Guide to Verizon’s International Plans in Japan

Guide to Verizon’s International Plans in Japan

There are three types of international plans offered by Verizon that you can use in Japan.

  • TravelPass
  • International Monthly Plan
  • Pay As You Go

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that all of these options are quite expensive and difficult to recommend.

In this article, we will be breaking down each of Verizon’s international plans as well as introducing a more cost-effective and better-performance option: prepaid SIM cards for Japan.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

  1. Verizon’s International Plans in Japan
  2. Who should use Verizon’s International Plans?
  3. If you need unlimited data at a cheap price, we recommend …
  4. Things to make sure of
  5. Enjoy your trip to Japan!

1. Verizon’s International Plans in Japan

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PlansPrice Details Target Customers
TravelPass $10/day Data: 0.5GB/day*
Talk: Unlimited
Text: Unlimited
People staying
in Japan for 10 days or less
Monthly Plan
$100/mo Data: 5GB data**
Talk: 250 minutes
Text: 1000 sent SMS
People staying
in Japan for 11 days or more
Pay as You Go Data: $2.05/MB
Talk: $1.79/min
Text: $0.50/message
-You will be charged for Pay as You Go automatically
if you do not apply for either of the above plans (not
recommended because of the high prices)

(tax excl.)

*Data speeds are reduced after the first 0.5GB used starting from the beginning of the day. You can purchase additional high-speed data for the remainder of your session. The additional 0.5 GB of data is $10.
**Overages: $0.25/min, $0.05/message, $20/GB

What do you think? The way the fees are calculated is quite complicated, so you might have some questions.

Below is a more detailed table that should make the plans a bit easier to understand. The breakdown is based on the amount of time that you are planning to spend in Japan and includes the amount of data you can use and how much you can expect to pay for it.

of Stay
Best Plan Price Data
8 days TravelPass $804 GB0.5 GB
10 days TravelPass $1005 GB0.5 GB
15 days International
Monthly Plan
$1005 GB0.3 GB
30 days International
Monthly Plan
$1005 GB0.16 GB

(tax excl.)

Below is more information on each point shown in the table.

Is 0.5GB/day enough?

If you refer to the table, you will notice that for Verizon International Plans, the average amount of data available per day is 0.5GB.

(*The amount of data is even less for the International Monthly Plan)

The question then becomes, “Exactly how much data will I need during my trip to Japan?”

For your reference, the following is about how much data you will need to complete different activities on your phone.

  • Using Google MAP and sending texts: 500MB ~ 800MB/day
  • Browsing the internet and using social media: 800MB ~ 1.5GB/day
  • Watching videos: 1GB ~ 3GB/day

If you are only expecting to use Google MAP and send texts during your trip, then 0.5GB a day should definitely be enough.

Conversely, if you are hoping to use your phone for other reasons (researching restaurants and tourist areas, posting pictures on Instagram, etc.), there is a good chance that Verizon’s international roaming plans will not provide enough data.

Are these good prices?

Unfortunately, the international plans that Verizon offers would not be considered cheap.

There are various providers that sell prepaid SIM cards for traveling in Japan for about half the price of Verizon; some even have options for unlimited data.

Verizon’s International Plans are convenient because you are able to use your phone without having to take out and switch the SIM card. However, note that this convenience also comes at a steep price.

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2. Who should use Verizon’s International Plans?

To summarize, we can recommend Verizon’s International Plans to individuals who fit the following criteria:

  • You are content with just using Google MAP and sending texts during your trip
  • You want to go to Japan and use your phone without having to deal with the hassle of switching out the SIM card
  • You do not mind the expensive prices

On the other hand, these are the people to whom we cannot recommend Verizon’s International Plans:

  • You want to do research on places to visit during your trip while on the go
  • You are planning on sharing pictures of your trip on social media
  • You want to lower costs as much as possible

If you are feeling that Verizon’s plans do not have enough data or you want to use more for less money, buying a prepaid SIM card would be the best choice.

If you place an order online in advance, you can even pick up your SIM card at the airport. This is a convenient option that will give you connection 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 cheap 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 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!

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4. Things to make sure of

Is your phone compatible with Japanese frequency bands?

Before leaving for Japan, you must ensure your phone is compatible with Japan’s frequency bands. This is something that you need to check regardless of whether you are using Verizon or Sakura Mobile.

The 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 that you are planning to do while traveling to Japan.

However, if you are unable to use your phone for even a little bit, there is a large chance that things might go wrong.

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

In order to be as safe as possible, we recommend that you get Sakura Mobile’s unlimited data SIM card.

Thank you for reading and best of luck!

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