Phone Usage in Japan

Phone access is an important matter when you’re studying abroad.

This was one of the biggest concerns I had before arriving in Japan.

My dorm mates who were also studying abroad in Japan informed me of a cheap and easy way to obtain phone and internet access in Japan.


I recommend you to get the SIM card from BIC CAMERA.

Bic Camera has a SIMS counter where the staff will help you choose the best plan for your stay.

You can get the sim card at any BIC CAMERA with SIM counter.

They have English speaking staff, so you don’t have to worry about communication.

The location closest to Keio University is BIC CAMERA Yurakucho store.

It is only 3 stations away from Tamachi station (closest station to Keio University) by JR Yamanote-sen.


BIC CAMERA has 2 sim card options that foreign students can sign the contract with an American credit card.

The SIM card I recommend you to get is the blue sim shown in the picture.

All my foreigner friends are using this SIM card, and they are satisfied with the product.

With this SIM card, price depends on the amount of data you plan to use.


The package price this SIM card is 2,990 yen.

They have multiple options for data usage:

  • 1,600 yen/110MB per day
  • 2,080 yen/170MB per day
  • 1,800 yen/3GB
  • 2,200 yen/5GB
  • 3,000 yen/10GB
  • 2,500 yen/15GB (500kbps)

The cost for phone calls is 10 yen/30 seconds.


Pros of Blue SIM:

  • Cheap compared to contracting with Japanese phone carriers
    • Typically costs about 8,000 yen and up for the same operation
  • Don’t have to pay the cancelation fee of 8,000 yen after 6 months of continued usage
  • Can pay with American credit card


There is a different BIC SIM card (Red one shown in the picture), but I don’t recommend this SIM because if you don’t continuously use this for 1 year, you are obligated to pay cancelation fee. Amount of cancelation fee depends on how long you use this sim card for.


Little Tip:

My dorm mate raised an interesting point about cancelation fee.   If your study abroad period is 1 semester, you may only need to use the sim card for only 5 months. In this case, instead of canceling the contract at 5 months, it is cheaper to pay the fee for 6th month and then cancel the contract because plan fee is cheaper than 8,000 yen.


Your options broaden if you have Japanese credit card.



  • Legal Age in Japan is 20
    • Can’t sign contract if you’re under 20
    • I went to the store just to find out that I cannot sign for myself
    • The parent or guardian need to have the same last name as you for people under 20 to sign the contract
  • Can only get sim card at BIC CAMERA that has the SIM counter
    • Or you can order online




Keio University has many club or circles.

Categories include:


  • Tennis
  • Boat, Sailing, Swimming
  • Soccer, Footsal
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Dancing
  • Japanese Traditional Martial Arts
  • Mountain climbing, Stroll
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Other Sports



  • Computer, Robot
  • Music
  • Academic
  • Japanese Culture
  • Play, Comedy, Musical
  • Manga, Animation
  • Volunteering
  • International
  • Others


Clubs that interested me are

Keio K. Premium Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

These clubs interested me because I played flute in band in Hawaii. Unfortunately, music groups are hard to join midway. I emailed the contact person and am waiting on a reply from them.


There are a few unusual circles that caught my eyes.

One is the Disney Dokokai. In this circle, they go to Disney resort parks, watch Disney movie, and talk all things about Disney with other members of the circle. I love Disney movies which is why this circle caught my eyes.

Another interesting circle I found in the booklet is the “hide and seek circle.” From what I read in the description, they meet once a week at Hiyoshi campus and pay a serious game of hide and seek with other member of the circle on campus.


Circles or clubs is highlight of Japanese college life, so if you are studying abroad in Japanese University, I strongly recommend you to join one!

Course Registration

This past week was our first week of school.

I went to the classes that interested me to see how the material are. When you’re studying abroad at Keio University, you can spend first week of school visiting the classes and decide if the class is for you or not.

I went to the following 9 courses on the first week:

1.Introduction to Finance

I could not understand a single word the professor was saying. I could survive the first day because I already learned the material in high school, but if we start to get into the topics which I have not learned before, I knew I would suffer, so I decided to not take this course.

  1. International Accounting

I have always been interested in International Accounting, but I could not grasp the way my professor explained the material so I decided not to take this course.

  1. Japanese Corporations in the Global Economy

This class sounded interesting, but the only problem it had was that it is on the last (6th) period of the day.  The class is from 6:10-7:40 and sometimes even longer. I don’t think I can survive that every Monday so I decided not to take this course.

  1. Research on Marketing

I was in this class with my friend from UH Manoah. The professor’s Professor’s English was a little hard to understand, but tolerable.  The professor was a funny man and I thought this class would be a fun class to take, so I decided to enroll in this course.

  1. Corporate Finance in Japan

This class was a small class. The lecturer was funny and easy to understand so I will be taking this course.

  1. Food and Foodways in Japan

This class was an interesting class.  I really liked the lecture from beginning of class until the end. Although credits for this class will not transfer back to UH, this is a 100% recommended class. I think I will be hungry every time I go to this class. This is a relatively new course I don’t know what to expect this semester.

  1. Introduction to Management Strategy

The professor for this class ha a heavy accent in his English, but the class itself was easy to understand and interesting.  So I will be enrolled in this class.

  1. Japanese Literature

I love reading stories which is why I decided to take a look at this course.  I found the lecture entertaining and have decided to take this course.

  1. Case Analysis on Management and Strategy of Japanese Corporations.

Out of all the courses I went to check out, this class had the most number of Japanese students. All the Japanese students in this class was in the professor’s seminar class. The professor was entertaining and the Japanese students were kind. I love the atmosphere in this class, so I will be enrolled in this class.


To sum it up, I will be taking the following 7 courses:

  1. Consumer Behavior and Marketing
  2. Research on Marketing
  3. Corporate Finance in Japan
  4. Food and Foodways in Japan
  5. Introduction to Management Strategy
  6. Japanese Literature
  7. Case Analysis on Management and Strategy of Japanese Corporations


Because there weren’t that many classes that interest me, I decided the take the minimum (7) number of courses you can take at Keio for the fall semester. I do not have classes on Thursdays and Fridays s I hope I get to travel, work part time, and explore the country. Spring semester seems to have more interesting classes, so I plan on taking more classes in the spring.


Starting New Life in Tokyo

Long time no see!

I have a few things to update on my study abroad experience to Japan.

I arrived in Japan on August 27th and stayed at my relative’s house until the dorm move in day, which is today.

There are few process you have to take before arriving in Japan. The most important is to apply for student visa. When you receive packet of forms from Keio, it will  contain certificate of eligibility for student visa. After you complete  this form,  you will sent it to Keio University with the rest of your  application forms. Keio will then process the certificate of eligibility and sent it back to you in late July.

After you receive your certificate of eligibility, you will when go to your local  Japanese embassy to apply for your  student visa.

When you successfully receive your student visa,  you  are ready to fly to Japan!


When you arrive at  the airport in Japan,  they will make  your residence card.  It takes a while  to make  the residence card so be prepared  to  be the last person to pass through the gate.

If you want to do part time job in Japan, you have to fill  out the form that Keio will send you with the rest of your packet. When you turn in your form, they will stamp your residence card showing that you are allowed to take part time jobs in Japan.  Keio does not recommend international students to take on a part time job, but I personally think it is a good experience for exchange students, as long as it does not interfere with your studies.


I will update on my dorm room and what I’ve been doing since I arrived in Japan once I settle in.

See you again!(:

Greetings, Everyone!


Hello Everyone! below is a little information  about myself.

Name: Sarah Park

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

Nationality: USA

Ethnicity: Japanese & Korean

Class Standing: Sophomore

Major: General Business (DAP)

Home Institution: University of Hawaii at Manoa,SShidler College of Business

Institution I Will Be Studying At: Keio University, Fall 2016 & Spring 2017


My name is Sarah, and I have been granted an opportunity to studying abroad in Japan for the academic year 2016-2017. I chose to go to Japan because I have lived there before and it has always been my dream to go back to Japan for studying purposes. I would like to focus my business studies in the international business field, especially with Japanese businesses and the international exchange will definitely be a significant stepping stone for my educational goal towards completing the international business studies at UH Manoa. From this study abroad experience, I hope to gain broader perspective in the  field of international business and cultures in Japan as I interact with the local people in Japan.

Also, I hope to gain some independence while I am in Japan. I will be living in a dorm, where I am expected to take care of myself. It will be a new experience for me because right now, I live at home where parents are there to take care of me. I hope to gain some life skills  I need through this study abroad experience.


Lastly,  I would like  to thank Mr. William  Johnson for this very generous gift. I am humbled to be selected as a recipient of this scholarship. This study abroad experience will broaden my view towards the international business and international culture, and this experience would not have been possible with out this generous gift. I would also like to to thank Rikki Mitsunaga for guiding me through the process of this international exchange experience.