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Best Japan eSIM Options While Visiting Japan in 2024

Japan eSIM cards are extremely convenient and make traveling abroad a breeze. If you’ve traveled out of the country in the past and used a physical SIM card, then you know that keeping track of the thing can be quite tedious. If you lose your travel SIM card or your regular SIM, it’s an entire process of figuring out how to get mobile data again.

In recent years, the eSIM Japan market has been booming and we now have a ton of different options to choose from. This means that both domestic providers and international options are widely available.

Secondary physical local SIM card options are a thing of the past. In this article, we’ll be covering which eSIM will be best for you to pick up for your trip to Japan.

What Is An eSIM Card?

eSIMs are basically the exact same things as physical SIMs except there’s no physical SIM card. They are virtual Japan travel SIM card options that you download and install onto your phone. They’re super convenient because you no longer have to worry about replacing one SIM with another and risking losing one of them. Plus you get immediate delivery to your phone, they are easy to activate before your trip to Japan, and data top-ups are a few easy clicks or a QR code away.

Most newer models of phones have an eSIM option available. What’s more, some newer devices are only compatible with eSIM options and don’t even allow for physical SIM cards anymore. The iPhone 14 is a good example of this.

eSIMs make changing your smartphone carrier extremely simple. So, next time you’re planning a trip to Japan, you can easily connect to your Japanese eSIM data plan without having to remove anything at all.

What Is The Best Japan eSIM Data Plan For Tourists?

We’ll be going over each Japan eSIM provider so you can find the one that’s best suited for your needs. We’ll cover the range of data options for your next trip to Japan.

Mobal eSIMs

The Mobal Tourist eSIM has multiple different options to choose from. They offer 8, 16, and 31-day eSIM data plans. Both the 8-day and 16-day eSIMs offer 1GB, 3GB, and 30GB data plan options, but the 31-day eSIM only comes with a 50GB option.

The pricing for their different eSIM options is as follows:

  • 8 Day eSIMs
    • 1GB – ¥1,920
    • 3GB – ¥2,340
    • 30GB – ¥3,200
  • 16 Day eSIMs
    • 1GB – ¥2,260
    • 3GB – ¥2,800
    • 30GB – ¥3,900
  • 31 Day eSIMs
    • 50GB – ¥4,900

Mobal does not offer unlimited data plans at this time.

Mobal is one of the more popular options used by many folks who travel to Japan. They use the major cellular network Docomo. Thanks to this, your cell service will work fantastically and you’ll receive blazing-fast 4G LTE to stay connected across the country wherever you decide to go.

You will receive an email from Mobal with an activation link a few minutes after paying for your eSIM. The page that you’re taken to will have a QR code to scan for easy activation. After you scan the eSIM QR code, your virtual sim will activate and you’ll be good to go!

Mobal eSIM speeds are pretty solid and you can expect to get around 17.9Mbps depending on your location. Things should load quickly and it’s a pretty darn reliable service. This eSIM is solid and there’s a certain level of quality you get with the service and support.

Speaking of customer support, Mobal also offers English-speaking custom support to ensure that if any problems do arise travelers can reach out to support and get help.

We highly recommend the Mobal SIM card for your device. They’re a great choice and they have multiple different options to choose from. There’s also the added benefit that the company’s profits go to charity so it’s definitely a win-win all around.

8 day eSIMMobal Japan 50GB eSIM¥4,900

Sakura Mobile

The Sakura Mobile eSIM card is another popular choice for folks staying in Japan both for short-term and long-term stays. Sakura’s prices vary depending on the length of your stay and how long you’ll need to use their eSIM data plan service. You have the option to extend your plan up to the full 90 days, with the shortest option coming in at just 3 days in length.

Their eSIMs are a reasonable price with their 3-day 1GB eSIM only costing around $13.66 total. Sakura also uses Docomo as their service provider which means you can expect to receive great 4G LTE coverage regardless of where you end up while you travel to Japan. They claim their data will work anywhere in Japan, even atop Mt. Fuji.

When activating your eSIM, you will receive a QR code to your email address after successful payment. You’ll just need to scan the QR code on your phone and you’re all set!

Sakura Mobile prioritizes simplicity and makes the process of getting and activating an eSIM simple for foreigners. There are no annoying hoops you have to jump through. The whole experience is a breeze and takes barely any time at all from start to finish.

Speed-wise, you can expect to get around 7.9Mpbs. You shouldn’t have too many issues with these speeds, but keep in mind that this isn’t quite as fast as the speeds offered by the Mobal eSIM plans. If you’re a heavy video watcher or streamer on your phone, you may want to keep that in mind.

Sakura Travel SIM UNLIMITED DataSakura Travel Japan eSIMDepends on length of stay

eSIM Japan

For those looking for a cheaper option, eSIM Japan offers some pretty attractively priced data plans for tourists.

They have two main options for their plans:

  • A generalized Japan plan that encompasses all areas
  • City-tailored plans depending on where you plan to stay: Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, etc

eSIM Japan plans come in the following day limits: 3, 5, 7, 12, 15, and 20 days. They also have the following data limits available: 3GB, 5GB, 10GB, and unlimited data.

Both of their different types of plans have the same pricing so it’s not too big a deal and they should work throughout Japan regardless. The fact that they offer unlimited data plans is a big win in our book. It removes the headache of having to worry about how much data you left before going over.

After ordering, your eSIM QR code will be sent to the email address you signed up with. Keep in mind that the moment you scan your QR code and activate your sim, your plan will start.

Pricing-wise, they vary depending on the length of the plan that you select, but we did mention that eSIM Japan is the cheaper option for a reason. A 3-day plan will only set you back $3.99 and a 12-day plan comes in at a whopping $22.99! How’s that for affordable, right?

The mobile network that eSIM Japan uses is China Mobile Hong Kong and it appears that when roaming switches over to the SoftBank Network. Surprisingly, given how cheap their plans are, eSIM Japan has relatively quick speeds averaging around 33.9Mbps. Not a bad choice at all.

Ubigi

Ubigi offers eSIM data plans for over 200 different locations around the world. This means that their eSIMs aren’t just for Japan, but for tons of other countries too. They’re super handy if Japan is just part of your getaway trip and you don’t want to have to purchase multiple different eSIMs, one for each separate location you’ll be traveling to.

Pricing-wise, they have quite a few different options available. They offer very cheap options, with their 500MB plan coming in at $2.65 and up to 50GB plans for $65.83. As you can see, their prices are very reasonable and affordable.

After purchasing your eSIM plan, you can either just wait for it to arrive in the mail, or you can download the Ubigi mobile app to access it. Like some of the other eSIM providers on this list, they also work with the popular Docomo network to provide service in Japan.

Speed-wise, you can expect to average around 19Mbps. At this level of performance, you shouldn’t have many issues if any with internet speeds and access content on the go.

Airalo

The Airalo eSIM data plans use the popular Japanese mobile local carrier SoftBank to provide their service. Airalo eSIMs come in a variety of different package options.

You can elect for 7, 15, and 30-day packages depending on your needs and how long you plan to be in Japan. The 7-day plan comes with 1GB of data for $4.50, the 15-day plan has 2GB, and the 30-day plans have the option of 3, 5, 10, and 20GB to choose from, with the 20GB option costing $26.00.

After purchasing your eSIM, you’ll be redirected to a page on the website with a QR code for you to scan to activate your service. Speed-wise, you can expect a good quality service averaging around 65Mbps for downloading and 22Mbps for uploading.

Based on all of the other service provider speeds on this list, Airalo actually came in as the #1 for data speeds.

Should You Get An eSIM or A Physical SIM card?

Honestly, the answer to this question depends on your needs. If you don’t think you’ll need a Japanese phone number while there, an eSIM should suffice and suit your needs perfectly fine. Do keep in mind that eSIMs on this list don’t currently offer the ability to send calls or SMS messages as they don’t have a phone number attached.

eSIM plans typically only come with wireless data. That being said, most people who are traveling abroad to Japan really don’t have a need for a Japanese phone number.

eSIM cards are extremely convenient and so simple to purchase and set up that they remove a lot of the hassle that comes with standard physical SIM cards. If you do decide that you’d like to check out some physical Japan SIM card options, be sure to check out our article for a guide on the best ones available and which we recommend.

Summary

We’ve covered all of the best eSIM providers in Japan. When it comes to convenience and quality, Mobal eSIMs are at the top of our list. While they may not have the top of the top when it comes to internet connection speed, they by far have the best customer service, work hard to achieve convenience, and they give away a portion of all revenue to charity.

They are our top choice for Japanese eSIM providers. In terms of sheer speed and which option has the fastest 4G coverage, we’d have to go with Airalo. With their 4G network speeds clocking in at 65Mbps on average, they flew right past the competition and put some of the others to shame.

You should now have everything you need to get set up with your Japan eSIM data plan. Happy travels and have a great trip!

If you’re planning a trip, be sure to also check out our guide for bringing medication to Japan.

Jonathan Z

Jon is one of the two Jons that runs Kuuki. He's a big fan of Nintendo, cats, and Japanese culture. He dreams of one day living abroad in Japan, but for now will settle for simply writing about it.

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