Mar 5, 2016

Data sim card vending machines in Narita Airport

I onced blogged & vlogged about acquiring a Data sim card in Japan via pre-order. It’s been 2 years since that blog and Japan have finally opened up it’s telecommunication options for tourist, perhaps in a bid to win back it’s dwindling tourism. None the less, the new sim card purchasing option is far easier and cheaper. I blogged about a similar data sim card for purchase in Kansai previously, click here to check it out.

LIke the new Data sim card option in Kansai, Data sim card vending machines are available in Tokyo. I’ve been able to acquire them in both Narita Airport Terminal 1 and 2 last year without fail. When I was there, I found 2 different vending machines carrying a different brand of Data sim card.

IMAG1409Narita Airport , Terminal 1

Narita Airport , Terminal 2


Which brand is better?

Out of the 2 machine, I found UMobile’s prepaid cards to be cheaper, with the same promised speed and bigger data allocation per day. The biggest difference would be that NTT Communication Group’s Data Sim Vending machine accepts credit card while UMobile only accepts cash. However the price difference and bigger data allocation really makes this choice a no-brainer.

UMobile official website: 

Plans available ? How much do they cost?

In the airport, the prepaid sim cards bought from the vending machines are slightly more expensive and with only 2 options.

Service period 7 days 15 days
Price 2000 3500
Data amount 200mb/day 200mb/day
Data Speed 4G LTE/3G 4G LTE/3G
SIM Card size Normal , Micro & Nano Normal , Micro & Nano

However, if you buy the product elsewhere, the price plan is as below.


How to use?

Simply insert the sim card into your phone and configure the APN settings. No prior activation is required.
A simple but comprehensive step-by-step instruction is enclosed in the packaging and comes in 6 different languages (English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Tagalog & Thai)


Below is the configuration instructions in English.


Where to buy in Narita Airport?

  • Narita Airport Terminal 2 Arrival Lobby :
    * View interactive map *

    data sim_termiinal2

  • Narita Airport Terminal 3 (Doorway of Second Floor at the Main Building)
※The package which is sold at U-mobile vending machine is a special package just for vending machines .The price is different from U-mobile original package

Where else can I buy?

Other than buying from the vending machines in the airport, you can also purchase the prepaid cards at U-Nex stores. I tried to google where the Narita Airport SKy counter is but to no avail.
  • GLOBAL WiFi Haneda Airport shop
  • GLOBAL WiFi Fukuoka Airport shop
  • Tokyo Tower The Tower Shop(FootTown,3F)
  • Hato Bus Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal
  • Hato Bus Hamamatsucho Center
  • GLOBAL WiFi Kansai International Airport shop
  • Tokyo Tower Goods Shop(Main Observatory,2F)
  • Narita Airport Sky Counter
  • Hotel New Otani Tokyo Business Support Center
  • Hotel Monterey Kyoto



Any fine print? FAQ?

For the detailed list of precautions and FAQ, check out U-NEX’s official website. The website is written in english, simplified chinese and japanese.



Is the product good?

I purchased the 15 days prepaid micro sim card for my Autumn and Winter trip to Japan last year. I travelled from Tokyo to various places such as Kanazawa, Shirakawago, Takayama, Matsumoto, Nagano, Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. For both my trips, the product function extremely well without any observation of significant lag or other connection issues. Unlike B-mobile, this prepaid card does not require any phone activation and can be used immediately as it is. I even made a video call via my old HTC phone with Facebook messenger to my family in Singapore. The video quality was as good as it could get on my crappy phone and seamless! 

The following day of the first connection will be the first day of the 7, 15 or 30 days usage period. That means if you’re in Japan for 16 days, you won’t need to worry that you’ll be without data on the last day!

I have always preferred using a Data sim card as opposed to renting a mobile wifi modem. Not only is it more mobile, it also minimises the need to carry around another device in my already very heavy day bag. Not to mention all the hassle of charging and returning the mobile wifi when you’re done. The only advantage of a mobile wifi is when a big group of people travel together and everyone can use the same modem. However what that meant is everyone must also stick together, because once you get separated, you would have no ways of communicating. 
I hope this entry has been useful to someone! Remember to leave a comment and tell me what you think or what you’d like me to blog about next. Please also subscribe to me on Youtube and follow me on facebook!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering about the 'rental' process of SIM cards. We don't rent them here in Canada. Does the u-mobile SIM card package include an envelope and the mailing address for returning the SIM card, or did you returning it at the office in Tokyo as mentioned on their website?

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

I didn't return :x. Don't tell anyone ;x

Anonymous said...

Cool! I'm glad to know it worked well! We're planning to get one for our trip this week. I found the U-mobile website but I don't think I saw the vending machine map on their site. Really glad I found your post! :)

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