Wondering where to buy a SIM card in Tokyo? It’s quite straightforward – you can buy a data-only SIM card or micro-SIM just a short walk away from Tokyo Station.
TOKYO Ginza Night © ivva
In an earlier post, I wrote about B-Mobile SIM cards, which are the perfect SIM or micro-SIM cards for those who are happy with data-only service for their smartphones or tablets while travelling in Japan. As noted in that post, in order to use these SIMs, you must have an unlocked device and be able to configure the device to use the SIM. While the B-Mobile SIMs are data-only SIMs, you can use them to make Skype calls, so you can use your device like a phone if you wish.
So, if you’re first stop in Japan is Tokyo, it makes sense to buy one as soon as you arrive. A good place to do so is BIC Camera in Yurakucho (although you’ll also find braches of BIC Camera in places like Shinjuku and further afield in Osaka and Kyoto).
Here’s how to get to the BIC Camera in Yurakucho:
By JR Trains (JR Yamanote Loop Line):
If you’re taking JR (which probably means the JR Yamanote Loop Line from Tokyo Station), get off at Yurakucho Station and exit the station via the exit Kokusai Forum Exit, and you will see the Yurakucho BIC Camera right in front of you. Walk all the way around to the opposite side of the building until you get to the store’s Marunouchi Entrance. You’ll find all the SIM cards here, right by this entrance.
By Tokyo Subway:
If you’re coming by subway (most likely the Yurakucho Line), get off at Yurakucho Station. Exit the subway station via exit D4, which connects you directly to the BIC Camera. Once you go inside, go to the ground floor and find the Marunouchi Entrance, near which you will find all the SIM cards.
Note that these SIMs require a call from a Japanese cellphone call to activate them. When I was there recently, the gentleman I spoke to said that the staff are happy to make that call for you with a store phone to activate the SIM.
Once the card is activated, you’re good to go.
An Alternative Way To Get A Japanese SIM Card
If you don’t want to be bothered with buying a SIM card after arriving in Japan, you can order a B-Mobile Visitor SIM in advance and have it delivered to your arrival airport or your first night’s lodgings. And, best of all, these Visitor SIMs do not require a call to activate. See my post here on the B-Mobile Visitor SIM.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world