How to Buy a SIM Card in Osaka
Yes, you can buy a prepaid data-only SIM cards in Japan. Here are the best deals, based on actual experiences. I’ll also present another good option: pocket wifi (mobile router) rentals.
- You CAN buy prepaid data-only SIM cards in Japan with a tourist visa.
- The best place to buy prepaid data-only SIM cards in Osaka is at the Yodobashi Camera Umeda Store, which is right outside JR Osaka Station.
- You can make voice calls using services like Skype or Facetime with data-only SIMs.
- Another good option for travelers is to rent a pocket wifi (mobile router).
- You can also purchase a SIM card online and pick it up on arrival at Kansai International Airport.
- See below for all details.
- Wifi is very common in Japan. But you’ll need a SIM card to be online everywhere you go. Luckily, you can now buy a data-only SIM card in Japan with a tourist visa.
- Rather than going to a shop when you arrive in Japan, you can also purchase a SIM card online and pick it up on arrival at Kansai International Airport.
What You’ll Need To Buy A SIM Card In Japan
First, you’ll need an unlocked smartphone or device to use a prepaid SIM. You should be able to configure the APN settings yourself.
Data-Only Prepaid SIM Cards Available to Tourists in Japan
- There are several prepaid data-only SIM cards available to travelers in Japan. New ones are coming out all the time. At the time of writing, the best and easiest to use is the IIJmio Japan Travel SIM.
- IIJmio Japan Travel SIM
- IIJmio offers two prepaid SIMs to travelers in Japan:
- 1GB/30 day (Y2650 at Yodobashi Camera shops)
- 2GB/3 month (Y4090 at Yodobashi Camera shops)
Where to Buy Prepaid SIM Cards in Osaka
- You can buy IIJmio SIM cards and other prepaid SIM cards at Yodobashi Camera shops, which can be found in most major Japanese cities. Osaka has several branches of Yodobashi Camera. The main branch is the Yodobashi Camera Umeda Store, which is just outside the north/central gate of JR Osaka Station, and also a short walk west of Hankyu Umeda Station. You’ll see the SIM cards on display roughly in front of you when you enter on the ground floor. There’s usually someone around who can speak English to help you (but you don’t really need help – the packages display the price, the volume of data and the usable period in English).
- You can also purchase a data-only SIM card online and simply collect it on arrival at Kansai Airport from a dedicated booth where the staff will set up the SIM for you. The SIM is provided by DoCoMo, one of Japan's biggest mobile operators. See this page to purchase a SIM for collection at Kansai International Airport.
Pocket Wifi (Mobile Router) Rental
- Another great option for visitors to Japan is to rent a pocket wifi unit. This is good for people who have locked devices or people who don’t want to bother with APN settings. A pocket wifi is also a great option for people traveling in a group (several people can log onto one device). And, these units have unlimited data and they tend to be very fast.
- You can rent a pocket wifi unit online and collect on arrival at the airport.
Prepaid Voice/Data SIM Card Purchase in Japan
It is also possible to purchase prepaid voice/data SIM cards in Japan. These cards are called the B-Mobile PayG Sim. They cost Y9,980 are good for one week from the date of activation. They include 60 minutes of domestic and international calls and 3G of data. They can be purchased online and then delivered to your first night’s hotel. You can also purchase them in person at Yodobashi Camera Stores in Japan. Once you receive the card, you must upload your passport photo and visa page in order to activate the card. If the passport photo page does not show your address, you must also upload an official document showing your address (like a driver’s license). Thus, these cards are a little fiddly to use, but they are the only way for tourists to get prepaid voice SIMs in Japan.
For More Details
For a high-level overview of the issues involved with cell phone rental, SIM cards and pocket wifis in Japan, see my Internet In Japan For Tourists: Wifi, Pocket Wifi, SIM Cards, Rental Phones etc page on my other website InsideKyoto.com
The situation with SIM cards, cell phone rentals and wifi in Japan is changing fast. The situation could change by the time you read this. We’ll try to keep this page updated, but always do your own research to make sure you get the best deal.
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:
- Open the Osaka map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Osaka Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Osaka guide
- Check Osaka accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare flight prices and timings to find the best Japan flight deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with the Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- Get a prepaid Icoca card to make travelling around Osaka easy – here's how
- Find out why travel insurance for Japan is essential – World Nomads is well-regarded