Friday, April 8, 2016

Getting a local SIM card

Never thought that it would be that difficult to get a proper SIM card with voice call and data in Japan. Totally my fault on this part as I did not survey properly. Before going to Japan, I thought that the prepaid SIM cards that I had surveyed all offered voice call function and that they could be easily paid by cash. But no, they were data only. And those that did come with a voice call function, could not be bought with just cash.

After days of trying to look for a prepaid voice call function SIM to no avail, S brought me to the Rakuten mobile shop in Ginza to check out the requirements of applying for a SIM card for my phone. Apparently, I would require a working japanese credit card and my current Japanese address to be registered before I could get one. 

Since I didn't have a Japanese credit card, I couldn't get one. Plus I haven't registered my address then. But that's also when I found out that it is common for the companies to request for a japanese credit card.

During the weekend, I went to Big Camera at Shibuya and found some prepaid data SIM but none with a working phone number, so nope...not getting that again. It was also the same for many different companies.

When I thought that I will just have to wait a month or 2 to get a proper working number and to get just a data SIM for now, S volunteered to sign one for me! I couldn't be happier and thank him enough!!!!  Of course, I will be paying him back every month. 

On that day, we were super productive. We got my bank account settled, SIM card, applied for credit card, settled the water and electricity for my place. Plus, we got the gas company guy to come over to set up the gas. Later in the evening, we even got all the major electronics for my place!!! :D

Among all the phone plans that I have surveyed, I'm actually most tempted to get the AEON SIM card due to it's cheap price and large data. While they go up to 50GB, I want to get their 12GB one. But unfortunately, I can't get my SIM card on the spot, so we opted for IIJmio instead with 10GB data for 3260 yen per month. That's quite a competitive price to pay as more and more companies are coming out with plans like this.

Other than the cheap price, many companies also offer plans that allows you to carry forward and unused data to the next month. So no wastage~

As I was desperate for a SIM card, I couldn't be happier that I could get one immediately on the spot! I paid 3240yen for the package and will have to pay separately every month for the card.

So after 2 weeks of not having data and a working SIM with me, I had forgotten how convenient it was to have data 24/7! Not something to be taken granted for again! No data means that I couldn't use google map or check for trains/ buses nearby! Plus that meant that I had no means of communication with other people once I'm out of the apartment.

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