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.
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