That’s it ! Your trip to Japan is coming soon and you are certainly double-checking the last items of your “I should not forget” list. You are thinking about how fabulous is going to be your shopping in the streets of the colorful district of Harajuku, your wonderful day spending time in cafes and at playing games in crowded game-centers of Akihabara. Or may be are you dreaming about walking on the world’s famous Shibuya crossings ?
The pre-travel period is always full of excitements and joy. But if you want to be able to post pictures and videos on SNS or to be able to check itineraries on your smartphone, you would better review the first thing you will certainly do after your arrivals in Narita or Haneda airport : activating your SIM card. Well, I am sure you already know the way to do it because you might have read it more than ten times so far, but let’s be sure to memorize it carefully one last time.
Here is a list of thing you may need for the setups of your prepaid SIM card when arriving at the airport.
What is a SIM ejector tool ?
A SIM ejector tool is a little piece of paper or iron used to open and eject the slot containing the SIM card inserted in your smartphone.
It looks like this :
Generally, a SIM ejector tool is included in the package box of your phone when you buy it. If you still have this box, you may find a SIM ejector tool inserted within the manual.
If you do not have one, you could try to ask to a smartphone retailer in your neighborhood or to a friend if they can kindly lend you one.
In the case you did not find any SIM ejector tool, no need to worry ! You could use a paper clip as well. It will do the job !
Setup your SIM card in 4 steps
- 1st stepPrepare your SIM card
Open the package and take out the plastic rectangle containing the multi-sized SIM card.
Push up the small card and repeat the operation with the SIM card itself until the SIM card size matches your smartphone’s SIM slot size.
- 2nd stepEject the SIM slot from your smartphone
Take a SIM ejector tool. If you do not have one, a paper clip would do the job.
Insert the SIM ejector tool into the small hole near the SIM slot.
Push a little while being careful not damaging the paintings of your smartphone.
- 3rd stepInsert the SIM
Insert the prepaid SIM card into the slot and put the SIM slot back into the device.
- 4th stepInstall an APN
An APN (“Access Point Name”) is a bridge between your smartphone settings and your SIM card provider’s access point. If the settings succeed, your device will be able to connect the local network.
・For iPhone users open “Settings” > “Cellular” > “Cellular Data Options” > and turn on “Enable 4G”. The settings shall automatically work. After a little moment your device will display the career’s name and you should be able to use Internet.
・For Android users open “Settings” > in the “Wireless & Networks” section, tap on “Mobile Networks” > “More”. Select “Access Point Names” and enter the APN name, username and password written on the manual or the package of your SIM card. Click on your menu button and tap on “Save”. After a little while, you should be able to use Internet.
Now your SIM card is ready to be used, let’s check some simple but necessary To-Do’s together.
In the case you did not succeed to setup and activate your SIM card, it may be difficult to identify or solve the problem by yourself.
Most of the visitors of this website are to visit Japan for the first time and do not speak Japanese. If you are also in this case, do not worry.
Either you landed in Narita either you arrived in Haneda airport, English speaking staff is at your disposition.
Here is the safest way to solve an activation problem at the airport :
If you are a native English speaker and that your SIM card provider offers an English-friendly support, I would recommend to call the support directly with a fixed-line telephone available at the airport. They are generally painted in green in Japan.
In conclusion, in the unlikely event of an activation problem, you would better have Japanese and English speakers near you, ready to help you if necessary. That is why I would recommend anybody to activate his or her SIM card just after arriving at the airport, and not to through out the package of the SIM card.
If you did not buy a prepaid SIM card yet, I would highly suggest you to check if a support is provided and if it is available in English when comparing different models. You can find these informations in the “SIM cards” section of the website.