Kansai Airport: Japan SIM Card and Pocket WiFi Rental Options Compared (2020)

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With over 13 million passengers passing through Kansai Airport (KIX) on international flights in 2018, Osaka’s premier aviation hub has established its place as the gateway to Japan’s Kansai region, signaling a growing need to stay connected during your travels with pocket WiFi or a Japanese SIM card.

If your travel plans include visiting Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, or any number of the other must-see destinations of western Japan, then it’s important to consider where and how you can get and stay online before embarking on your journey.

Keep reading to find out what Kansai Airport Pocket WiFi and Travel SIM card services are available, and which companies offer plans that meet your personal data needs.

What we cover:

Should You Book a Pocket WiFi or SIM Card Rental Before Arriving at Kansai Airport?

Fortunately for international travelers arriving at Kansai International Airport, there are plenty of pocket WiFi and SIM card rental options available for same-day pick up. The airport’s official website offers a list of WiFi rental companies located within the airport terminals that can rent you a Pocket WiFi after you land. However, if you choose to book a rental while planning your trip (at least three days ahead of your flight when booking online), you can find some great deals not available to last-minute shoppers.

Table 1: Comparing Pick-up Options at Kansai International Airport

Service Counter Vending Machine Booking Online Notes
Pick-up location options x x o
After-hours pick up x o Some online bookings are available for after-hours pick up at service counters
Device and plan options o x o
Guaranteed availability x x o
Long-term stay plans (+30 days) o Be aware that long-terms plans at service counters are usually quite expensive; also, there are currently only two long-term plans available for purchase from vending machines

o = Good, = Average, x = Not available

Service Counter

After you pick up your checked-in bags and make your way into the airport’s arrival lobby, you’ll find several service counters offering Pocket WiFi and Travel SIM rentals. The primary benefit of renting a device through a service counter is convenience, but at a cost. The drawbacks are that you’ll have less options to choose from while having to pay more than booking online; and during peak tourist seasons, service counters may run out of available devices, further limiting your options at the airport.

Vending Machine

For many first-time international tourists in Japan, there is a certain amazement in the variety of products you can conveniently buy from the country’s countless vending machines. Kansai Airport’s Travel SIM vending machines are great for travelers arriving on late flights or for those only needing to buy “emergency” data until they can rent a cheaper alternative. The cost per gigabyte tends to be much higher than at service counters or booking online, so we suggest only using this option when the other two aren’t immediately available.

Booking Online

When shopping online for rental plans (both Pocket WiFi and Travel SIM), you’re likely to find that most companies require that you book at least three days in advance. Apart from this stipulation, you’re likely find that booking online offers the best prices and widest variety of plans, which mean you save money and pay for only the data you need.

Pocket WiFi vs Travel SIM vs Japan Phone Rental: Which is Right for You?

There are three ways to stay connected once you arrive at Kansai International Airport-unfortunately, continuing to use the data service from your own country is not one of them. Each option has its own pros and cons that should be considered so that you can get the device best suited for your data needs.

Table 2: Comparing Device Options

Pocket WiFi Travel SIM Phone rental Notes
Use your own phone o o x
Connect with multiple devices o x x
Receive a Japanese phone number x o Some online plans offer long-term SIM cards with a local phone number if you meet the requirements as an international resident of Japan
Good for long-term stays (+30 days) o o Be aware that long-term phone rental plans are usually quite expensive
Coverage in rural areas o For SIM cards and phone rentals, coverage strength depends on the brand and model of phone being used

o = Good, = Average, x = Not available

Pocket WiFi

The convenience of Pocket WiFi is the setup: Turn on, enter the password into your smartphone, tablet or laptop, and you’re done! It’s great for groups traveling together and tends to have more consistent coverage in rural areas and small towns than the other two device options can provide. The primary downsides to Pocket WiFi are that the battery doesn’t last as long compared with a phone, and you need to carry the Pocket WiFi wherever you go.

Travel SIM

For solo travelers, SIM cards offer convenience and portability. Not only do you get to keep using your own smartphone but you don’t have to worry about possibly losing or breaking a rental device like a Pocket WiFi or Phone Rental. The downsides to Travel SIMs are that they are a little more complicated to set up than Pocket WiFi, and locked smartphones are not compatible with Japanese SIM cards. (If you’re not sure about whether you are locked vs. unlocked, be sure to ask your phone’s service provider before leaving on your trip. Also, don’t hesitate to check out our page on SIM card compatibility for more details)

Japan Phone Rental

Rental options are available for both smartphones and flip phones, and most travelers choose a Phone Rental because they want the security of having a local phone number. (Read in detail about Phone Rental options here.) Due to country regulations, it’s difficult for non-residents to obtain a local phone number, which is one of the main reasons why Phone Rental fees are high for international travelers.

If you happen to meet the residency requirements for receiving a local phone number, we suggest that you shop around for long-term options that include a local number, since continuing to use a Phone Rental over a long period will be quite expensive.

Price Comparison for Japan Pocket WiFi at Kansai Airport

Whether shopping online ahead of your trip or renting a Pocket WiFi after your flight lands, it can be hard to know which companies offer the best deals on Pocket WiFi at Kansai Airport. The table below provides a detailed price comparison for your convenience.
Table 3: Comparing Pocket WiFi plans at Kansai International Airport

Company Data Limit 5-Day Rental 10-Day Rental 15-Day Rental 20-Day Rental 30-Day Rental 60-Day Rental 90-Day Rental
Sakura Mobile Unlimited 6,380JPY 8,980JPY 10,980JPY 12,890JPY 16,890JPY 21,990JPY 26,990JPY
JAL ABC Unlimited 6,565JPY 13,130JPY 19,695JPY 26,260JPY 39,390JPY 78,780JPY 118,170JPY
Telecome Square Unlimited 7,000JPY 14,000JPY 21,000JPY 28,000JPY 42,000JPY 84,000JPY 126,000JPY

Note: Prices tax-excluded.

*“Unlimited” data may be subject to fair usage policy, meaning network providers can restrict download speeds if users are deemed to be using an “unfair” or excessive amount of data.

How Does Sakura Mobile’s Kansai Airport Pocket WiFi Service Compare to Others?

With Sakura Mobile pocket WiFi service at Kansai Airport, you can expect a smooth and well-connected trip to Japan with the following features:

  • Full English customer support
  • Easy, FREE pickup and return
  • Reliable coverage from Softbank, a major 4G service provider
  • Fast, 225Mbps maximum network speed
  • Flexible data plans
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Competitive, affordable pricing
  • 5-star service with stellar customer reviews

Most importantly, Sakura Mobile’s Pocket Wifi router offers a battery life of up to 20 hours, meaning you can do more during your travels without worrying about constantly having to stop and charge your device.

When comparing Kansai Airport Pocket WiFi plans, you can see that Sakura Mobile keeps you connected at the cheapest price when renting for seven days or more. This competitive pricing, paired with industry-leading bilingual customer support and flexible data plans, makes our tiered Pocket WiFi plans a great addition to your upcoming trip.

Sakuramobile WiFi router

Find out how to pick up your Sakura Mobile Pocket WiFi at Kansai International Airport.

Price Comparison for Japan SIM Cards at Kansai Airport

Kansai Airport offers a variety of options for travel SIM cards: service counters, vending machines, and booking ahead online. Because each competitor plan offers different unlimited data plans, the table below compares which plans offer the best value.

Company Expiration Listed Price Fixed Data Amount Cut Off Online Top Up Network Kansai Hours
Sakura Mobile 8days 4,500JPY Unlimited No Unnecessary NTT Docomo JALABC Arrival Counter 1F, 6:15-22:30
15days 6,500JPY
30days 9,000JPY
XCom Global 7 days 3,800JPY Unlimited No Unnecessary NTT Docomo 7:00-22:00
15days 6,800JPY
30days 9,800JPY
Any Fone Japan 7 days 4,800JPY 1 GB Yes No ? 7:30-20:30
14days 6,500JPY 2 GB
30days 8,000JPY 5 GB
7days 7,500JPY Unlimited No Unnecessary
15days 8,500JPY
30days 9,500JPY

Note: Prices tax-excluded.

Enjoy unlimited data anytime, anywhere with Sakura Mobile! Never worry again about a slow connection or going over your data plan with our stress-free, 4G LTE. Make traveling fun and convenient, reserve your unlimited data sim with us online with our 24/7 reservation system and we will prepare everything for you as soon as you arrive. Unlike many sim card rentals in the airport, we never sell out of sims, and make pick-up fast and convenient at our counter, which stays open the latest in the entire airport, no matter the time you land in Japan. Say goodbye to troublesome, expensive and slow data plans, say hello to a limitless Japan!

Sakuramobile SIM Card

Keep reading to find out how you can pick up your Sakura Mobile Travel SIM at Kansai International Airport.

How to Pick Up Your Sakura Mobile SIM Card or Pocket WiFi Rental at Kansai Airport

If you choose to pickup your Sakura Mobile SIM card or pocket WiFi at Kansai Airport, we are located at the JALABC Counter (open 6:15-22:30 / everyday)in the International Arrivals lobby on the 1st floor

If you’re concerned about your flights schedule, you can just as easily have your rental device conveniently shipped to the Osaka Central Post Office (open 9:00-21:00) located in front of Osaka Station in Umeda or to your final destination like a hotel, hostel, or even a friend’s home.

Stay Connected with Kansai Airport Pocket WiFi and Travel SIM from Sakura Mobile

Whichever device you choose to stay connected with-Pocket WiFi or Travel SIM-it’s money well spent. Sakura Mobile offers some of the most competitive plans in the Japanese market for international travelers.

We have acknowledge that long term residents need to make their stay in Japan stress-free, which is why we have simplified the process of getting a short and long term Pocket WiFi or SIM Card.

We offer:

  • Flexible data plans for short-term and long-term visitors
  • No activation fees
  • Online data top-up
  • Full English support before and after booking
  • Access to Japan’s best data SIM network, NTT Docomo
  • Pocket WiFi operates on Softbank, the most popular WiFi provider
  • Easy pickup and return
  • Reliable Pocket WiFi and Travel SIM devices
Sakuramobile SIM Card
Sakuramobile WiFi router

Now that you’re armed with the information you need to navigate Pocket WiFi and Travel SIM rentals at Kansai Airport, be sure to read our western Japan travel guides for ideas on what to do during your trip.

Kansai Region

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Traveling between Osaka and Tokyo

Chugoku Region

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Exploring Miyajima Island

5 Things to Do in Okayama