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Tokyo : Prepaid SIM for tourist

prepaid SIM for tourist in Japan

Finally Japan realized that a wonderful holiday is even more amazing if you get a chance to browse Google Maps every now and then - basically to find your way out of a kanji web - or to post some cool shots in social media. In the past, getting a prepaid SIM card in Japan was something that require a permanent address in the country y probably an alien resident card.

Thanks god, this is over now and the major electronic stores (Yodobashi Camera, Bic Camera, Labi and the likes) are now selling pre-paid SIM cards「SIMフリー」for ALL OF YOU, GAIJIN TOURISTS IN JAPAN - REJOICE!!

Por fin es posible comprar una SIM de prepago para que pases tus días en Japón algo más conectado. Están a la venta en las cadenas de electrónica (Yodobashi Camera, Bic Camera, Labi, etc) marcadas como「SIMフリー」así que si eres un adicto al móvil, no te lo pienses. Por unos 20€ tienes acceso a unos 4GB de datos, a consumir durante un par de semanas, que suele ser la duración típica de los viajes a Japón. Yo fui a Yodobashi Camera, justo en la estación de Akihabara.

prepaid SIM for tourist in Japan

Of course, you could rent one of those garakei clamshells in the airport - but you would probably spend half your vacation trying to figure out how to get the damn iMode to work.

prepaid SIM for tourist in Japan

Follow the「SIMフリー」sign and get help from the staff OR simply go ahead and pick the "sakura card" shown in the first picture.

prepaid SIM for tourist in Japan

For 20-30€ you will get something like 4GB of data, to make sure everyone is well aware of how are you spending the days in the land of rising sun. 

I personally went to Yodobashi in Akihabara - thanks to the kind recommendation of our friend Michael - and got the only one that can be sold to foreigners (of course, the deal with WIRELESS GATE is much better, but ONLY available to residents). It works as an MVNO in the network of NTT DOCOMO (this is like the ATT or the Telefonica of Japan) so you will get excellent coverage, of course don’t expect awesome throughput in hotspots like Shibuya station - that is physically cumbersome.

If you are visiting Japan during the fall, make sure the first thing you do after dropping the luggage is to get one of this, go back to a place with WiFi and get it to work. I know it sounds silly, this idea of WiFi being a precondition to get mobile network connectivity, but yes you DO need WiFi (as well as to carefully follow a list of 20 steps) in order to activate the SIM card.

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