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I will be in Osaka Japan from the UK, from late March through to mid-April and my mobile plan is extremely expensive in Japan for roaming.

Can someone suggest the best option? I have had a look around and can see there are options for buying/ renting a portable WiFi hotspot. I am looking for 5GB + of data and as fast of a speed as possible. I am also open to putting a different SIM in my phone if possible.

Which is the best option in 2020 & where can I get them from, please?

  • Best how so, cheapest/most reliable/easiest to obtain etc? – Uciebila Feb 18 at 16:39
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As always, the prepaid sim wiki is your friend. Due to legalities it is hard to impossible to buy a voice SIM, but you can get data SIMs.

The option to rent a SIM or mobile WiFi router has already been mentioned; a lot of Airbnb places also used to provide mobile routers.

Of you come through Hong Kong you can buy up a „Japan“ SIM by China Unicom in shops at HK airport.

There are also several „global“ SIM operators if you travel a lot - a few of which offer eSIMs for new iPhones and the like.

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  • Thank you very much! I hadn't heard of the prepaid sim wiki or come across it so far, but i have found Smash Mobile from here and will order their unlimited data sim which isn't too much in price (5500 JPY). – LeBron James Feb 20 at 11:49
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This website (no affiliation) provides an option for portable WiFi, it can be delivered to the airport. 14 days costs $70 with unlimited access. There are other options as well but this is one of the cheapest ones I found.

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Personal experience: there are multiple websites which offer renting of portable wifi router. Most of them offer an easy pickup at the major airports (for example this one). At the end of your holiday you just give it back using a mail box with the provided envelop.

But the problem I experienced is that it's easy to manage if you are max 2 people. But more than 2 it gets difficult since in crowded places people can start to walk away, maybe get lost (it happened twice to me) and so they are out of connection. The problem could be even worse if, like in my case, your local SIM will be completely offline in Japan.

So my advice is to buy a local SIM, which has a reasonable traffic limit at a much lower price than the router. They are sold everywhere, also at the airport. Of course each person has to buy one, but I think it's much easier to handle. And in an expensive trip such as one in Japan, I don't think 50 euros (or dollars) more for a SIM card will change your life.

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  • A SIM card cost 50 dollars in Japan? That's extremly expensive – Clovis Feb 18 at 22:07
  • no, there are different costs based on plans and SIM, it was just to give an idea – Val Feb 19 at 7:38
  • If you have an e-SIM compatible phone, you may also use a service which provides eSIMs directly to your phone. – Paddez Feb 19 at 8:27
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My last trip to Japan, I bought a 3GB travel SIM from Yodobashi Camera for around 3000 yen. There was a cheaper option for 3GB as well but I had a reason for the more expensive one (I forgot what it was though). I don't remember if they go all the way up to 5GB, you might need a PocketWifi for that, but my recommendation is whatever you do don't get it at the airport because you'll probably pay through the nose.

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