Buying a SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND): Travelers Guide

Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) is one of the two major international airports serving the Tokyo metropolitan area. As the fourth busiest airport in Asia, Haneda Airport saw over 85 million passengers in 2019 alone. For travelers arriving in Tokyo, purchasing a local SIM card with a data plan is a common task. This guide will provide helpful information on whether to buy a SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport or elsewhere, the registration process, top SIM card options, and alternative solutions like eSIM.

SIM Card at Tokyo Haneda Airport

I. Should You Buy a SIM Card at Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)?

Tokyo Haneda Airport

It depends. While buying a SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport is convenient, it’s not always the best option. Consider these factors before making your decision:

  • Pros: Convenience, Quick activation, English assistance, Variety of options
  • Cons: Higher cost, Limited options, Data only, Activation assistance fees

Who should buy a SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport:

  • Short-term travelers: Convenient for quick connectivity upon arrival, especially if you need data immediately for navigation or communication.
  • Tech-averse travelers: Prefer the ease of in-person assistance and activation at the airport.
  • Last-minute planners: Didn’t arrange a SIM card beforehand and need immediate connectivity.

Ultimately, the decision depends on your individual needs and priorities. Weigh the pros and cons, consider your travel style, and choose the option that best suits your budget and connectivity requirements.

II. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Tokyo Haneda Airport?

Tokyo Haneda Airport makes it simple to get a SIM card configured for your phone network as soon as you land. Head to one of the airport shops to buy a Japan SIM for calls, data, and messaging during your visit.

1. Buy online before departure and pick up at the airport

There are several options for picking up your online purchases at Haneda Airport, depending on the shop and terminal.

What to prepare:

  • Reservation confirmation: You’ll receive a confirmation email or SMS with a reservation number and pick-up instructions.
  • Passport: You’ll need your passport to verify your identity at pick-up.
  • Payment confirmation (optional): Depending on the shop, you might need to show your payment confirmation if it wasn’t already processed online.

Buying online before departure and picking up at Haneda Airport can be a convenient and time-saving option, especially for duty-free items or popular products. However, consider the limited selection, pick-up window, and return policies before making your decision.

2. Buy upon arrival

This option gives you more flexibility as you can choose a plan based on your specific needs upon arrival. Several stores and vending machines sell SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport, including:

2.1. Mobile Center Haneda Airport

The Mobile Center at Haneda Airport is a one-stop shop to buy prepaid SIM cards from major Japanese carriers like Docomo, AU, and Softbank. They offer data-only or call/text/data plans on a monthly or daily basis. SIM cards are pre-activated, so you just insert it into your unlocked phone. A passport is required for purchase verification.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM
  • Location:
    • Terminal 2 – 3rd Floor Departure Lobby Shop 
    • Terminal 3 – 2F Arrival Lobby 
    • Terminal 3 – 3F Departure Lobby 
  • Language Support: English, Chinese, and Korean language
Mobile Center Haneda Airport
Mobile Center Haneda Airport

2.2. AnyFone JAPAN/SoftBank Counter

The AnyFone JAPAN Counter at Haneda Airport sells prepaid data SIM cards and pocket WiFi devices specifically for tourists. They offer daily, weekly or monthly data packages with multilingual support. Prepaid SIM cards and devices work right out of the box without activation. Located post-security near arrivals. SoftBank is another option nearby selling data-only or standard plans. Accepts major cards and cash in Japanese Yen.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
  • Location: Terminal 2 – Floor 2C adjacent to the International Arrivals lobby. 
  • Language Support: English, Chinese, Korean, and other Asian languages. 
AnyFone JAPAN Counter
AnyFone JAPAN Counter
Softbank map store at Haneda Airport
Softbank map store at Haneda Airport

2.3. BIC Camera Store

BIC Camera, located in both the International and Domestic Terminals at Haneda Airport, sells SIM cards from major carriers such as Docomo, au and SoftBank. They offer data-only plans as well as regular voice/data plans with English support.

  • Opening hours: 5:30 AM-11:30 PM daily
  • Location:
    • International Terminal – Near exits A1 and A3 on the arrivals floor
    • Domestic Terminal – Near the Skytree exit on the 1st floor
  • Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese
BIC Camera Store
BIC Camera Store

2.4. 7 – Eleven 

While 7-Eleven sells SIM cards at Haneda Airport, English support may be limited. They’re convenient outside store hours but Mobile Center and AnyFone offer better service for foreigners. 7-Eleven sells prepaid SIMs from carriers like Docomo, AU and SoftBank with daily/weekly/monthly data plans. No activation is required. Only Japanese cash is accepted.

  • Locations: 
    • Terminal 1: 3F Terrace Restaurant South 1. Open from 07:00~21:00
    • Terminal 1: 2F Departure Gate Lounge (North) 135. Opening hours from 06:00~20:00
    • Terminal 3: 3F Post departure area 165. Opening hours from 7:00 to 21:00
  • Language Support: Minimal English support available. The purchase process and instructions may only be in Japanese.
7-Eleven at Haneda Airport
SIM Card 7-Eleven at Haneda Airport

III. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Tokyo Haneda Airport – Registration Process

When purchasing a Japan SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport, you’ll need to complete a registration process. Here’s what to expect:

  • Passport: Your passport is required for identity verification and activating the SIM card. Photocopies are not accepted.
  • Fill out application form: You’ll need to provide personal details like name, address, phone number, passport number, etc.
  • Activate the SIM: Staff will take the SIM card and your passport to a back office for activation. This can take 10-15 minutes. You cannot use the SIM until activated.
  • Test connectivity: Before leaving, double check that your SIM card is working and data/calls are enabled as purchased. Staff can assist with troubleshooting.

Having your passport, a pen, and a credit/debit card ready will help speed up the process. The whole registration can take 15-30 minutes. If you ordered online for airport pickup, just the activation process is required.

IV. Best Tourist Tokyo Airport SIM Cards Options and Price

Here are some of the best SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport for tourists arriving at airports in Tokyo, Japan along with their approximate prices:

SIM Card Data Allotment Validity Period Price (USD)
B-Mobile International SIM 5-7GB 10-30 days ~$15
eConnect Tourist SIM 5-10GB 30 days ~$32-$46
Rakuten Mobile SIM 3GB 30 days ~¥2980/$22
Sakura Mobile  Unlimited 8-90 days ~$33-$178
SoftBank 5GB 14 days ~¥3480/$26
Mineo 5-20GB Depends on package ~$8-$13

When comparing options, check validity periods, data amounts, network coverage, and pickup availability. Order in advance online when possible for a stress-free arrival.

V. Japan eSIM for Tokyo – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card at Tokyo Haneda Airport

Japan eSIM
Japan eSIM

While physical SIM cards are common, eSIM (embedded SIM) is a digital alternative compatible with unlocked phones. Major providers include GIGAGO. With a Japan eSIM from GIGAGO, you can activate service before departure and avoid visiting a counter upon arrival.

  • Pros: No need to physically swap SIM cards, Can be purchased before you arrive in Japan and activated instantly, multiple plans available to fit your needs.
  • Cons: Requires an eSIM-compatible phone, may not be available from all providers, data speeds may be slower than with a physical SIM card.

Things to consider:

  • eSIM compatibility: Ensure your phone is eSIM compatible before purchasing an eSIM.
  • Data roaming: Make sure your eSIM plan includes data roaming in Japan.
  • Activation requirements: Some eSIMs require you to have an internet connection to activate, so plan accordingly.

Ultimately, the best option for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. If convenience, flexibility, and potentially lower costs are important to you, then an eSIM is a great choice for your trip to Tokyo.

VI. Where to Buy a SIM Card Outside Tokyo Haneda Airport?

If you don’t get a SIM card upon arrival at Haneda Airport, there are alternatives in Tokyo city:

  • FamilyMart convenience store – There are a few FamilyMart stores right outside the airport exits. They sell prepaid SIM cards from all the major carriers like Docomo, AU, SoftBank. Plans start around 2,000 yen as well.
  • Bic Camera electronics store – A large Bic Camera store is located right outside the airport. They have a good selection of carrier SIM cards to choose from.
  • Yodobashi Camera electronics store – Another option with a larger store located about a 10 minute walk from the airport. Good SIM card selection.
  • Tokyo City Air Terminal – If taking the Limousine Bus to central Tokyo, you can purchase SIM cards at the shops in the terminal building upon arrival.

Have your passport ready for registration. Certain locations like BIC Camera only sell 1-month+ plans for residents. Shop opening hours vary.

Buying at the airport upon arrival remains the most convenient option. But if you missed the chance, got a defective card, or need to extend your plan, SIM cards can be purchased in Tokyo City.

VII. FAQs about SIM Card at Tokyo Haneda Airport

Do I need to register my passport to get a SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport?

Yes, you need to provide your passport details to verify identity when purchasing a SIM card in Japan. This registration is required by law. Photocopies are not accepted.

Can I use eSIM in Japan?

Yes, eSIM options like GIGAGO work in Japan. Major carries also offer eSIM, but these require a longer-term contract. eSIM is convenient and has more data allotments than tourist SIM cards.

Are SIM cards expensive in Japan?

Local prepaid SIM cards are reasonably priced, starting around 2,000 JPY for a week of data. Airport pickup or delivery fees add cost. But Japan SIM cards still offer good value compared to global roaming rates. Order online and compare plans.

How do I check the data balance for my Japan SIM card?

Most providers offer self-service apps or dial codes to check your remaining data balance and plan validity period. Refer to your SIM card provider’s instructions. Some may send automated SMS alerts when data is running low.

What is the best SIM card network in Tokyo?

NTT DoCoMo and SoftBank have the widest coverage in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Au by KDDI also has good coverage. Get a SIM card matching your device’s LTE bands for fastest speeds. Tourist SIMs offer network switching.

VIII. Conclusion

Getting a SIM card at Tokyo Haneda Airport is the ideal option for hassle-free connectivity right after you arrive in Japan. With proper preparation and research, the registration process is quick. Ordering online ahead of time for airport pickup provides maximum convenience. Compare top providers like Sakura Mobile, Mobal, and PuPuPu based on your data needs, length of stay, and budget preferences to find the best Tokyo Haneda Airport SIM card.

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