Random – Cellphones Jap.

Due to the recent hype of smartphones/iphones etc. there has been a change to japanese cells too. In Tokyo the “Plans” you can buy are quite expensive compared to germany. Anyway there is a way to keep using your europe smartphone (if not sim-locked)


  • Contracts are for long-term residents 2years+ (working holiday is 1 year only)→ 2015 update: there is a new “plan” for less than 3000 yen
  • For 1-year stays you have the prepaid option where they try to sell you a phone you actually don’t need. [Simply lie and say you have already a japanese cellphone borrowed from a friend]
  • The softbank SIM I use for my Samsung Galaxy Note 1 and it works fine.
  • Then you have 2 options:
    – a data plan, which doesn’t give you a japanese cellphone No.
    – a prepaid plan, which gives you messages and phone but no wifi
  • The “cheapest” solution for 1-year stays is Plan 3000
    – charge 3000 yen every 2. months (if you dont use it it will be lost money though)
    →  you can charge at any conbini (7/11 for example)
    – plus a “sms plan” 300 yen/month (you can send and recieve as many as you want)    → you do get an “email” address where your friends can send messages to your cellphone!!
    – calling someone is expensive as hell (6 sec/9yen) 3000 would roughly last for 20min
    but don’t worry your jap. friends have normal plans and can call you back anytime.
  • And with the above cheating-option you can “pre-write” MSG on your ‘smarty’ while riding the subway and send them with one of the free Wi-Fi stations ( all you need to do is register an email) – e.g. Starbucks Wifi  or  7/11 Wifi

RESULT:  1 year, 18000 yen (about 150€)  OR “nothing” (in case you are not in urge to call people and simply need a phonenumber to be reach-able)  – you keep using your smartphone and are able to recieve emails from your foreign friends, sms/emails/calls from japanese friends. While free Wi-Fi access is everywhere for Line/Ktalk etc.

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