Guide to AT&T International Plans in Japan

There are two international plans offered by AT&T that can be used in Japan.

  • International Day Pass (IDP)
  • Pay-per-use rates (Pay as you go)

Unfortunately, many of these options are quite expensive and difficult to recommend.

In this article, we will be breaking down each of AT&T’s international plans as well as introducing a more cost-effective option: prepaid SIM cards for Japan.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

  1. AT&T International Plans for Japan
  2. Who should use AT&T International Plans?
  3. If you need unlimited data at a low price, we recommend …
  4. Things to check
  5. Enjoy your trip to Japan!

1. AT&T International Plans in Japan

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PlansPriceDetailsTarget Customers
Day Pass (IDP)
$10/day*You can use your current plan
and details. (Data/Call/Text)
Visitors who are staying for a short period.
Pay-per-use ratesData: $2.05/MB
Call: $1~$3/min
(Depends on the region)
Text: $0.50/message
$1.3 per message with video/picture
-You will be charged for Pay-per-use rates
automatically if you do not apply for the
International Day Pass plan.
(Not recommended because of the high fees.)

(Excluding Tax)

What do you think? After reviewing the above, you may have some questions about how the fees are calculated.

Using the International Day Pass, you can use your current AT&T plan overseas for $10 per day. Even after 10 days, the maximum monthly usage fee for the IDP plan is $100.*

Refer to the following table for examples of how the International Day Pass plan is charged.

Please note that the prices will change depending on whether you use your plan within a month or over a span of several months while overseas.

Using the IDP plan within the monthly billing cycle (e.g., October 1 – 31)

Length of Stay
8 days
(Oct 1 – Oct 8)
Monthly fee +$80Same as your plan
10 days
(Oct 1 – Oct 10)
Monthly fee +$100Same as your plan
15 days
(Oct 1 – Oct 15)
Monthly fee +$100Same as your plan
30 days
(Oct 1 – Oct 30)
Monthly fee +$100Same as your plan


Using the IDP plan over a month(e.g., October – November)

Length of StayPriceCall/Text/Data
8 days
(Oct 30 – Nov 6)
(Oct) Monthly fee +$20
(Nov) Monthly fee +$60
→Total +$80
Same as your plan
10 days
(Oct 30 – Nov 8)
(Oct) Monthly fee +$20
(Nov) Monthly fee +$80
→Total +$100
Same as your plan
15 days
(Oct 22 – Nov 5)
(Oct) Monthly fee +$100
(Nov) Monthly fee +$50
→Total +$150
Same as your plan
30 days
(Oct 22 – Nov 20)
(Oct) Monthly fee +$100
(Nov) Monthly fee +$100
Same as your plan


Let us review some of the above information to get a better idea of the plans AT&T provides and if either suits you.

Do you really need to make phone calls?

Recently, smartphone applications such as Whatsapp, Instagram, FaceTime, etc., have become the means to chat with and call friends and family instead of making traditional phone calls.

Since these applications use data, they can be used overseas as long as you have access to the internet.

Data-only services may be all you need unless you need a local Japanese phone number for work, etc.

Are these good prices?

As you can see, the AT&T international plans may not be considered affordable and are quite confusing. The cost will be even higher if you go overseas for over a month.

There are numerous providers that sell prepaid SIM cards for usage in Japan that are about half the price of AT&T’s plans, with some even offering options for unlimited data.

AT&T’s International Plans are convenient because you can use your phone without taking out and switching the SIM card. However, it should be noted that this convenience also comes at a steep price.

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2. Who should use AT&T International Plans?

To summarize, we can recommend AT&T’s International Plans to individuals who fit the following criteria:

  • Individuals who would like to keep their phone number/line available while traveling. (For work, family, etc.)
  • Individuals who want to go to Japan and use their phone without having to deal with the hassle of switching out the SIM card.
  • Individuals who do not mind the extra higher costs added to their plan.

On the other hand, these are the people to whom we cannot recommend AT&T International Plans:

  • Individuals who want to reduce costs as much as possible.
  • Individuals who do not need a telephone number. (They are planning on using applications such as WhatsApp, etc.)
  • Individuals who do not want to use the data they have on their monthly plan while overseas.

If you want to save money or are fine with just using data, then buying a prepaid SIM card for the country you visit may be the best option.

If you order online before your trip, you can even pick up your SIM card at the airport. This convenient option will get you online as soon as you arrive in Japan.

Out of all the carriers that sell SIM cards to travelers, we recommend Sakura Mobile.

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3. Sakura Mobile is recommended if you need unlimited data at a reasonable price

Sakura Mobile

Key features

  • Unlimited data plan starting from 4,500 JPY
  • Stable, fast docomo 4G network
  • 99% of populated area is covered
  • Reliable, year-round English customer support
  • Pickup at any international airport in Japan
  • Order online, pick up as early as the next day
  • Delivery to the hotels across Japan is also available for free

Sakura Mobile is the provider we recommend for your SIM card needs. Over the years, Sakura Mobile has served thousands of visitors to Japan. With over 3,000 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.7/5, Sakura Mobile has gained a reputation among travelers for having reliable service and great support.

Aside from airport pickup, Sakura Mobile can also deliver the order to your hotel and residence in Japan, or you can pick up your product directly from the Tokyo office.

Currently, Sakura Mobile offers a campaign on travel SIM cards that will get you free shipping. Be sure to take advantage of it while it is still available!

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4. Things to check

Is your phone compatible with Japanese frequency bands?

Before leaving for Japan, you need to make sure your phone is compatible with Japan’s cellular frequency bands. This is something that you need to check regardless of whether you are using AT&T or Sakura Mobile.

Devices that will work with Sakura Mobile SIM cards can be found here.

If you cannot find your device on the above page, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Our customer support team will get back to you by the next day.

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5. Enjoy your trip to Japan!

Eating traditional Japanese foods, staying at Japanese-style inns, and visiting shrines and temples might just be a few of the exciting things you plan to do while traveling to Japan.

However, if you cannot use your phone for even a little bit, there is a significant chance that things might go wrong.

The people in Japan are kind and will help you if you need assistance, but a good percentage of the population does not speak English well. If you cannot navigate using your phone, it might be difficult just to find your hotel.

To be as safe as possible and enjoy your trip to the fullest, we recommend getting Sakura Mobile’s unlimited data SIM card.

Thank you for reading, and best of luck!

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