🔖 7 min read

When it comes to traveling, staying connected to the internet has become an essential part of the experience for various reasons. From navigation apps to communicating with loved ones, having reliable internet access while abroad is crucial. As technology continues to advance, staying connected through travel wifi options continue to increase, giving travelers the freedom to choose which one suits them best.

Japanese Esims and Pocket Wifi in Japan
Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels

Two popular options for maintaining connectivity while traveling in Japan are eSIMS and Japanese pocket WiFi rentals. Both options have their own unique features and advantages, and understanding the differences between them is essential for making an informed decision. Here’s everything you need to know to make the best choice for your travel needs.

eSIM vs Pocket WiFi: What Exactly Are They?

If you’re not familiar with these devices, then let’s first define what they are and how they work. 

An eSIM is a term referring to “embedded SIM cards,” which are small, programmable chips that are integrated into mobile devices, unlike physical prepaid SIM cards where you have to insert and remove the SIM card whenever you need to making it one of the best Internet Options in Japan.

eSim in Japan Internet Options in Japan
Source: Wifi-Honpo

On the other hand, pocket WiFi is a portable WiFi router that connects to local cellular networks, providing internet access for multiple devices through a secure WiFi network. 

Both options offer distinct benefits and considerations, but comparing both devices and their features can help you decide which one will better impact the quality of your trip to Japan.

Comparing the Two: eSIM vs Pocket WiFi

The Cost and Price Range

The pricing structures for both options can vary based on factors such as data allowances, rental durations, and additional fees. Before figuring out which option is more cost-effective, it’s best to understand your traveling lifestyle such as how much WiFi you’ll be using, your duration in Japan, and how many devices need to be connected to the internet. 

Japanese pocket WiFi revolves around rental durations and data allowance. Meaning, it is not a one-time purchase so you’ll have to pay the rental fee again if you ever travel to Japan a second time around. Pocket WiFi rental companies typically offer daily, weekly, or monthly rental options, with discounted rates for longer rental periods. For daily rates, it can cost as around ¥600 (£3) for 3GB of data, while monthly rates can cost up to ¥6,600 (£33) for 5GB a day for 30 days. Take note that these prices do not include additional fees such as delivery charges, pickup fees, and security deposits. 

Meanwhile, eSIM providers typically offer a range of data plans tailored to different usage scenarios, such as internet browsing, social media usage, and heavy data consumption. Most Japan eSIM providers offer flexible pricing models, allowing travelers to top up their data plans as needed, thereby avoiding excessive charges for unused data. A weekly rate of an eSIM can cost as low as ¥800 (£4) or ¥1,400 (£7) depending on the plan. A monthly data plan can go as low as ¥2,500 (£12) for 30 days!

The Accessibility of Purchasing

One aspect to also consider when purchasing a device for travel WiFi is how accessible it is to find one and how easy it is to set it up. eSIMS and pocket WiFi rentals are very different when it comes to purchasing and setting them up making both of them one of the best Internet Options in Japan

Most pocket WiFi rentals in Japan can be purchased online, but since it is a physical device, it needs to be received through mail delivery or pickup at designated locations like an airport or the address of your hotel in Japan. After using it, you will need to deliver it back on a specific time and date to avoid extra fees. The setup process is straightforward with an instructions sheet usually provided in the box of the device or through the company’s website making it one of the best Internet Options in Japan.

Similarly, an eSIM can be bought online, but without the hassle of having it delivered or picked up. Once you’ve purchased an eSIM, you can already activate it on your phone by downloading a mobile app, selecting a data plan, and following the provider’s instructions to enable the eSIM on your mobile device. Since the eSIM is yours, there’s no need to worry about shipping it back to the provider.  

The Pros & Cons of a Japanese eSIM

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From cost-effectiveness to easy activation, there are many benefits to owning an eSIM. However, it’s also important to point out some challenges one may face with an eSIM.

Pros

  • Cost-Effectiveness
    • Most eSIM providers offer an array of data plans, catering to all kinds of travelers in Japan. This means that travelers who are traveling alone or are staying for a short while can purchase affordable plans so that they don’t need to waste extra money buying bulks of data. Because of the variety of options, travelers can easily figure out which data plan suits best for their traveling needs.
  • Same Day Activation
    • eSIMS are very convenient when it comes to using it immediately since purchasing and activating a travel eSIM is a straightforward process that can simply be done online or on an app. 
  • No SIM Card Loss
    • Because an eSIM is not a physical card and is integrated into your device, there is no need to worry about losing or damaging your SIM. This makes it easier for travelers to keep track of their SIM, eliminating the risk of losing it.
  • Easy Network Switching 
    • This is helpful for frequent travelers who need to easily switch between different eSIMs for various countries without the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards every time you change locations.
  • Environment Friendly
    • When people do not need to use their SIM cards anymore, they simply throw them away. Since SIM cards are made out of plastic, this contributes to the problem of plastic pollution around the world. At least with eSIMs, it can easily be deactivated online without the need of throwing away a physical device making it one of the best Internet Options in Japan.

Cons

  • Limited Device Connectivity
    • Although some eSIMs can provide hotspot networking for other devices to connect to, they cannot provide strong connectivity and coverage to multiple devices simultaneously. Therefore, eSIMs are not recommended for big traveling groups who need to connect to the same WiFi. 
  • Limited Device Compatibility
    • Since eSIMs are a new type of technology, not all devices are compatible with them. Not all smartphones and gadgets support eSIM functionality, so it’s important to check if your device is eSIM-compatible before buying one. 

The Pros & Cons of Japanese Pocket WiFi

Pocket Wifi Pros and Cons

After analyzing the benefits and challenges of an eSIM, it’s also fair to see what features and limitations a pocket WiFi has to offer for travelers.

Pros

  • Multiple Device Connectivity
    • A key benefit of pocket WiFi is its ability to simultaneously connect multiple devices to the internet, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This is why it’s recommended for travelers who need numerous devices connected making it one of the best Internet Options in Japan.
  • Big Data Plans
    • Pocket WiFi rentals are often recommended for big traveling groups or travelers who are staying for a long time since most pocket WiFi rentals offer unlimited data or big monthly data plans. 
  • Coverage and Reliability
    • Since pocket WiFis have been in the market long enough, its technology has improved to offer reliable internet connectivity with good coverage in many areas of Japan. 

Cons

  • Additional Fees and Charges
    • Since most pocket WiFi devices are rented, this means that there is an extra cost for rental fees and delivery charges. At the same time, pocket WiFi routers in general are more expensive. 
  • Extra Device 
    • Pocket WiFi is a physical router, which means that it is an extra device to your travel gear. It’s one more weight to carry, plus there is a risk of damaging or losing it, which may lead to more costs. 
  • Limited Battery Usage
    • Pocket WiFi devices need to be charged regularly, which means you need to bring a separate charging cord or batteries. This can be a hassle since it is an added responsibility keeping your pocket WiFi from running out of battery. 
  • Pick Up and Delivery Hassle
    • Upon purchasing or renting a pocket WiFi device, you cannot activate it immediately without the item itself, which must be picked up or delivered to your assigned address. This means you will have to purchase it a few days before your trip so that it arrives on time for your trip. Later on, you will also need to ship it back or else you will be fined.  

The Ultimatum: The Ultra Convenience of a Travel eSIM Japan

Overall, eSIMs have gained popularity in the world of overseas travel due to its affordability and accessibility. Upon comparing the travel eSIM and pocket WiFi, an eSIM will still provide more convenience and flexibility in terms of cost-effectiveness, quick activation, and easy network switching.

Internet Options in Japan

An eSIMs offers the advantage of seamless connectivity upon arrival. This eliminates the need to visit local stores or kiosks to purchase and install a physical SIM card. And provides easy purchasing and monitoring of data plans and usage. 

The versatility of an eSIM allows travelers to access the internet on their devices with ease. Fortunately, more mobile device manufacturers are producing more eSIM-compatible devices as they notice the rapid increase of eSIM usage. As well as network providers. eSIM companies, such as Jetpac are ensuring that traveling with an eSIM is the most efficient and convenient way to stay connected thanks to their data plans, coverage, and reliability. 

The Jetpac E-Sim: The Best Way

After learning more about the many convenient ways to stay connected. It’s time to test out and enjoy the ultra convenience of an eSIM. There are many different kinds of eSIMs out there, but which one is best for Japan? Learn more about Jetpac’s Japan Travel eSIM, a sim designed to accommodate any kind of traveler looking to explore the beauty of Japan. Whether it’s the modern cities or the countryside of this diverse country. 

The Jetpac Japan Travel eSIM offers a wide variety of data plan options. From 3GB to 40GB, pricing from ¥600 (£3) to ¥9,430 (£47). Each data pack remains valid for one year from the data of purchase. Unless stated, packs will expire within 30 days of connecting to an overseas network.

Jetpac makes eSIM activation quick and easy through their mobile app where you can easily download your eSIM to your device in a few simple steps. With their app, you can also browse through multiple data plans, monitor your data usage, and manage any eSIM settings. 

Jetpac Esim in Japan Internet Options in Japan

Not only does Jetpac provide high-capacity data packs that offer excellent value for money. But your eSIM can also give you free lounge access if your flight delays! You can also easily swap networks with your eSIM in over 50 countries with instant global coverage, making your eSIM the perfect travel buddy.

Ready to do the switch? Say goodbye to physical SIM cards and WiFi devices and enjoy the convenience of eSIM connectivity. Let the Jetpac Japan Travel eSIM make your trip to Japan fun, exciting, and worry-free making it one of the best Internet Options in Japan.