1. SPECIAL NOTE TO NEW WEATHERZONE FOLK

    If you recently registered and have not received a confirmation email - please check your 'Spam or Junk' folders. Especially if your email is Hotmail. More help with confirmation issues

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice
  2. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Japanese phones, WiFi & walkie-talkies: the definitive guide

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Sandy, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. alferg

    alferg Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    50
    So just to confirm - this insanely cheap sim was absolutely fine. My daughter clicked on all the ads to boost out high-speed data allowance to 700mb each, Wife & daughter didn't run out but I did because I was doing all the logistics as we went (plus a fair bit of social media, truth be told!) . I ran out of high-speed data on 2nd day at the snow (after a week of sight-seeing) but found the low-speed data was fine for mountain comms via skype. & there were lots of Docomo wifi hotspots we could for free, everywhere we went, including Hikage base at Nozawa.

    Highly recommended for the tight-arse ski bum! :D

    https://wow-j.com/en/sim_wifi/

     
    fennekeg likes this.
  2. fennekeg

    fennekeg Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2018
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    188
    Got this one as well, clicking all the ads got me only 500MB extra though. We got the 1.2Gb version, let's see how far that gets us (will probably be checking Hyperdia and the JR East train status pages a lot)
     
    alferg likes this.
  3. alferg

    alferg Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    50
    Ours came with 300Mb & clicking the ads gave us another 400Mb. I found that hyperdia & maps weren't using very much data (& how good is the hyperdia phone app! I'd only ever used the web version before - the app is so much better, & fast too!). Also found that the docomo hotspots only work if you leave your mobile data on as well - no idea why that is.

     
    fennekeg likes this.
  4. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    1,713
    Location:
    Sydney
    The quote is referring to this SIM card deal
    UPDATE: So I order (and very promptly received) the card. I arrived into Narita last night. I plugged the SIM in, while on the Skyliner into Ueno, and set up the APN. So far it works brilliantly.
    I'm on the shinkansen as I type this and I'm getting excellent connectivity. I am hotspotting to my lappy, so no issues with that. At $41 AUD for 16 days unlimited, I reckon this is the best SIM deal yet.
    Caveat: no voice, data only.
     
    PMG likes this.
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,179
    Likes Received:
    10,112
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    No prepaid SIM has voice in Japan except the Softbank voice only SIM, which normally only residents can get
     
  6. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    1,066
    Location:
    melbourne
    Can I buy a data only sim at Narita when I arrive?
     
  7. Mitchthewitch

    Mitchthewitch Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    35
    We got these for our teenagers and they did exactly the same on the skyline no complaints from them so far we are in Zao at the moment
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,179
    Likes Received:
    10,112
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    Google is your friend: (down the bottom)
    https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/service/svc_19

    Depends on time, and you may need to check the SIMs online, to see what they have.
     
  9. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    1,066
    Location:
    melbourne
    Thanks - Ill try and find the Japan welcome SIM as that seems to be the one people recommend here.
    And that link doesnt seem to list the Japan welcome SIM???
     
  10. zha50

    zha50 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    16
    Did you need separate accounts for each SIM card you got? Going for 26 days so thinking if it was a possibility to get 2 under 1 person.

    Thanks!

     
  11. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    1,066
    Location:
    melbourne
  12. Jasmellea

    Jasmellea First Runs

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    3
    I decided to hold off getting internet access device thinking the free wifi would be enough. It wasnt. sure there was lots around but it needed logging in each time and then it would drop out. I ended up getting a portable wifi device delivered to the hotel. It was probably more expensive but i didnt care. I have discovered i dont travel well in strange cities where i cant read the language and signs. Having the device ment i could show people adresses and where i wanted to be and was able to get help easier. Also ment having access to the disney app that tells you the queue length/time which i would definately recommend people use if visiting disney sea or disney land. There is no free wifi in disney land. I should also add my phone and tablet were not compatable with japan sim cards so i did need to rent the wifi device.
     
    Pez likes this.
  13. dmz

    dmz More cheeeese Gromit Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    4,864
    Likes Received:
    1,066
    Location:
    melbourne
    I got a data only sim but my airbnb host not only provided a portable wifi thing but a portable battery charger to make sure it didnt run out!
     
    CJP likes this.
  14. CJP

    CJP Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hi all,
    An update on my Japanese sim story.
    Here is a guide on what NOT to do
    Don’t be like me and buy Data Sims from EBay from a seemingly reputable seller only to find out when you put them in the four phones at Haneda that they are dodgy Chinese sims and no matter what you do they don’t simply “plug and play” as advised. I could go on for a lot longer about the crap copped from wife and kids especially for not buying more sims at Haneda airport as recommended by the young guy at the airport bus stop who had told us that getting data sims in HAKUBA was near impossible and that was why he bought 2 for his mates working there.

    I am putting it down to jet lag or excitement of finally being in Japan.

    If you do find yourself in a pickle like me, here is what I did find out after catching the bus to Nagano from Goryu the next morning. My legs got a good workout as I walked from place to place seeking data sims. The closest to Nagano station was BIC camera but they had sold out in our sim size. I was eventually directed to Yamada electronic store. It’s a fair walk so just jump in a taxi and go to Yamada department store about 10mins by cab from the station, they had what I needed. 3gb travel sim did us for the 3 weeks, using only to message each other and look up directions, social media etc.

    We had an amazing time in Japan and now can’t wait to go back BUT next time I will definitely buy my data sims at the airport.

    Safe travels

    CJP
     

    Attached Files:

    skifree and blowfin like this.
  15. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Location:
    Perth
    I've got one of these ready for the trip. I usually do the airport thing, but this was a really good deal! Instructions look foolproof. I'll probably try to configure it before/as I taxi into Narita, in case there are critical issues, I can get another one easily at the airport before leaving.
     
    Pez and CJP like this.
  16. shepski

    shepski Addicted

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Perth
    Working well so far. Easy to set up with instructions provided and no issues with reception or speed at Shiga Kogen
     
    CJP likes this.
  17. MadPow

    MadPow Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    17
    we also have two of these Butwhen we put into phone they did not work. ended up buying two travel sim cards at a news day in the middle of nowhere LUCKY. Then after about 8 hours when i went to put in the new sim cards they started working. anyway. if u have trouble with it give it a day.
     
  18. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    1,713
    Location:
    Sydney
    ...and nearly 2 weeks using it for me. Absolutely no issue, I have have travelled to some out of the way areas. A great deal, for sure!
     
  19. Rush

    Rush Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Messages:
    46,753
    Likes Received:
    15,693
    Location:
    Melbourne, Oz
    I had wifi from japan-wireless for two weeks. Service was flawless, always responded to an email within hours. Do recommend.
     
  20. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    1,713
    Location:
    Sydney
    I remember the days when you had to rent a j-phone (the old flip phone style). I'm glad they are over
     
  21. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    27,442
    Likes Received:
    22,296
    Location:
    woonona
    Ditto.
    They wrote the phone number in Croy tape.
    Stuck it on it
     
    Tonester likes this.
  22. Agent 86

    Agent 86 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Darwin Australia
    Good info thanks tonester.
    What type of phone do you have.
    I have a couple of samsung units that are not on the compatible device list.
    i would be interested on your thoughts about this.
    Cheers
     
  23. TheFake

    TheFake Addicted

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    226
    I have the same problem with a Nokia 8, but I suspect the reason the phones aren't on the list is that they haven't tested them, not that they don't work.
    If the LTE bands for the phone at least partially line up (personally I'd want at least 3/4 bands that match) with the ones the network uses you are probably ok.
     
    Agent 86 likes this.
  24. TheFake

    TheFake Addicted

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    226
    I should probably add, I haven't actually used the sim in question, just going off what I know about how phones work.
     
    Agent 86 likes this.
  25. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    15,476
    Likes Received:
    5,145
    Location:
    Brisbane
    This trip we rented an Econnect pocket wifi. Worked everywhere from Hiroshima to Furano, and surprisingly even worked in the train tunnels between Kyoto and Hiroshima.

    Reasonable price, no daily data limits, a free portable battery and the usual easy return via any mailbox.
    https://www.econnectjapan.com/products/wifi/
     
  26. PerthBoarder

    PerthBoarder Hard Yards Ski Pass: 30 Day

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    47
    Does any have any recommendations for pocket wifi in the Tohoku region?
     
  27. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    1,713
    Location:
    Sydney
    iphone xs

    I just got back yesterday and the SIM worked everywhere. In fact, it was often faster than the hotel wifi, especially during peak usage times. It was nice to know I had unlimited data.

    And I could hotspot it to my lappy
     
    Agent 86 likes this.
  28. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    837
    Location:
    northern rivers
    Using this SIM card and it’s very good so far hot spot works, good coverage, fast speed. Definitely good value delivered from Queensland in 1 day.
     
  29. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    I've been using these guys for a few years now. I used to use Pupuru until their prices went through the roof.

    If you need true unlimited data then japan-wireless are great. Others may say that they are unlimited data but you will soon find that their "fair use policy" trumps their "unlimited" policy.

    I use ~300 GB / month for several months at a time and do not have any problems.
     
  30. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    635
    Hi all. I am using virgin mobile, their roaming pack is $30 for 30 days 500 mb. We will be away just under 3 weeks.
    To me this seems ok, or am I missing something?
     
  31. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    1,713
    Location:
    Sydney
    Is that 500 Mb per day or in total?
     
  32. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    635
    In total
     
  33. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    635
    The main use will be if we need to contact each other during the day, wife is also with virgin. As a side note. I have installed Traverous app, for tracking during the day, Its doesn't use data, however im not sure how much data will be used with my GPS locator activated.?
     
  34. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    1,713
    Location:
    Sydney
    I hate the idea of having to mind my bits and bytes when travelling. For an extra $20 you can get an data only sim with unlimited data. It's a no brainer for me.
     
  35. Old School Mike

    Old School Mike One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    512
    WIFI in Japan. Not so good at most places in Japan
     
  36. shepski

    shepski Addicted

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Perth
    We're using them on a Samsung s7 and a Samsung s9, I don't think I saw them on the list but they're working fine.
     
  37. Agent 86

    Agent 86 Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Darwin Australia
    Cheers for that.
    Got an A5 and a J3. Got sims on order. I guess will find out :)
     
  38. gaz35

    gaz35 One of Us

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    827
    Likes Received:
    425
    we hired a pocket wifi through eConnect ¥5600 for nine days. worked brilliantly
     
  39. Old School Mike

    Old School Mike One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2017
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    512
    Thanks for the tip.
     
  40. azzski

    azzski Should know better Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 1999
    Messages:
    40,154
    Likes Received:
    17,221
    Location:
    Malbin, Australia
    Just to back this up, I had a very similar experience, great coverage in central Hokkaido. Exceptional value if you're only looking for a SIM rather than a pocket wifi device.
     
  41. LiveToSki

    LiveToSki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,700
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Melbourne, Vic
    Hi @Sandy - is the info in the opening couple of posts still up to date - I notice it was posted in 2013... I havent read the entire thread yet but will if I need to get the right info... Thanks.
     
  42. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    63,179
    Likes Received:
    10,112
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
    The details are still mostly correct, but:

    - LTE(4G) has similar coverage to 3G.
    - More frequencies available
    - Prepaid still holds (Voice SoftBank, Data DoCoMo). More choice and availability from 3rd party onsellers of DoCoMo data.
    - Walkie-talkie same.
    - Wi-Max is no longer a wide band WiFi network, but LTE.
     
    LiveToSki likes this.
  43. LiveToSki

    LiveToSki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    1,700
    Likes Received:
    377
    Location:
    Melbourne, Vic
    One more question @Sandy - Can you get this from Osaka airport for example:

    Data only, SIM only from DoCoMo, via B-mobile
    This is a little trickier, as you have to (supposedly) buy these on line, and have them delivered. However, I've seen them being sold at some places at Akihabara.