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).
- 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.
What You’ll Need
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).
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.
- Rentafone Japan is a reliable provider of pocket wifi rentals (along with cell phone rentals). Their rates are as follows:
- If renting with a phone - Y3900 for up to one week, then Yen 300 per day
- If renting just the pocket wifi- Y5900 for up to one week, then Y300 per day
- Rentafone Japan will deliver the unit to your first night’s hotel/ryokan/guesthouse or to a post office where you can pick it up. They include a pre-addressed/prepaid envelope so you can return the unit.
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
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings on Skyscanner
- If you're visiting more than one city, get your Japan Rail Pass
- Find out why it's essential you have travel insurance for Japan