Narita airport to get SIM card vending machines


Staff Writer

Japan’s main gateway, Narita International Airport, is set to get SIM card vending machines targeting an increasing number of inbound tourists starting next Friday, NTT Communications Corp. said.

The cards, aptly named Prepaid SIM for Japan, can be purchased along with smartphones, mobile routers and smartphone accessories at the vending machines, the Tokyo-based telecommunications firm said.

The airport will have two such machines, for Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, with only credit cards accepted for added ease.

NTT Communications said the SIM cards are priced at ¥3,450 for one week and ¥4,950 for two weeks. Both types offer a maximum download speed of 150 megabits per second and 50 Mbps as an upload speed. If the data amount exceeds 100 MB a day, the network speed will slow down.

Buying a smartphone and SIM card together will cost about ¥13,000.

NTT Communications said users will need to register their information in order to activate the service. However, it can be done by scanning their passport information at the vending machine.

The firm has already set up vending machines, which have English and Chinese guides, at Kansai International Airport and in Tokyo’s Odaiba district.

While mobile service providers also sell prepaid SIM cards at Narita airport, this is the first time they are being sold in vending machines.

  • Nice, but apparently only good for data. When is Japan going to join the 21st century and offer SIM for voice as well?

    • I just used the same service a few days ago at the Narita airport. I think the data plan is acceptable for visitors. It works well with apps that lists updates daily and Google maps works well if you’re figuring out what station line you’re on. The pamphlet says it’s good to watch 50mins. of video, but if you’re on the move in the city and through the stations I’m not sure what videos any could be watching…
      The only concerning issue anyone would have is having a portable charger for your phone — and a paperclip, as in my case.

      • Glad to hear it works. Yes, for most short term visitors a data plan can be useful and they should be able to use other apps for phone calls (Skype, LINE, etc.). Forgotten chargers can usually be purchased or if you’re in a hotel check and see if they have one at the front desk – they sometimes have lost / forgotten chargers that guests can borrow. Yep, gotta have that paperclip to get the old SIM out. BTW, in most of the subway stations in Tokyo free Wifi is available; and one can register beforehand (when online) for a free Starbucks Wifi account – save those SIM cards for when free Wifi is not available.

    • LlamaOfDoom

      They do… kinda. I got a SoftBank prepaid smartphone with just my passport two months ago. It was pricey (20000 yen with 10000 yen credit and if you don’t buy one of their phones you can’t use data) but it was possible.

  • Ted

    Mbps means MegaBITS per second, not Megabytes. Those are vastly different speeds. 8 bits to a byte. 150 Mbps is 18.75 Megabytes (MBps).