Tokyo - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

Cell phone service is way overpriced in Japan! And be careful, there are all sorts of things that feel like scams. For example, if you get a two year contract (we did this through the base) they automatically renew it at the end of the two years for another two years. We found this out when we had to "break" our contract when we left. Additionally, if you're not careful they will lock your cell phone. There is a law that passed that made this illegal., but they have all sorts of fine print My cell phone died, I bought a new one at the Apple store and switched out the SIM. Only when I left did I find out they had locked the new one! I spent days on the phone with them to no avail. In short: be careful and make sure you read the fine print if you get a local contract. - Nov 2020

Bring an unlocked phone from home and buy a Sim card here; it’s a cheaper & better option than getting locked into a contract with a big provider like SoftBank . - Mar 2019

Softbank is easy to get a personal phone. It's about $100 per month. - Jun 2018

Lots of cell phone options. Best to bring an unlocked phone, or buy a second hand one here, and either get a contract or month-to-month service. It can be tricky to get approved before you have your ID, diplomatic or otherwise. Non-Japanese credit cards are sometimes not accepted. My husband actually got a refillable data-only sim at the airport. He has used it for 2 years and it works perfectly. We use Messenger for voice calls between us, and it costs him less than US$30 per month. - Mar 2018

Most use SoftBank here. - Mar 2017

You will need to acquire a phone locally, which is a process and will take a few days at least. Most people go through Softbank, and you can set it up at the military base. - Feb 2014

Not really. Go get one and pay for one. - Apr 2013

The embassy will provide you one. - Oct 2008

Most people get them locally. - Jan 2008

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