address, that you inputted within three months from the date of issuance, and your full name so that they can match it with what is written on your residence card.
  • Contract period: There is no limitation on the contract period.
  • Data & prices:

Line Mobile

  • Perks: If you need extra data, you can purchase additional data up to three times within a month. The best part about the Line Mobile SIM card is that you can use LINE, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter apps without worrying about how much data you’re using. There are payment methods available other than credit cards issued in Japan as mentioned in the following.
  • Payment method: You can use a credit card, Line Pay, or the Line Pay Card

Unfortunately, they have already stopped accepting new customers, however, they now offer a new service called, “LINEMO.”
Check here to see how to register LINEMO: click here

Rakuten Mobile

Recently, Rakuten Mobile is becoming widely known in Japan. They started offering FREE unlimited data SIM card usage for 1 year to new customers. The campaign already finished last March, however, they still have great data plans you do not want to miss out on. 

  • Registration details: Rakuten Mobile also offers an online application where you’ll need to input an active email address and identification materials  (e.g., residence card, MyNumber card, or driver’s license). If you have one of the previously listed identification materials, they will most likely accept you, and you won’t need to submit additional documents.
  • Contract period: Rakuten’s SIM card has no limitation on the contract period.
  • Data & prices: 

Rakuten Mobile

  • Perks: As long as you hold any of the identification materials that was mentioned earlier, you won’t need to prepare any additional documents for registration. Additionally, for Rakuten Mobile’s SIM card, you will only need to pay 3,278 yen even if you use 100GB of data in a month. Other than using the SIM card in Japan, you can use up to 2GB in 66 countries out of Japan. 
  • Payment method: Rakuten Mobile will require you to pay with a credit card or an automated debit transfer from your bank account.

To find out more about the SIM card in Japan from Rakuten Mobile, click here to apply: RAKUTEN MOBILE WEBSITE 

OCN Mobile

OCN Mobile is also a foreigner-friendly SIM Card that offers an online application. Compared to the other 2 SIM card data carriers mentioned above, OCN Mobile offers discounts for other OCN products and services to their SIM card users.

  • Registration details: You can either visit a BIC Camera location or fill out their online application with an active email address, identification materials such as a passport (limited to passports issued in Japan), driver’s license, MyNumber card, health insurance card (auxiliary documents required), residence card (auxiliary documents required), a basic registered residence card, and/or alien registration card (auxiliary documents required). Additional documents include utility bills.
  • Contract period: OCN Mobile’s SIM card has no limitation on the contract period.
  • Data & prices: 
  • Perks: If you use OCN Hikari Service, you can get a 200 yen discount for your monthly basic charge. Other than that, you can also purchase additional data every month, for  550 yen for 0.5 GB. If you use OCN Mobile ONE App, they offer 550 yen for 1GB of additional data.
  • Payment method: You will need to purchase their SIM card using a credit card.

Click on the phone type below  to see how you can set up the SIM Card yourself and install it into your phone:

Click here to apply: OCN MOBILE WEBSITE

OCN Mobile
Line Mobile

Rakuten Mobile

OCN Mobile

The above chart lists our most recommended SIM Cards in Japan, and you can easily register online. Of course, there are more carriers available in the market; such as the 3 famous companies Softbank, Docomo, and AU. However, you will need to go to the store, be able to understand and communicate in Japanese and apply there to obtain the SIM Card. Also, keep in mind that not all staff can provide English explanations. On top of that, the other companies will offer SIM cards with a two-year contract period.

Smiles wishes you the best in finding the right SIM card in Japan!

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