How to: Get a Mobile Phone in Japan

2015.03.09 |  Life Style Info |  How to? Guide | 

Japan is one of the leading developers of mobile phone technology, however getting a mobile phone can still be confusing for foreigners.

Today, Docomo, AU by KDDI and Softbank are the major providers. Each provider has its own shop or you can try electronics shops like Bic Camera, Yodobashi..etc which occasionally offer exciting promotions.
We discovered certain ways to use mobile phone in Japan.

● Subscription Plans
This is for people who plan to live here on a long term basis since 2 year service contract is required. Terminating the contract less than 2 years cancellation fee will be charged. On average basic monthly plan for smartphone in Japan cost between 7,000-9,000 Yen.
(Required Documents)
1) Resident card
2) Passport
3) Japanese bank card or passbook

● Rental SIM Card (Above 3G)
A) Internet Only (Data Only)
This allows you to get online and also use Skype for phone calls.
Buy a data-only SIM card from major electronics shops which carry SIM cards from a provider called B-mobile.
Or you can get them to deliver to your hotel by purchasing online through B-mobile.
B) Phone Calls and Internet
If you would like to be able to call and also get online, you can rent a voice/date SIM or micro-SIM card from Softbank Global, which has rental counter at Haneda, Narita and Kansai Airports. These SIMs only with certain handsets and devices, please check above site carefully.

● Rent a Phone
If your phone does not allow you to even use a SIM card in Japan. Rent a phone would be the only option. A popular Japan phone rental provider is Rentafone Japan.