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How to get a phone plan in Japan: Gaijin/Expat

Hi guys,

I can not believe I have been in Asia for over a year. Life has taken an entirely new course than what I planned. From single life in Korea to married life in Japan. I can barley keep up with my own self.

After being in Japan since September, I finally decided to get a phone plan. First, let me explain what took me so long.

Well, Japan has a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to their phone companies. They are: Docomo, Softbank, and AU. There may be some smaller phone companies too, but there are the prominent cell phone companies.

#1. Foreigners can not get a bank account, other than Japan Post unless they have been in Japan for more than six months.

Thus, I had to get what they call cash card with Japan post. It was relatively easy with my Japanese coworker, but the cash card is limited to direct deposit and withdrawal. I am unable to do debit transactions with this card, nor can I transfer money through my account via the card.

#2. Phone companies that are officially Japanese require you to have a credit card on file. There are plenty of Japanese phone companies, but I felt they were all overpriced and I did not want to leave my credit card on file. I did not want to be locked into a contract especially one in another language.

#3. They require Alien Registration Card (Japan ID)

Therefore, my husband would have been unable to get one as he is here on a different type of visa than I am.

#4. Everything is in Japanese including the salesmen.

I do not know a lick of Japanese. I did not want to deal with trying to communicate bill pay, missing the bills, or going over my data. It would be very difficult to communicate with the staff as well as understand the websites.

#5. Travel SIM card is just for travelers.

With that being said, the Japan phone companies who sell SIM cards asked for my passport. (Residents, get a stamp in their card with they arrive and when it is time to depart). Since I am a resident I did not qualify for a traveler's SIM card. Nor did my husband because of his visa type. So I could not just get a pay as you go SIM card and reload it as I pleased.

That is how I found JP sim.

#1. The website in in English as well as many other languages.

#2. They do not require anything but a passport and proof of address.

For me that was my ARC and my husband provided his passport and a picture of mail.

My husband and I both were able to get a SIM card.

#3. They speak English and reply promptly via, Facebook and email.

We had a mix up with my husbands address and they quickly fixed the matter and the next morning he had his sim

#4. We can easily pay at Lawson or Family Mart

After you are approved JP Sim provides a 13 digit number on the website that you pay using the kiosk at the convince store. The kiosk prints a receipt and you pay the store cashier. It is easy to use even in Japanese and the staff there will help. After that they send a card with a barcode that you can scan for future payments.

#5 There are no hidden fees and I can easily track my usage through iPhone cell usage.

There is a $30 first time fee for processing. After than your bill with be based on the plan you purchased. Based on the plan you pick your monthly bill can range from $25-$75 yen.

Check the link to see how I purchased my sim and the websites function.

Anyways I have no regrets, I love having a data plan and with a phone number.

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