5 Best SIM Cards at Narita Airport | Unlimited Data Options

5 Best SIM Cards at Narita Airport | Unlimited Data Options

In order to enjoy your trip to Japan to the fullest, you are going to need to get a SIM card soon after you arrive at Narita Airport.

However, there are many different providers that you could choose from, all with different plans and prices.

Upon arriving at Narita Airport, the following questions might come up:

  • Which SIM card should I buy?
  • I don’t want to buy a cheap SIM card if it isn’t going to work properly.
  • I want someone to tell me what criteria I should be looking at when choosing a SIM card.

Rest assured.

In this article, we will be recommending to you 5 of the best SIM card providers at Narita Airport.

We have included a comparison of each of the providers so that you can decide which SIM card is suitable for you.

Table of contents

  1. 3 points to think about when choosing a SIM card at Narita Airport
  2. Compare 5 SIM card providers at Narita Airport
  3. Top 3 SIM cards at Narita Airport
  4. If you don’t know which provider to choose…
  5. Pickup and return
  6. Things to be careful of when buying a prepaid SIM card
  7. For long-term stays (more than 3 months), consider getting a long-term contract
  8. Japan does not have free WiFi so be sure to get a SIM card
  9. Conclusion

3 points to think about when choosing a SIM card at Narita Airport

3 points to think about when choosing a SIM card at Narita Airport
The following are some of the most important things to take into consideration when you choose a SIM card.

  • Reserve a SIM card in advance on the internet
  • Will you have enough data?
  • Is there good English support?

Below we will go into more detail about each point.

1) Reserve a SIM card in advance on the internet

If you have the option to reserve your SIM card in advance, we recommend taking it. This has the potential to save you lots of money. For example, you can save 2,000 JPY on an 8-day SIM card just by reserving it online.

You might be thinking that you want to avoid the hassle of navigating through a website and just buy directly at the airport. However, this is not recommended as airport counters have a limited amount on stock.

If you arrive at the airport and the counter that you visit is out of the product you are looking for, you will have to survive in Japan without internet connection until you can get a SIM card from a different provider.

To avoid unnecessary stress, reserve your SIM card online.

2) Will you have enough data?

If you are not sure about the amount of data that you will be using on your trip, we suggest that you go with unlimited.

Japan’s options for free WiFi spots are very limited, and it would be a large inconvenience to have no data when you need it.

Some companies will give you a set amount of data for the number of days that you are traveling. There are times when this is the cheaper option, but if you want to use your phone as much as you want outside of your hotel room, it would be wise to get unlimited data to save stress.

3) Is there good English support?

It is easy to disregard English support by assuming you pick up your SIM card from the airport, put it into your phone, and after that do not have to deal with anything else.

However, there may be times during your trip when the SIM card malfunctions or does not connect properly. In these cases, having English support to help you solve your problems can be a lifesaver.

Not only that, but it is important to make sure customer support can be reached in various ways. In the best-case scenario, you will be able to contact your provider through email, live chat, and the phone.

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Compare 5 SIM card providers at Narita Airport

Below is a comparison between some of the best SIM card providers that you can find at Narita Airport. This table should give you a better idea of each company’s prices and services.

Scroll right for more →→

Sakura MobileJAL ABCSoftBank
Global Rental
AnyFone JAPANJAPAN WIFI
Rating★★★★★★★★★☆★★★☆☆
★★★☆☆★★★☆☆
Data Amount
x Days
Unlimited data
8 - 90 days
Unlimited data
7 - 30 days
3 - 10 GB
7 - 30 days
Unlimited data
3 - 30 days
Unlimited data
7 - 30 days
PricesLowLowAverageHighHigh
Customer
Support
GoodPoorGoodGoodAverage
Networkdocomo?SoftBankSoftBankdocomo
Online OrderYesNoYesYesNo

 

About prepaid SIM cards with phone numbers

In Japan, there are little to no prepaid SIM cards sold with a phone number. In general, travelers to Japan will only be able to purchase what is called a data-only SIM card.

This is because the ID verification process surrounding getting a phone number is very strict in Japan. It is difficult to sell SIM cards with phone numbers due to these regulations.

There are a few companies that do advertise prepaid SIM cards that include a phone number, but some of them may be operating illegally. If you are looking to purchase one of these SIM cards, you should be aware of the risks.

Even with a data-only SIM card, you will have the ability to use applications like Skype or WhatsApp, so it may be wise to use these when you want to make phone calls.

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Top 3 SIM cards at Narita Airport

👑 #1. Sakura Mobile

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 first on our list of SIM card providers. With SIM cards on the docomo network, one of the three biggest networks in Japan, you can expect to have strong connection almost anywhere in the country.

Unlike some other providers that only have pickup counters in certain airports, you can find pickup counters for Sakura Mobile in any international airport in Japan.

Sakura Mobile has a simple online reservation system that lets you pick up your SIM card, in some cases, as soon as the following day. If you get stuck during the reservation process or your stay in Japan, there is also English support available 7 days a week to help you through any problem.

Rating★★★★★
Data Amount x DaysUnlimited Data
8 - 90 days
PricesLow
Customer SupportGood
Networkdocomo
Online OrderYes

Below is a video that shows the pickup process from Sakura Mobile—watching it should give you a better idea of where to go and how to get your product at Narita Airport.

Click below to play YouTube video↓↓

🥈 #2. JAL ABC

Key features

  • Purchase counters at Narita, Haneda, and Kansai
  • Many data options for SIM cards
  • No online reservation available

JAL ABC is a provider that operates under Japan Airlines, a large and trustworthy company. Unfortunately, they do not have an online reservation system, but all the prices are listed on their website so you know exactly what you are getting.

For those who know for sure that you will not need unlimited data, JAL ABC has multiple smaller-data options.

Rating★★★★☆
Data Amount x DaysUnlimited Data
7 - 30 days
PricesLow
Customer SupportPoor
Network?
Online OrderNo

🥉 #3. SoftBank Global Rental

SoftBank Global Rental

Key features

  • Both prepaid and rental options
  • Flat rental fee per day
  • English support via email, chat, and phone
Rating★★★☆☆
Data Amount x Days3 - 10 GB
30 - 90 days
PricesAverage
Customer SupportGood
NetworkSoftBank
Online OrderYes

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If you don’t know which provider to choose…We recommend Sakura Mobile

Sakura Mobile

Key features

  • Unlimited data plan
  • Fast connection speed on the docomo network
  • Multiple pickup counters all over Japan
  • Online reservation, pick up next day at the earliest
  • Year-round English support

Sakura Mobile is the provider that we would 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.

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

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

Rating★★★★★
Data Amount x DaysUnlimited Data
8 - 90 days
PricesLow
Customer SupportGood
Networkdocomo
Online OrderYes

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Pickup and return

Pickup and return
As stated earlier, Sakura Mobile has a multitude of pickup locations, with at least one at each international airport in Japan.

Below are the details of each pickup counter as well as details about returning your SIM card.

Pickup locations

The following are all the Sakura Mobile airport pickup counters and their hours of operation.

  • Narita Airport Terminal 1 (7:00 am – one hour after the final international flight arrival)
  • Narita Airport Terminal 2 (7:00 am – one hour after the final international flight arrival)
  • Haneda Airport Terminal 3 (5:00 am – 12:00 am)
  • Kansai International Airport (7:00 am – 9:00 pm)
  • Chubu Centrair International Airport (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
  • New Chitose Airport (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

You can find more information about the specific locations of each counter here.

Returning your SIM card

You may be wondering if you have to return your SIM card at the end of your stay. There should be no worries there, as you can simply dispose of your Sakura Mobile SIM card when you are done using it.

Not having to think about the return process of a SIM card can be helpful for those who are worried about the steps to returning or are simply forgetful.

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Things to be careful of when buying a prepaid SIM card

Things to be careful of when buying a prepaid SIM card
Below, we break down a few things that you should be careful of before you reserve a prepaid SIM card. If your device is not compatible with the SIM cards that are sold in Japan, you might have to look for other options for internet connection.

Is your phone unlocked?

If your phone is locked, it will not be able to take SIM cards from other carriers. This means you will not be able to use a SIM card from Japan properly. If you are unsure whether or not your device is unlocked (also referred to as SIM-free), you will need to contact your cellphone carrier.

Additionally, you may need to directly visit the carrier in your home country to get your phone unlocked, so make sure to confirm this before you travel to Japan.

What size SIM card does your phone hold?

If you have never changed the SIM card in your phone before, it may be news to you that there are three different sizes of SIM cards. You can find them in regular, nano, and micro sizes.

When you buy a prepaid SIM card, be sure to choose the right size.

Sakura Mobile’s SIM cards all come with a free adjuster, so you can use the SIM card no matter your device.

Is your phone compatible with Japanese frequency bands?

There are certain network signals used in Japan that may not be compatible with your device. The docomo network which Sakura Mobile is on uses Band 1 and Band 19.

We are aware that network compatibility is likely a new concept to many, so feel free to reach out to our customer support team if you have any questions.

For more information and to check whether or not your device is compatible, visit this page.

If you are unable to get any of the above points figured out before coming to Japan, we recommend that you purchase a portable WiFi device instead of a SIM card. This will allow you to stay connected even if your phone is not unlocked, the SIM card does not fit, or your device is not compatible.

Sakura Mobile also offers Pocket WiFi for travelers; check out the link below if you are interested.

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For long-term stays (more than 3 months), consider getting a long-term contract

For long-term stays (more than 3 months), consider getting a long-term contract
For those who are planning on staying for over three months in Japan, we recommend that you look into getting a monthly contract. These are not prepaid and are meant for those moving to Japan.

Sakura Mobile also offers multiple different long-term plans for those residing in Japan. You can find out more about them here.

If you are interested in learning about the different options that Japan has for monthly contracts, visit the article below.

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Japan does not have free WiFi so be sure to get a SIM card

Japan does not have free WiFi so be sure to get a SIM card
You might be thinking that purchasing a SIM card is troublesome, and you would rather just travel Japan while relying on free WiFi spots throughout the city.

However, Japan only has these spots in places like fast-food restaurants or coffee shops, and some of them do not work at all. Not to mention that you will not be able to find these kinds of places when you explore rural Japan or while you are riding a train or bus.

To avoid the stress of having to scramble for free WiFi everywhere you go, we strongly recommend that you have a plan for getting a SIM card before landing in Japan.

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Conclusion

Conclusion
What did you think?

Especially because of the large amount of SIM card companies at Narita Airport, it can be hard to decide which provider to choose from.

Each company differs in its prices and the plans they offer, so make sure to look carefully and choose based on your own needs and priorities.

We hope that this article helped you narrow down which SIM card provider you want to use in Japan.

Good luck!

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