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The Best eSIM in Japan: Top 12 Services in Comparison

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An eSIM is handy for staying connected during a short trip to Japan. This article discusses 12 eSIM companies in Japan and compares their prices, data limits, usage periods, and other details. Look for a plan that suits you best.

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The Best eSIM for Japan Trips

eSIM.,japan

Photo by Pixta

There are various ways to use the internet during a trip in Japan, such as free Wi-Fi, a SIM card, or a portable Wi-Fi router.

Among these choices, eSIM is currently becoming a trend. While it is a type of SIM card, there is no need to insert a chip inside devices, and the setup can be done entirely online.

With the number of services available in Japan, it might be hard to decide which company to use. This article compares the services of 12 companies, along with recommendations from MATCHA.

Top eSIM Services in Japan

How to Use eSIM
Comparison of 12 eSIM Companies
Japan-Based Companies
1. Mobal
2. World eSIM
3. Sakura Mobile
4. Japan Wireless
5. GTN Prepaid eSIM
6. Ninja eSIM

Global Companies
7. Saily
8. eSIM Japan
9. Ubigi
10. Holafly
11. Airalo
12. Klook eSIM
Using a Portable Wi-Fi Router and eSIM

The eSIMs in this article are for short-term travelers in Japan. Those who are planning an extended stay should take a look at the articles listed below.

How to Use eSIM

travel SIM Japan

SIM cards (physical SIM) have to be inserted by hand./Photo by Pixta

eSIM is short for embedded SIM.

A physical SIM had to be inserted by hand into a device, which takes time. There is also a risk of losing or damaging the card.

In contrast, an eSIM can be used by changing the device's settings.

eSIM, japan

Setting up eSIM Japan./Picture courtesy of eSIM Japan.

The basic setup is as follows:

1. Apply online.
2. Scan the QR code on the return e-mail.
3. Set up the device.

eSIM japan

An eSIM setup on an Android smartphone. Users will be able to choose various types of SIMs.

The APN setting has to be adjusted to activate an eSIM. While it is not a difficult task, be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Most companies will send a manual after the purchase, so don't forget to check it.

Comparison of 12 eSIM Companies

While many companies offer eSIM services in Japan, they can be roughly divided into Japan-based and global companies.

Most overseas visitors use 500MB to 1GB of data daily and stay for one to two weeks. The former companies offer inexpensive plans for international tourists.

The latter offer eSIMs that can also be used in other countries or on a day-to-day basis.

Japan-Based Companies

    Service Period/Data Cheapest Plan Features
  • Mobal
  • 8 to 90 days
    3 to 100GB
    8 days and 3GB for 2,340 yen A bargain for users staying 1 to 2 weeks and using 1 to 2GB/day
  • World eSIM
  • 3 to 30 days
    500MB to unlimited
    3 days and 500MB for 3.95 U.S. dollars (about 620 yen) A bargain for those using 500 MB to 1GB/day
  • Sakura Mobile
  • 8 to 90 days
    Unlimited
    8 days and unlimited data for 4,950 yen Offers strong customer support
  • Japan Wireless
  • Unlimited data plan is available from 1 day
    Restricted data plan (3 to 50GB) is available from 7 to 30 days
    1 day and unlimited data for 5 U.S. dollars (about 790 yen) Day-to-day use is available
  • GTN Prepaid eSIM
  • 30 days
    3 to 30GB
    30 days and 3GB for 3,000 yen This eSIM can also be bought at a physical store
  • Ninja eSIM
  • 5 to 31 days
    5 to 100GB
    5 days and 5GB for 3,102 yen The company has a long history as a provider of portable Wi-fi routers

Global Companies

    Service Period/Data Cheapest Plan Features
  • Saily
  • 7 to 30 days
    1 to 20GB
    7 days and 1GB for 3.99 U.S. dollars (about 630 yen) Offers an affordable plan with a smaller data amount
  • eSIM Japan
  • 3 to 90 days
    3GB/day to unlimited
    3 days and 3GB/day for 5.99 U.S. dollars (about 945 yen) Offers a wide variety of plans
  • Ubigi
  • 1 to 30 days
    500MB to 50GB
    1 day and 500MB for 2.5 U.S. dollars (about 390 yen) Day-to-day plans are available
  • Holafly
  • 1 to 90 days
    Unlimited
    1 day and unlimited data for 6 U.S. dollars (about 950 yen) Day-to-day plans are available
  • Airalo
  • 7 to 30 days
    1 to 20GB
    7 days and 1GB for 4.5 U.S. dollars (about 710 yen) Offers an affordable plan with a smaller data amount
  • Klook eSIM (Softbank)
  • 5 to 15 days/500MB per day to unlimited 5 days and 500MB day for 1,462 yen Can be purchased on Klook, a booking site for various activities

Please note that even in an "unlimited" plan, the data transmission may slow down after using over 3GB per day.
The currency rate is based on data from July 2024, which is about 158 yen per U.S. dollar.

MATCHA's recommendations are Mobal, which has an inexpensive 1GB/day plan for two weeks, or World eSIM, offering an affordable plan with a smaller data amount.

The other companies also offer a wide variety of plans, so take a look and choose one that suits your needs.

As of June 2024, only Mobal, Sakura Mobile, and Airalo offer Voice eSIM, a plan with a Japanese telephone number and SMS (Short Message Service).

1. Mobal

eSIM, japan

Picture courtesy of Mobal

Mobal is managed by Mobell Communications Limited, a UK company established in 1989.

The company offers plans such as eight days/10GB for 2,750 yen, eight days/30GB for 3,200 yen, and 16 days/50GB for 3,900 yen. These plans are ideal for travelers staying one to two weeks and using 1 to 2GB a day.

Mobal is one of the few companies offering Voice eSIM.

In addition to offering strong customer support in English, this British company is known for its charity work to fight poverty in Africa.

    Mobal
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Available
  • Line Provider
  • NTT
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

Mobal eSIM

↑ Return to Table of Contents

2. World eSIM

World eSIM

Picture courtesy of World eSIM

World eSIM is managed by Global WiFi, a company providing portable Wi-Fi routers.

They offer inexpensive plans with smaller data, such as 500MB for three days or 1 to 2GB per day for ten days, perfect for those who scarcely use smartphones during trips.

The company also offers an eSIM, which can be used in multiple countries.

    World eSIM
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • Softbank
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Offers a regional eSIM that can be used in 22 Asian countries, including Japan.

↑ Return to Table of Contents

3. Sakura Mobile

eSIM, japan

Picture courtesy of Sakura Mobile

Sakura Mobile is popular to travelers from Anglophone countries. The company also handles portable Wi-Fi routers and sets up residential internet lines.

They offer unlimited data eSIMs for 4,950 yen (8 days) or 7,150 yen (15 days), which is quite a bargain.

The company, known for its customer support, will answer questions about eSIM before the purchase. Those worried about using an eSIM in Japan should choose Sakura Mobile.

Sakura Mobile and Mobal are among the few companies offering Voice eSIM.

    Sakura Mobile
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Available
  • Line Provider
  • NTT
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

↑ Return to Table of Contents.

4. Japan Wireless

eSIM, japan

Picture courtesy of Japan Wireless

Japan Wireless is a service provided by Inbound Platform, a company handling rental campers and providing medical information to overseas visitors.

They offer day-to-day plans for eSIMs with unlimited data, starting at 5 U.S. dollars (about 790 yen)/day. While this plan may seem relatively expensive, the price will be lowered according to the length of the period.

    Japan Wireless
  • Tethering
  • -
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • NTT
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

↑ Return to Table of Contents.

5. GTN Prepaid eSIM

Which is the Best eSIM in Japan? A Comparison of 12 Recommended eSIM Companies


GTN offers various services to foreign nationals residing in Japan. They only have 30-day eSIMs with five types ranging from 3 to 30GB (*).

GTN Prepaid eSIM can be purchased at physical stores in Haneda Airport or Namba, Osaka.

For details, please read the article listed below. A purchase at Haneda or online comes with a 10% discount.

*: Haneda is the only physical store handling 20 and 30GB eSIMs.

    GTN Prepaid eSIM
  • Tethering
  • Depends on the smartphone model
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Providers
  • au/Softbank
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

↑ Return to Table of Contents

6. Ninja eSIM

Ninja esim

Picture courtesy of Ninja eSIM official website

Released in May 2024, this is an eSIM version of the portable Ninja WiFi router. There are six types (5, 7, 10, 15, 21, and 31 days), varying from 5 to 100GB.

Their routers are heavily favored by overseas visitors, and the reliability of the eSIM is also high.

    Ninja eSIM
  • Tethering
  • -
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • Softbank
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • -

↑ Return to Table of Contents

Global Comapnies

Services provided by international companies can also be used in Japan.

7. Saily

Saily

Picture courtesy of Saily official website

Saily, a USA-based firm, was founded by Nord Security, one of the major worldwide VPN providers.

They offer eSIMs in more than 150 countries. Users can chat with customer support staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

There are two types of eSIMs for Japan: 7 days/1GB for 3.99 U.S. dollars (about 627 yen) and 30 days/3GB for 6.99 U.S. dollars (about 1,099 yen). They are inexpensive and suited for those who do not need much data.

    Saily
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • NTT
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

↑ Return to Table of Contents

8. eSIM Japan

eSIM, japan

Picture courtesy of eSIM Japan

eSIM Japan is a service by WHIZ, an eSIM provider covering Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia.

There are three types for Japan: Unlimited data (with certain internet speed restrictions), 5GB per day, and 3GB per day. The plan period varies from 3 to 30 days.

Users can choose from a wide variety of plans at a relatively affordable price.

     eSIM Japan
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Providers
  • au/Softbank
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • The company offers various plans, such as Japan & Korea, Japan & China, Asia Unlimited, and Global Unlimited.

↑ Return to Table of Contents

9. Ubigi

ubigi

Picture courtesy of Ubigi

Ubigi is managed by Transatel, a French-based company. It is now a subsidiary of NTT, a major Japanese telecommunications company, emphasizing its presence in the domestic market.

The company offers a 500MB/day plan for 2.5 U.S. dollars (about 400 yen), perfect for those who prefer day-to-day usage. Please note that as of June 2024, Ubigi does not have any one or two weeks plan.

    Ubigi
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • NTT
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • The company offers various plans, such as Asia, USA+Japan, and World

↑ Return to Table of Contents

10. Holafly

eSIM, japan

Picture courtesy of Holafly

Holafly, a Spain-based company founded in 2017, has turned into a worldwide supplier of eSIM services.

The company offers unlimited data plans so users can choose the length of time, such as unlimited data for four days. Please note that it will be slightly more expensive than a similar Sakura Mobile plan.

    Holafly
  • Tethering
  • Attainable (up to 500MB per day)
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • au
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

↑ Return to Table of Contents

11. Airalo

airalo

Picture courtesy of Airalo official website

Airalo, based in Singapore, is the first company in the world to sell eSIM. As of July 2024, their users have grown to over 10 million, spreading out all over the globe.

In Japan, they offer plans such as seven days/1GB for 4.5 U.S. dollars (about 708 yen) or 30 days/3GB for 8.5 U.S. dollars (about 1,338 yen). While there are no unlimited data options, users who do not need much data can choose from a wide variety of plans.

Airalo also puts effort into charity work, sending funds to developing countries.

    Airalo
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Available only on a global eSIM
  • Line Providers
  • NTT/Softbank
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • The company offers both regional and global plans

↑ Return to Table of Contents

12. Klook eSIM

eSIM, japan

Picture courtesy of Klook

Klook is a booking website for various activities that handle eSIMs provided by Softbank. The plans, such as five days (500MB/day) for 1,471 yen and up, are affordable.

For our readers who are already familiar with Klook, there should be no trouble making a purchase.

    Klook (Softbank)
  • Tethering
  • Attainable
  • Voice SIM
  • Not available
  • Line Provider
  • Softbank
  • Usage Outside Japan
  • Not available

Check the eSIMs at Klook

↑ Return to Table of Contents

Using a Portable Wi-Fi Router and eSIM

eSIM, japan

Photo by Pixta

For those traveling alone or in a small group, an eSIM will come in handy.

Alternatively, PC users or those traveling in a large group should also consider renting a portable Wi-Fi router.

Since the smartphone battery will run out of power quickly in case of eSIM-tethering, a portable router can be an ideal backup.

A router can handle a large amount of data to assist multiple PCs and smartphones.

Ninja WiFi is our recommendation. It handles 3GB/day, costing 770 yen/day. There will be a 20% discount by applying via MATCHA. Those using the discount will pay 3,080 yen for five days, which is comparable to a SIM card.

20% Discount on Ninja WiFi

↑ Return to Table Contents

FAQs

Which is the best eSIM to use in Japan?

While there are many eSIM providers, Japan-based companies, such as Mobal and World eSIM, offer a wide variety of plans fit for travelers in Japan.

Is it easy to use an eSIM?

While eSIMs can be used in most smartphones, there are some old models that are not compatible. eSIM-compatible models are listed on the providers' sites, so check them out before purchasing.

Is it possible to send a text using an eSIM in Japan?

Voice eSIM, which allows sending texts or making phone calls, was not available in Japan. As of June 2024, providers like Mobal and Sakura Mobile have a Voice eSIM service.

Is it possible to obtain a Japanese phone number with an eSIM?

Some providers, such as Mobal and Sakura Mobile, currently offer Voice eSIMs with a phone number (070-, 080-, or 090- prefixes) attached.

Which is better to use in Japan, an eSIM or a portable Wi-Fi router?

While eSIM is easy to purchase and use, the smartphone battery will run out of power quickly during tethering. Choose a router if you use a PC and smartphone or travel in a large group and want to share internet access.

Look for the Optimum Plan

Since each company continues to provide unique eSIM plans, use this article as a guide and look for a plan that best suits you.

Main image by Pixta

Written by

Avatar

Mizzochi

Mitoyo, Kagawa, Japan

I worked in a PR agency for corporate IR/CSR and a publisher which publishes a magazine focused on international cooperation before joining MATCHA in October 2017. 
In April 2019, I moved to Mitoyo City in Kagawa Prefecture. I write articles for tourists visiting Japan, and also contribute to regional revitalization.
My main focus is on writing about internet services, rental cars, hotels, and tourist attractions in western Japan.
The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

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