Where to Get SIM Cards and Pocket WiFi if You’re Already in Tokyo

Are you already in Tokyo and still looking for a way to get connected? It doesn’t take long to realize just how important having reliable Internet is for foreign visitors in Japan’s busiest city, from essential travel apps to staying in touch with friends. The easiest way to stay connected during your trip is to carry a reliable WiFi or 4G signal with you, but where can you get one? Keep reading to learn more about your options and how to get your hands on a Tokyo SIM card or Pocket WiFi!

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Tokyo SIM Card Options

Fortunately, Tokyo has many SIM card options for foreign visitors. Whether you want to pick one up in person or book one online while connected through a free WiFi hotspot, here are 4 places in Tokyo to find what you need.

 

1. Electronics Retailers

Bic Camera
Photo by IQRemix on Flickr

If you happen to be in any number of Tokyo’s major tourist spots—Akihabara, Shibuya, Ueno, and Shinjuku (just to name a few)—one option for getting a SIM card is to walk into one of the city’s famous electronic retailers like Yodobashi or BIC Camera.

Pros Cons
Variety of brands Cost and time of travel
Variety of data plans Additional fees for support
Tech support available English staff is limited
Compatibility test available

The comparison below shows the three major electronics retailer locations in Shinjuku.

Initial Setup Cost English Support Setup Test After-Sales Service Data Amount Price (30-Day Trip)*
BIC Camera: Shinjuku West Main Store ¥780; BIC SIM only Interpretation services by third party 1 type only No 2 GB ¥4,082
Yamada Denki LABI: Shinjuku West Store Depends on range of services Varies by hour 1 type only No Maximum 100 MB / Day ¥3,780
Yodobashi Camera: Shinjuku West Main Store ¥1,500 During scheduled hours Unavailable No Maximum 100 MB / Day ¥3,780

* Taxes excluded

 

2. Convenience Stores

If there’s one country in the running for having convenience stores that truly live up to their name, it’s Japan; and it happens that these stores, locally known as “conbini,” may also stock SIM cards for purchase. Notably, Lawson and NewDays (the latter managed by the JR Yamanote Line) are both reported to have SIM cards on their shelves in Tokyo’s tourist areas.

Pros Cons
Convenience (open 24 hours) No tech support
Easy to find Few choices

Below is a comparison of SIM cards available at Lawson and NewDays.

Initial Setup Costs English Support Setup Test After-Sales Service Data Amount Price (15-Day Trip)*
LAWSON No No Unavailable No 30 MB / Day ¥4,094
NewDays (Managed by JR Yamanote Line) No No Unavailable No 1 GB (fixed data amount) ¥3,000

* Taxes excluded

 

3. International Tourist Counters

It’s possible to buy a SIM card at tourist counters, including international airports—Narita and Haneda—and some hotels located within popular sightseeing areas.

Pros Cons
English support Limited hours
Few choices
Cost and time of travel

See a more detailed comparison of tourist counters at Narita International Airport.

Initial Setup Cost English Support Setup Test After-Sales Service Data Amount Price (15-Day Trip)*
U-NEXT Store: Shinjuku Washington Hotel 1F No Yes Unavailable None 200 MB / Day ¥2,800

* Taxes excluded

 

4. Online Retailers

Online retailers
Photo by Useful Tips Japan

Just because you’re already in Tokyo doesn’t mean that you can’t get your SIM card from a reputable online retailer. As long as you can find a WiFi hotspot at a café, your hotel, convenience stores, or a train station, you can order what you need for more reliable long-term use.

Pros Cons
Variety of brands 1-2 days for shipping
Variety of data plans Need WiFi to order
No travel cost or time
Delivered to your location of choice
English support
Tech support by phone or e-mail

Below is a comparison of two leading competitors of online SIM card rentals.

Initial Setup Cost English Support Setup Test After-Sales Service Data Amount Price (15-Day Trip) Delivery Time
eConnect Japan Set up by phone or email Yes Unavailable None 3 GB ¥4,980- 1-3 Days
Sakura Mobile Set up by phone or email Yes Unavailable SIM Compatibility Insurance (¥500): Upgrade to Pocket WiFi if SIM card is not compatible 3 GB ¥5,250- 0-1 Day

* Shipping fee included; taxes excluded

 

Tokyo Pocket WiFi Options

SIM cards are not always the best option when traveling in Tokyo—locked smartphones, family trips, and packing multiple devices are just some of the reasons. While there are less options available in Tokyo for picking up a Pocket WiFi router than a SIM card, below are the easiest ways for getting what you need.

 

1. International Tourist Counters

narita
Photo by mrhayata on Flickr

There are a few online Pocket WiFi providers that also have an office or store location located in one of Tokyo’s popular tourist areas, as well as in Tokyo’s international airports—Narita and Haneda. While the majority of their Pocket WiFi rentals are mailed out to the customer, it’s also possible to pick up a Pocket WiFi in person.

Pros Cons
English support Limited hours
Few choices
Cost and time of travel

Below is a comparison of several leading Pocket WiFi providers that offer pickups at a counter location.

Price (7-Day Trip)* Business Hours Network Data Speed Coverage
Ninja WiFi: Shinjuku Counter ¥6,300- 10:00-18:00 weekdays Softbank Good Good
WiFi-Hire.com: Shinjuku Counter ¥6,600- 10:00-18:00 weekdays au Good Good
Y!mobile: Shinjuku West Store ¥4,760- 10:00-20:00 EMOBILE Average Average

* Handling fee included; taxes excluded

 

2. Online Rental Providers

If you’re already in Tokyo and realize you need a Pocket WiFi—and can wait a day or two in exchange for a better deal—head over to a nearby local café, train station or convenience store and see if you can locate a free WiFi hotspot. From there, you can easily book a Pocket WiFi online and have it shipped to wherever you’re staying in Tokyo for about the same price for shipping that you’d pay traveling around the city trying to find a tourist counter.

Pros Cons
Variety of brands 1-3 days for shipping
Variety of data plans Need WiFi to order
No travel cost or time Orders processed during business hours
Delivered to your location of choice
English support
Tech support by phone or e-mail

Below is a comparison of several leading online Pocket WiFi providers.

Price (7-Day Trip)* Business Hours Network Data Speed Coverage
eConnect Japan Starting at ¥7,002 1-3 Days WIMAX Good Average
Ninja WiFi Starting at ¥6,800 3 Days Softbank Good Good
Sakura Mobile Starting at ¥5,200 0-1 Day Docomo Good Excellent
WiFi-Hire.com Starting at ¥6,660 1-2 Days au Good Good
Y!mobile (Anyfi) Starting at ¥5,910 2-3 Days EMOBILE Good Average

* Shipping fee included; taxes excluded

 

Which Tokyo SIM Card & Pocket WiFi Company Do We Recommend?

There is no shortage of options in Tokyo, whether you need a SIM card or Pocket WiFi. If you’re looking for affordable plans and the convenience of same-day pickup in Shinjuku or express shipping to your Tokyo address, look no further than Sakura Mobile:

  • Variety of plans
    Sakura Mobile carries Pocket WiFi plans and SIM cards featuring both fixed data and unlimited data, all tailored to your needs.
  • Affordable prices
    Because there are no store overhead expenses, those savings are passed onto you.
  • English tech support
    Sakura Mobile provides full technical support in English for the whole duration of your rental period.
  • Express Shipping
    Same-day delivery is available if your order is placed before 2PM on business days (Monday–Friday). Orders placed after the cut-off time or on weekends/national holidays will be delivered the next day.
  • Same-day pickup in Shinjuku
    If you’re already in Tokyo, simply book your Pocket WiFi or SIM card online for same-day pickup at Sakura Mobile’s Shinjuku office location. Pickup is available Monday–Friday, 10:00–18:00 (excluding national holidays).

If you are unsure about which SIM card you need, be sure to check out our comparison post on top prepaid SIM Card rentals.

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