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Japan is a stunning country rich in history and incredible sights. So you'll want a reliable mobile internet connection during your trip so you can keep your mind on the experience, not your cell phone service.
Fortunately, travel eSIM plans give you everything you need. These convenient virtual SIM cards enable you to connect to local mobile networks in Japan, saving you unnecessary hassle during your visit.
Below, I'll explain which factors to consider while shopping for your plan. I'll also give you my top recommendations for the best eSIMs for Japan.
Best overall travel eSIM
Airalo is one of the most well-known names in travel eSIMs, and for good reason - it partners with major local networks in over 200 destinations to provide reliable mobile internet access for travelers.
Of course, no one international eSIM is perfect for every customer. Below, you'll find what we consider to be the pros and cons of Airalo.
- 200+ countries
- 7 days-3 months validity period
- Prices start around $5 for one week
- Local, regional, or global plans
- Flexible eSIMs - add voice and text
- Great coverage
- Mobile hotspot usage
- Prices drop the more data you buy
- Phone number included with Discover+ plans
- eSIM automatically connects to the fastest local network
- User-friendly Airalo app and website
- Fast, helpful customer support
- Can't mix-and-match data size and validity period
- Customer service is only available by message
While it isn't the cheapest option, Airalo eSIM is a solid choice with offerings to fit various needs. Plus, they have the advantage of being highly recognizable, with an impressive customer count of over five million people.
What sets eSIM Japan apart from its competitors is that it offers an unlimited data plan. The highest option includes 2GB of high-speed data per day (384 Kbps after that). That's typically plenty of daily data for average activities.
Another unique feature of this provider is that it offers not only local Japan plans but city, regional, and global eSIMs as well. The city plans work all over Japan. However, they prioritize connection to the best networks in the city of your choice.
Here's the lowdown on eSIM Japan, along with its benefits and drawbacks:
- Coverage in 148+ destinations
- 3GB - unlimited data
- 3 - 30 days validity
- Prices starting at $3.99
- City, country, regional, & global plans
- Unlimited data plan options
- City plans available
- Mobile hotspot usage
- Fixed & daily data options
- No phone number included
- Customer support by message only
Ubigi partners with mobile networks worldwide, offering coverage in 200+ destinations. Choose from a huge selection of single-country plans, as well as seven regional eSIMs.
One of the best things about this provider is the range of validity periods it offers. Options include lengths between one day and one year. Plus, Ubigi even offers a monthly plan - ideal if you're planning an extended trip.
You can also pick between a Japan eSIM and a regional Asia plan. This gives you flexibility if you're going to explore other local destinations. You'll get seamless mobile service across borders.
Below are the key points to know about Ubigi, as well as its advantages and disadvantages:
- 200+ destinations available
- 500MB - 60GB of data
- 1 day - unlimited validity periods
- Rates starting at $2.50
- Local & regional plans
- Great prices
- Top-up without a data connection
- Mobile hotspot usage
- Large plan selection
- Monthly plans available
- No phone number included
- Customer support in English via a bot
What is a travel eSIM?
A travel eSIM is a virtual SIM card that connects your phone to the most dependable local networks in the specific location of your choice. This handy technology eliminates the need to go to a store to purchase a SIM card upon arrival at your destination.
It's essential to take device compatibility into account. Many of the most-loved smartphones released in recent years come with eSIM support. This includes the iPhone 13 and newer models, as well as a wide range of Android devices.
Important note: To use your phone with an eSIM, it must be unlocked. Please reach out to your carrier for assistance in unlocking your device.
How travel eSIMs work
Travel eSIM setup is quick and easy. You can scan the QR code using another phone or print it out for scanning if you're traveling solo. Once you've scanned the code, you'll be directed to step-by-step instructions to install your plan.
Once at your destination, your phone will connect to the closest mobile networks. Nobody wants to spend their precious travel time searching for a SIM card. With instant activation, you won't need to.
Why should I get an eSIM for international travel?
- Convenience: Activate and monitor your travel data plan using the provider's mobile app. No need to visit a vending machine or retailer when you land.
- Affordability: By utilizing a travel eSIM, you gain access to local networks, thus avoiding any unexpectedly high costs from international roaming charges.
- Flexibility: Experience the flexibility of accessing all your mobile plans effortlessly. Effortlessly switch between your local SIM card and travel plan without physically swapping SIM cards.
- Security: Embedded SIM cards provide enhanced security compared to physical SIM cards, which are susceptible to being misplaced or stolen.
How to choose the best eSIM for Japan
When it comes to traveling in Japan, providers offer a diverse selection of options. To ensure you make the best choice, take into account your travel plans and the specific features that are important to you.
Below are a few questions to help you decide on the ideal plan for your particular needs.
Where is your destination?
Various options are available from international eSIM card providers, including local (single-country), regional, and global plans.
A regional plan offers great value as it enables you to seamlessly switch between countries without changing your phone plan. So, say you'd like to hop across to South Korea for a couple of days. In that case, the best eSIM for Asia would be the simplest way to go.
Whichever option you choose, make sure all the countries you want to visit are included in your plan. There's no standard set of Asian countries included in regional eSIMs. Each provider varies a bit.
How much data do you need?
Mobile data for Japan is available in packs ranging from 1GB to unlimited data plans. However, there's typically a high-speed data limit when it comes to unlimited international data. I recommend carefully reviewing the terms and conditions before making a purchase.
Take data sharing into account as well. Numerous providers offer mobile hotspot use. This is an important consideration if you require internet access for other devices.
Are you going to unplug as much as possible? Or are you an influencer who's expected to post multiple social media videos per day? Estimate your daily usage to get an idea of how much data you'll need while you're in Japan.
How long will you be abroad?
Next up, validity periods. Will you be staying in Japan for a week or a few months? There are various options available to accommodate trips of almost any length.
If you travel to Japan often, the best option is a long-term cellular plan that gives you plenty of time without renewing. Options typically range from a few days to six months, with a couple of providers offering a year or two.
Additionally, take note of when the validity period begins. If it starts when the plan is activated rather than when you connect to a Japanese network, wait until you arrive in Japan to activate your eSIM data plan.
Do you need international calling?
Some travel plans provide a local phone number, making it convenient for you to make calls within Japan or even internationally. Select a plan that includes sufficient voice minutes for the country you intend to call.
If you decide on a travel package that only includes data, you can still make international calls and send text messages using WhatsApp or Wi-Fi. Just be aware that utilizing these applications for calling and texting will consume the data provided in your travel plan.
Best eSIM for Japan FAQs
Recap - What's the best travel eSIM for Japan?
The best eSIM for Japan is different for each traveler. You've got a diverse range of options in terms of data packs, validity periods, and countries covered.
Make sure to consult our detailed guide to the best eSIM for international travel before starting your next exciting adventure!