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Travel Your Way

Review of Yokoso SIM Card in Japan (Tokyo and Hokkaido)

My husband and I decided to each get a Yokoso SIM Card to travel around Hokkaido and Tokyo. My husband got the 15-day SIM card for the whole Japan trip, while I got a 8-day card for our 8.5 days stay in Hokkaido. And for the rest of the trip in Tokyo, I tried out the pocket WiFi provided by our Tokyo airbnb host.

One major reason we chose SIM card over WiFi was the price. Since we only have two people with two devices in total, it was more value for money to get two SIM cards (or one SIM card and tether) than one pocket WiFi. Pocket WiFi is preferably for travel group with many devices to be connected. Then again, there might be group buy discount for the SIM cards (read on). Do your sums. ;)

If you are unsure of whether to use a pocket WiFi or SIM card, read a detailed comparison in my previous post.

Tokyo Subway Wall ART- travel.joogo.sg


Which SIM card to buy?


There are quite a number of Japan SIM card providers. Most of Japan’s “tourist” SIM cards do not have voice call function, but only data. But you can connect Whatsapp/Skype calls with the data. Here’s a quick summary:

SIM cards with fixed data limit per day

This usually comes with fixed days such as 8 or 15 days. If your travel duration coincides with the SIM card length of use then this would be a good option. A few options:

SIM cards with fixed data limit for a period of time

If you want to get a SIM card but wants flexibility in the days of use, you might want to consider these options:

Note that the list of providers above is not comprehensive nor my recommendations, but for your information only.

Just to add, a reader emailed me a good question, “If there is an earthquake, will I have difficulty in using my mobile with only data sim & no voice call function?”

I was reminded of the history of “Line” app. From Wikipedia, “Line began as a response to disaster. Japan’s devastating Tōhoku earthquake in March 2011 damaged telecommunications infrastructure nationwide, obliging employees at NHN Japan, a unit of Korea’s NHN Corp, to rely on Internet-based resources to communicate.”

So sometimes, data might work better than voice during earthquakes.


Purchase of Yokoso SIM Card


Where to purchase Yokoso SIM Card?

While we were still contemplating about the pocket WiFi rental, we saw the flyer of Yokoso SIM Card at JTB Singapore. Then, we compared the price to Yokoso’s SG online shop.

8 Day SIM:

  • JTB is selling at S$38.
  • Yokoso online shop is selling at S$40 with S$3 delivery. But there are more plans for you to choose from than at JTB.

JTB is cheaper but not good for people who will be in Japan for more than 8 days. We searched further and found Yokoso SIM Card on Qoo10. It’s even cheaper than JTB! And there is a variety of plans too.

The Qoo10 shop, www.qoo10.sg/shop/yokososim, is selling at the following prices + S$1 normal delivery:

  • 8 days (3GB) SIM at S$35
  • 15 days (3.5GB) SIM at S$39
  • 31 days (4GB) SIM at S$46
  • 91 days (5GB) SIM at S$57

We were excited to find such a good deal for 15 days! The reviews were quite good, so it’s likely to be a legitimate Qoo10 seller. Did further due diligence and the Qoo10 seller, Shinji Matsudaira, turns out to be the authorised retailer for Yokoso SIM cards in Singapore. He is listed on Yokoso SIM website with the following details: shinji.matsudaira@yokososim.com, +65  9850 7722.

But time was running out, we were leaving in 4 days’ time and not sure if the delivery would come on time. Thankfully, Mr Shinji Matsudaira was flexible, and we were able to self-collect it at City Square Mall, a convenient place for us.

Btw, I did read somewhere in the Qoo10 Q&A section, he might offer you discounts for group buy, you can check with him first. You never know!

Yosoko Sim1 - travel.joogo.sg

Why Yokoso SIM Card? Why not other SIM card providers?

Initially, we didn’t consider using a SIM card but a pocket WiFi. It was until a few days before we leave for Japan that we decided a SIM card might be more value for money. There was not much time for us to research and weigh the various SIM card options.

Since Yokoso SIM card is promoted by JTB, it can’t be that bad.

Unlike most other SIM cards, we could obtain Yokoso SIM while in Singapore. This will allow us to have internet connection immediately upon landing. Moreover, getting SIM card in Singapore means saving the hassle to arrange for pick up, or worry about lost mail/late delivery at the airport or hotel.

Also there’s no need to return the SIM card after usage.

The best part is, you can save further if you decide to just tether and share the internet connection via hotspot! Though tethering might drain your mobile battery faster, and you might hit the daily data limit sooner.

(p.s. We didn’t try the tethering, but it was stated on the Qoo10 shop that it’s possible to tether.)

Mobile Compatibility?

We found the Yokoso good deal but based on the online reviews, and later we saw on the packaging, this card doesn’t work with Xiaomi phones! We were both using Xiaomi HM NOTE 1LTE.

FYI, it’s also written on the packaging that dual sim card, unbranded or/and sim locked phones cannot be used for this SIM card.

But we decided to take the risk, since the reviews about SIM not working were mostly on Xiaomi’s first generation phones. In addition, the seller agreed to give us a complimentary 8-day SIM card with purchase of a 15-day card for a mention in this website. So, even if the SIM cards fail on our Xiaomi phones, our loss is not too heavy.

Verdict: Yokoso SIM works for certain Xiaomi Models

  • The Yokoso SIM works for us! So for those using Xiaomi HM NOTE 1LTE (Android Version: 4.4.4 KTU84P) like us, you can safely purchase Yokoso SIM.
  • I should think that Xiaomi’s newer models will also work with Yokoso SIM. (Update from a reader: Yokoso SIM is fully compatible with Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro (Snapdragon) and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MTK).)
  • However, Yokoso SIM can’t work on certain Xiaomi phones, mainly the first generation 3G phones, so it all depends on your HP model.

For other phone models such as iPhone, you can check out the comprehensive list of supported models at: www.yokososim.com/Sjxh.aspx?id=263

Data Usage and Speed?

The data available to you depends on the plan you are getting. For example, 3GB is available for an 8-Day SIM while 4GB is available for a 31-Day. For the latter, the speed will slow down to 200kbps once your usage reaches 4GB. The speed will also slow down when you hit the daily limit of 500MB.

Yosoko Sim - travel.joogo.sg


Our experience with Yokoso SIM Card and Pocket wiFi in Japan


Yokoso SIM card

We changed our SIM cards and APN setting while on our flight to Japan and we were connected to the internet once we landed! Yays!

Important about APN* setting:

  • Android Phones: In our experience, no internet connection was required to activate the SIM. Our APN settings disappeared after we switched our SIM to Yokoso SIM. Thus, set up the APN profile after you change your current SIM to Yokoso SIM.  In any case, instructions to set up the APN profile is printed on the packaging.
  • iPhone (Apple iOS8 and above models): You need to have the internet connection for installation of APN. You can download the .mobileconfig file from http://jpmob.jp/i or http://jpmob.jp/i2. These links are provided by www.yokososim.com (scroll till the end of the page to “Matters needing attention”).

(*Access Point Name (APN) is the name for the settings your phone reads to set up a connection between the carrier’s cellular network and the public Internet.)

The connectivity was good in general. We travelled in Tokyo, Sapporo, Otaru, Tomamu, Noboribetsu and Niseko. The connection was lost only in certain short parts of our train journey, especially when we went through the mountain tunnels.  Otherwise we were pleased with the connectivity! :)

Pocket WiFi

I had a really bad experience with the pocket WiFi provided by our Tokyo airbnb host (after using the Yokoso SIM card in Hokkaido). I forgot to take a photo of the pocket WiFi, because I hardly use it. Probably only 20% of my whole time in Japan.

  • The pocket WiFi runs out of battery really fast (it was probably overused by the other airbnb guests). So I had to turn off and on each time I want to use. In the end, I simply reduced my internet usage to save me the trouble.
  • I was contemplating whether to use my husband’s portable battery to charge the pocket WiFi, but it makes my handbag really heavy. Mobile + pocket WiFi + portable battery + my miscellaneous stuff.

In the end, I decided it’s easier to use my husband’s mobile with Yokoso SIM card for directions and information.

(Updated 11 Sep 2016)

Have you used a data SIM card or pocket WiFi in Japan before? Or a Yokoso SIM card in Japan? Share with us your experience below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Bookmark this page >> Overview: Japan Itinerary 2016



33 thoughts on “Review of Yokoso SIM Card in Japan (Tokyo and Hokkaido)”

  • I’ve tried the yokoso sim too on my Redmi Note 3 (snapdragon 650). No problems getting it up and it works fine!

    • Hi, I’m using a the same Redmi Note 3 (snapdragon 650), export set via Qoo10. Can I check if it will be an issue if I use this Yokoso sim in Japan with my export set? My wife is also using Redmi Note 3, but the mtk version. Am thinking of getting 2 Yokoso sim for my trip end of this month. Thanks!!!

      • Hello Fredrick,

        I’m not familiar with the various Redmi versions you’ve mentioned and so can’t tell you if Yokoso SIM is compatible with them. However, you can check with Shinji Matsudaira, the authorised retailer for Yokoso SIM cards in Singapore. He is listed on Yokoso SIM website with the following details: shinji.matsudaira@yokososim.com, +65 9850 7722. He should be able to help you. :) Have fun in Japan!

    • Hello Jason,

      You can set up the APN profile after you change your current SIM to Yokoso SIM in Japan. You can find the APN settings on the sim card sleeve.

      If you set the APN profile before changing the SIM card, the APN will still be lost after the change. That’s what happened to ours.

      Hope this helps!

  • Hi, will the work with an unlocked IPhone 6 Plus? How difficult is it to set up? I understand SMS is not supported, but I am note sure what than means. Are there some options for texting available, or will I need to use email? My wife and I are going to Japan for 15 days and I would like to be able to text, or communicate, with each other in case we get separated. Is there a max minutes or data size you can use a day? Can I use the phone to watch videos from Netfix, assuming my US account is available there? Thank you?

    • Hello Scott,

      For your questions, my reply is as follows:

      1) Will the SIM work with an unlocked IPhone 6 Plus?
      According to Yokoso Sim website, the SIM can work with unlocked iPhone 6 plus. http://www.yokososim.com/Sjxh.aspx?id=263

      2) How difficult is it to set up?
      It’s easy to set up. Just follow the step by step instructions on the SIM card sleeve.

      3) I understand SMS is not supported, but I am note sure what than means. Are there some options for texting available, or will I need to use email?
      SMS as mentioned in the article meant sending message through telco instead of internet.
      However, you are able to send text through online messaging app platforms like WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, etc.

      4) Is there a max minutes or data size you can use a day? Can I use the phone to watch videos from Netfix, assuming my US account is available there?
      The data available to you depends on the plan you are getting, e.g. 3GB for an 8-Day SIM. Once your usage reaches 3GB, the speed will slow down to 200kbps. The speed will also slow down when you hit the daily limit of 500MB. You can check your data usage here: jpmob.jp/prepaid/en/yokososim

      Hope this reply helps! :)

  • Hi Christina, I’m contemplating on getting the yokoso sim card from JTB and happened to chance on your post relating it it, so thankful! Just one question regarding this sim, does it require any internet connection to activate the sim card? I actually wrote to JTB regarding this query but their reply wasn’t exactly informative as follows;

    “We are selling Yokoso Data SIM Card for 2 duration as following selling pricing:
    * 8-Days at SGD35 (must activate in Japan on/before 07Jan17)
    * 15-Days at SGD48 (must activate in Japan on/before 07Jan17)
    * need to download app before activate in Japan”

    Hope you can share your experience on this. Thanks!

    • Hello Jeannette,

      Glad the post helped you! :)

      For our android phones, we didn’t need an internet connection. We changed the SIM card and set up the the APN settings on the plane. Then when we landed in Japan, we switched on the phone and there was internet. :)

      However for iPhone (Apple iOS8 and above models), you need to have the internet connection for installation of APN. You can download the .mobileconfig file from http://jpmob.jp/i or http://jpmob.jp/i2

      The links are provided by http://www.yokososim.com (scroll till the end of the page to “Matters needing attention”).

      Enjoy your stay in Japan! :)

  • Hi Christina, just want to check: I’ve used SIM cards in Japan before, and my annoyance is about the camera shutter sound. Does the Yokoso SIM force the shutter to sound out?

    • Hello Benjamin, do you mean shutter sound whenever you take photo? Didn’t have that issue when we were using Yokoso SIM. But I think it’s because we muted our phones. So can’t advise you much on this. Sorry!

  • Hi Christina, thanks for the great sharing. i just placed order for the sim card to be used next wk. one question, how do i make local calls to fixed lines or mobile phones within Japan when using the data only sim card since voice calls are not available? thanks

    • Hello Wen,

      If you are calling back home or someone you know, you can try WhatsApp calls. But for restaurant reservations, we asked the hotel to help us. There’s one time, we arrived at Niseko late and were unsure if we missed our hotel shuttle, we asked the station staff to help us make the call.

      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip in Japan! :)

      For more info, travel.joogo.sg/overview-japan-itinerary-2016

  • iPhone (Apple iOS8 and above models): You need to have the internet connection for installation of APN. You can download the .mobileconfig file from http://jpmob.jp/i or http://jpmob.jp/i2. These links are provided by http://www.yokososim.com (scroll till the end of the page to “Matters needing attention”).

    Hi Christina, do you know if i can “Download” the said files before flying over? as I’m afraid I may not be able to find internet connection when I land.

    • Just to let you guys know the Yokosim is fully compatible with Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro (Snapdragon) and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MTK).

    • Hello P2, I didn’t use this function, so can’t be definite how it works.

      How about you try downloading and opening the file first. See how it affects your APN profile? You can then manually reset to your original APN settings. I believe once downloaded, you can open the file again once in Japan. :)

  • Hello! May i know when u got the sim card, do you try it in Singapore or Japan to know whether it works on xiaomi phone or not? Im using xiaomi 4i. Not sure if the sim card will work with my phone or not.

    • Hello Yvonne, I tried it when I was in Japan. The newer models of Xiaomi should work in Japan. I supposed your model is newer than mine. :)

  • Hi Christina
    Im from indonesia.
    Can buy yokoso sim card when we arrive in tokyo.
    I mean in the airport.or do they sell in 711 or any other store
    Bcoz dont have in jakarta.
    So i think maybe we could buy in japan.

    • Hello Yulius, sorry I’m not sure about that. But you may want to contact the Singapore representative (Tel listed in the post) and see if he can mail to you.

  • hi there, have you tried using dual sim on your Xiaomi? So i still able to receive calls from sg. with my sg card and data from yokoso. Thank you! :)

    • Hello! We didn’t use dual SIM. Because for my husband’s, he used the other slot for SD card while mine didn’t support dual SIM.

  • I purchase 3 Yokoso sim card from JTB, 2 of them can be used but one of them was fautly. Call up to ask for a refund, after sales service was bad. Ask me to bring sim card back to their shop for investigation, was told by one of the staff have to wait for supplier to reply and refund need 1 to 2 months back to my credit card. What a bad after sale service, give me a faulty card, and ask me to wait 1 to 2 months for refund.

  • Hi, can you kindly advise me whether Yokoso SIM card can be used in our Samsung dual SIM phones i.e. A9 pro and J7? or do we need to disconnect one SIM card slot in order to use Yokoso SIM card. Hubby and I will be leaving to Osaka end of next week. Look forward to your prompt response.

  • I got the 3Gb for 8 days yokoso data SIM card and it was horrible. Very slow speed in Hakone and even Shinjuku. I would not recommend this at all.

    • Sorry to hear about your experience! And thanks for sharing. When we used Yokoso SIM then, the speed was comparable to our speed in Singapore.

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