Yes, you'll be able to use your mobile/cellphone throughout most of Japan, though remote and isolated areas may have inferior mobile coverage. If you wish to stay connected for the majority of your trip, consider purchasing a prepaid SIM card for the duration of your journey. You could also activate global roaming when you're in Japan; just be sure to find out how much this may cost with your service provider, as it can be expensive.
Buying a SIM card in Japan
To avoid roaming charges, it is possible to buy a local prepaid SIM card in Japan or order one in advance to pick up when you arrive. Local SIM cards can be used on most unlocked phones from Europe, Asia and Australia, and on some unlocked phones from North America. The vast majority of prepaid SIM cards in Japan provide data only, meaning you can't make or receive calls or texts while using them.
You can buy prepaid SIM cards on arrival in Kansai, Narita and Haneda airports. You can also pick them up at Bic Camera, an electronics chain which is located in all major cities. There's a lot of variation in price depending on how much data you plan to use per day and how long you need the SIM to be active for. A general rule is to budget $2USD a day for each day you plan to travel.
Mobile phone etiquette in Japan
While you'll be able to use your phone pretty much everywhere in Japan, that doesn't mean you should! If you want to be a responsible traveler, keep in mind the following guidelines for mobile phones:
- Turn your mobile phone to silent mode when you're in public places, particularly on trains!
- Try not to answer calls on public transport, in restaurants or in bars.
- If you must answer your phone in public, keep your voice quiet and cover your mouth with your hand while speaking.
Is tipping customary in Japan?
Our tours in Japan
Discover Japanese culture on this 13-day tour. Travel with a local from Tokyo to Kyoto...
Take Tokyo shopping, add Kanazawa samurais, Hiroshima history, Kyoto temples, Osaka...
Journey from Kyoto to Tokyo with Intrepid and explore temples, post towns and lush...
Uncover the wonders of Japan on this immersive 12-day Premium tour; encompassing Tokyo,...
See Japan in nine days on a trip visiting Tokyo, Nikko and Kyoto. Say konnichiwa to...
Travel from Tokyo to Takayama, Kanazawa, Osaka, Koya-san and Kyoto in 12 days on a food...
Get a cultural workout on a 12-day Japan active adventure. Hike the Nakasendo Way and...
See the best of Japan on this eight-day adventure from Tokyo via Kamakura to Osaka....
Get off the tourist track in Japan and discover a beautiful region south-west of Osaka.
Make the most of Japan on a 24-day adventure from Tokyo to Osaka via art, culture and...
Experience the best of this fascinating country on a comprehensive cycling tour of...
Discover Japan on this 12-day family tour. Sample fresh sushi in Tokyo, soak in onsen...
Get a cultural workout on an eight-day small group trek on the Koya-san and Kumano Kodo...