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

Sandy

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My main need is to be able to stay in touch with friends in Japan. Thinking the data card and using viber, skype FB will be the best way unless others have a better idea?

This is best.....

I use Facebook messenger more than just about anything else (to keep in touch with people outside of Japan)
 

Lucky Pete

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Yes Nozzaman I read the vodafone post - Im with Telstra on a 2yr contract so not much use to me. :(

Thanks Sandy - Will pick up a Japan Travel Sim from BIC Camera in the morning at Shibuya. Hopefully can load it up with an extra 2GB on the spot. :)
 

Draizuh

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Jul 29, 2012
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Guys, looking for a pocket wifi again that will cover well in Hokkaido.

Used econnectjapan.com last time i was over there, can get for 9741 yen for 15 days with unlimited data.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
I was looking at eConnect myself, Its legit then?? Where were you staying when you used it??

Im gonna be in Myoko/Madarao/Nozawa area for about 10 days and then 4 days in Naeba/Kagura, Keen to have data so i can make everyone i know envious as hell as i smash pow!
 

Chondro

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I was looking at eConnect myself, Its legit then?? Where were you staying when you used it??

Im gonna be in Myoko/Madarao/Nozawa area for about 10 days and then 4 days in Naeba/Kagura, Keen to have data so i can make everyone i know envious as hell as i smash pow!

G'day mate last time i used it i had no issues with reception at all
was tokyo/osaka/hiroshima/kyoto/hokkaido/niseko
even on bullet trains between places no issues
 
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jaac

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Aug 28, 2014
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Anyone know if you can order the so-net sims online? Im in Niseko now and the kiosk was closed when i went through the airport.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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Anyone know if you can order the so-net sims online? Im in Niseko now and the kiosk was closed when i went through the airport.

Doesn't look like you can order online.

How long will you be in Japan? You have other options, econnect & B-mobile, which both can ONLY be ordered online, but econnect seems to be limited to 30 days.
 

blowfin

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G'day mate last time i used it i had no issues with reception at all
was tokyo/osaka/hiroshima/kyoto/hokkaido/niseko
even on bullet trains between places no issues

Good to know, they do spruik it as 99% of population covered on the website, I have been looking at their 3GB SIM. The lack of voice isn't an issue. I'm mainly wanting data so I can sneak in some Ingress (Mobile Geo-location game) while I'm in Tokyo and Nozowa.
 

Chondro

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Good to know, they do spruik it as 99% of population covered on the website, I have been looking at their 3GB SIM. The lack of voice isn't an issue. I'm mainly wanting data so I can sneak in some Ingress (Mobile Geo-location game) while I'm in Tokyo and Nozowa.

Yep i had no issues streaming hockey games each night with the 3g sim, faster than 3g here, never once had no reception with it
 

Sandy

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So far as SIMs go, all of the prepaid 3G ones are with DoCoMo, so they all have the same coverage. (econnect, so-net, bmobile)
They also have the same max speed.
However, so-net is an LTE (4G)SIM , which will also work with 3g phone at 3g speeds. If you have the right LTE frequencies, it will operate at super high speed 4h speeds. It will default to 3g if out of LTE coverage
 
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Yardsale

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Okay, just having a look locally at roaming packs.

Optus now have $10 a day for roaming with unlimited calls, SMS and 50mb of data (equiv to a plan with 1.5gb per month)
Telstra have the same thing is $30/3day increments with the same data allowance.

So that's not so bad for global roaming now.
 
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Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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Obistardust

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Some information on that site is out of date.

For example, it's been about 2 years since you were able to buy B-Mobile SIMs from Bic Camera or Yodabashi Camera.

And it doesn't include so-net, which IMO is currently the best prepaid data SIM for availability, speed and value for what you get.
Thanks Sandy.
Thats exactly the feedback I was looking for.
I read through the thread and just became a bit confused.
On your advice I'll go so-net.
Cheers
 

bullet

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Sandy, Do you know if so-net allow use of VOIP? or is it blocked?
I haven't been able to find anything saying it doesn't allow it to be used.
Thanks.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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Sandy, Do you know if so-net allow use of VOIP? or is it blocked?
I haven't been able to find anything saying it doesn't allow it to be used.
Thanks.
I've tried skype and it works fine with the so-net SIMs

One other point....
In the activation done on your device, although it says you can skip the credit card details, I haven't been able to activate without inputting a credit card. This is used for recharging, if you need to recharge.

The activation can be achieved on an android device before activation, on the android device, but an external wifi connection must be established for an iPhone
 
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bullet

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I've tried skype and it works fine with the so-net SIMs

One other point....
In the activation done on your device, although it says you can skip the credit card details, I haven't been able to activate without inputting a credit card. This is used for recharging, if you need to recharge.

The activation can be achieved on an android device before activation, on the android device, but an external wifi connection must be established for an iPhone

Thanks Sandy :)
 
D

d15812

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I am currently using a pocket wifi modem from http://japan-wireless.com/

I have the 3G unlimited data model and it works fine for streaming Netflix and anything else I need EXCEPT it goes to shit at exactly 9:00pm every night for a couple of hours.

I have previously used http://www.pupuru.com/ but they seem to have changed their conditions and implemented data caps. Their cheaper 3G has a 10GB/mth limit which would probably be fine for most people but I'm in Japan for a few months and tend to stream Netflix and movies a lot.
 

dmz

Puzzles solved here.
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I was looking at so-net sim web page and they have an outlet at Chitose but it's only open till 5pm and we will be getting there later than that. I noticed they also show a picture of sim card vending machines. Does so=net have a sim card vending machine at Chitose?
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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I was looking at so-net sim web page and they have an outlet at Chitose but it's only open till 5pm and we will be getting there later than that. I noticed they also show a picture of sim card vending machines. Does so=net have a sim card vending machine at Chitose?

Doesn't look like there's a vending machine there.
Where are you flying in from?
 

dmz

Puzzles solved here.
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Hong Kong straight to Chitose. From what I can gather it means we don't have a chance to get a so-net sim so maybe there's another brand available at Niseko in the supermarket or store or vending machine?
 

Mercyrx3

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Hong Kong straight to Chitose. From what I can gather it means we don't have a chance to get a so-net sim so maybe there's another brand available at Niseko in the supermarket or store or vending machine?
You can get a b-mobile prepaid visitor one sent to to your Hotel with at least 3 days notice
 

dmz

Puzzles solved here.
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My mistake. I thought we were arriving 4.50 when it was actually 14.50. So we have plenty of time to get a so-net sim. I've looked at their website which shows the topup costs but I cannot seem to find the actual cost of the sim. Does anyone know what the cost is for the plan 2.2g topped up sim?
 

theslydog

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My mistake. I thought we were arriving 4.50 when it was actually 14.50. So we have plenty of time to get a so-net sim. I've looked at their website which shows the topup costs but I cannot seem to find the actual cost of the sim. Does anyone know what the cost is for the plan 2.2g topped up sim?

I though I would mention that you can buy so-net sims on Amazon.jp and get them forwarded to your hotel and usually hotels will hold the mail for you. Amazon is quick like you receive the sim the next day. They are 2Gb for 3200JPY but sometimes Amazon have them on special for like 2400JPY. You can also recharge them.

I tried this sim in my LG G2 and it works fine. I also tried it in an unlocked Telstra wifi Huawei E5372T and it works fine but I had to force it to 3G only otherwise it kept dropping the 4G connection. The speed was still fine on the 3G.
 
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RayC

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Found this company in Japan that offers FREE Japanese mobile phone rental and FREE Japanese sim rental.

https://www.mobalnarita.com/

What's the catch I here you ask. Well don't make too many out going calls or you'll have a large bill at the end.
I had a look at their web site and this looks to be what I want. (Purchase not rental) Outgoing calls/sms are expensive but all I want is a voice number for emergencies back home and ability to text Petra occasionally on the mountain. Coverage map looks ok for Hakuba and I can use it on future trips.
 

Born2ski

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Last edited by a moderator:

hatto

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I though I would mention that you can buy so-net sims on Amazon.jp and get them forwarded to your hotel and usually hotels will hold the mail for you. Amazon is quick like you receive the sim the next day. They are 2Gb for 3200JPY but sometimes Amazon have them on special for like 2400JPY. You can also recharge them.

I tried this sim in my LG G2 and it works fine. I also tried it in an unlocked Telstra wifi Huawei E5372T and it works fine but I had to force it to 3G only otherwise it kept dropping the 4G connection. The speed was still fine on the 3G.
This.
Ordered a 12 gig sim on amazon wed at 11.45 am asked for delivery between 12 and 2 next day and it arrived at 12.40.
Registered and start up must have netconnection available but took about 20 min
job done. Works fantastic in samsung s4 and 4g in nozawa
12gig sim -180 days-rechargable $30 all for $140

cheers
 

OddaP

Hard Yards
Nov 24, 2014
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Does Japan Wireless LTE work in Nozawa? Hotel has lobby wifi but it might be nice to have the freedom option.

I did read pupuru covered Nozawa but it's twice the price.
 

antisense

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Jan 4, 2011
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Might be a silly question, but if I get a data sim that allows VoIP, is there a way for someone from a landline in japan to call me? I mean, can you setup a "real" japanese phone number that will route to your mobile via VoIP?

I'd like to have a data sim, but I am travelling with a little one and really need to be contactable by daycare etc whilst in Japan. Maybe hiring a handset is the way to go.....
 

bullet

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Sandy, with the SO-NET sim do you have to return them once finished? As in the T&C it says:

"the SIM card is provided to you on a loan basis. A fee of 3,000 yen (plus tax) will be charged for lost or damaged SIM cards."

If so how do you return it?


Thanks.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
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Jan 1, 1998
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Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Sandy, with the SO-NET sim do you have to return them once finished? As in the T&C it says:

"the SIM card is provided to you on a loan basis. A fee of 3,000 yen (plus tax) will be charged for lost or damaged SIM cards."

If so how do you return it?


Thanks.

No need to return
 

cdub

First Runs
Nov 17, 2014
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So-net report. Got it from loax in ginza in the end cos the airport only had 1g cards for 4500. Got the 2.2 from laox for 4000. Working a treat and has saved us from getting lost quite a bit ;)

Been keeping it running on 3g cos im afraid of 4g ;)
 

antisense

Hard Yards
Jan 4, 2011
42
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58
Thinking of getting 2 so-net data sims from Chitose for my wife and I, then getting a 'real' phone number from here http://www.skype.com/en/features/online-number/ so we can be contactable in an emergency (2yr old in daycare). From previous comments (particularly from Sandy) it seems that there is no problem using these sims for VoIP. Is this right? Has anyone else done similar?

I'm no technophobe, but never used Skype for incoming voice calls on my mobile so not sure if it will work hassle free.
 

dr80

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Bought data Sim at so-net Narita 2 yesterday. Only had 3GB nano Sim for 6500¥ left. All other types sold out. Works a treat.
 

Jamesc

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been using the So-net sim for a week now, works really well, only down side is it disabled the internet sharing on my iPhone so no tethering the laptop.
 
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