How to Get a Japanese Phone Number
If you’re planning to stay in Japan for an extended period, it’s essential to have a Japanese phone number. Having a local phone number makes it easier to communicate with locals, access the internet, and use various services that require a Japanese phone number. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get a Japanese phone number.
1. Choose a Mobile Carrier
The first step to getting a Japanese phone number is to choose a mobile carrier. Japan has three main mobile carriers: NTT Docomo, SoftBank, and au by KDDI. Each carrier offers different plans and services, so it’s essential to research and compare them before making a decision.
NTT Docomo is the largest carrier in Japan, with the most extensive coverage and the fastest internet speeds. SoftBank is known for its competitive pricing and international roaming plans, while au by KDDI is popular for its customer service and loyalty programs.
Once you’ve chosen a carrier, you can visit their website or a physical store to sign up for a plan. You’ll need to provide your passport and visa information, as well as proof of address in Japan.
2. Choose a Plan
After choosing a carrier, the next step is to select a plan that suits your needs. Most carriers offer various plans with different data allowances, call minutes, and messaging options.
If you’re only staying in Japan for a short period, you may want to consider a prepaid plan. Prepaid plans allow you to pay for usage in advance without signing a long-term contract. However, prepaid plans tend to be more expensive than postpaid plans.
If you’re staying in Japan for an extended period, a postpaid plan may be more cost-effective. Postpaid plans require you to sign a contract for a specific period, usually one or two years. These plans offer lower rates and more significant data allowances than prepaid plans.
3. Purchase a Phone
After choosing a plan, you’ll need to purchase a phone that is compatible with the carrier’s network. Most carriers offer a range of smartphones from popular brands such as Apple, Samsung, and Sony.
If you already have an unlocked phone that is compatible with the carrier’s network, you can bring it to the store and purchase a SIM card. A SIM card is a small chip that allows your phone to connect to the carrier’s network.
If you don’t have a phone or want to upgrade, you can purchase a phone from the carrier or a third-party retailer. Most carriers offer installment plans that allow you to pay for the phone in monthly installments.
4. Activate Your Phone Number
Once you’ve purchased a phone and selected a plan, the final step is to activate your phone number. The carrier will provide you with a SIM card and activate your phone number on their network.
You’ll need to set up your phone by following the instructions provided by the carrier. This may include downloading the carrier’s app, setting up voicemail, and configuring your phone’s settings.
After activating your phone number, you can start using your Japanese phone number to make calls, send messages, and access the internet.
Getting a Japanese phone number is essential if you’re planning to stay in Japan for an extended period. By following these steps, you can choose a mobile carrier, select a plan, purchase a phone, and activate your phone number. Having a Japanese phone number will make it easier to communicate with locals, access the internet, and use various services that require a Japanese phone number.