I have to say that I would not be able to last for a week without internet access. As a student and a traveler, I find internet extremely important. A smartphone with internet access equal having your own translator, navigator, weather forecaster and so on. Especially in Japan, where English is not commonly used, and buying a sims card to call others are not possible, internet plays a very important role.
For short-term tourists, the most economical way is either to buy a data sims card or rent a wifi router. If you are travelling in group and often need to separate, getting each one a sims would be recommended. That case you will have access to the internet and can contact each other no matter where you go. A wifi router may allow faster internet but you will have to stick together in order to use it. However, wifi router is more convenient if you had many devices that need internet connection. You can always use personal hotspot on your phone but it would drain your battery in no time. A data sims card can be used up to 30 days.
Nowadays, it is quite simple to buy data sims/ rent router at the airport or our information center. Please note that you need an unlock phone in order to use the data sims and it is not possible to make phone call. If you need to make phone call, try to rent a normal sims card or a phone at the airport.
For visitors who will stay in Japan for from medium to long term, but do not want to or cannot buy a phone that are not compatible elsewhere, look for sims card sold in large electronics retails. These sims allow you to make phone calls and send text message, plus internet access. Just be aware that some might not have credits for calls/ texts included so you will have to pay extra for those services. Some sims do not allow you to receive calls and texts from oversea number as well. Although there are certain limitations, they are fairly cheaper than signing contract for a new phone and also provide you with a mobile number.
Please visit any of our tourist information center if you would like more information. We also have wifi router for rent and data sims card for sale in stores with the best price!
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