**Communication with your family and friends while on Okinawa is a very important topic. Most of the major Okinawa cell phone companies ( AU, Soft-Bank, Docomo) are have offices on base now and they are standing by to offer you 2 year contract plans. This is not so bad lately since Iphones can now be unlocked, but many people still find their rotation date out of sync with their contracts and are left paying fees or asking others to carry on their contracts for them. So before you jump into a contract please weigh your options. Think about how many devices your family will need, How much talk time will be used inside and outside of your family, and how much data will each device need.
Seems like more and more people are using their U.S cell phone with international plans here in Okinawa as well. I think some will even offer you a Japanese number as well, which is huge if you need to connect with locals. You can also get a contract with smaller companies, like Y mobile or UQ, that use major cell phone towers for lower monthly prices, though they usually also make you sign a contract as well.
The latest has been an emergence of sim cards which use these same local Japanese towers. You can also use your unlocked U.S devices, like iPhone and Android, and they also come with data plans. Our favorite is Mobal since they offer a plan which has 7 gbs of LTE (fast) data with a phone line that is free to users on the same network (Mobal). So if your family all have Mobal sims you can talk for free, and if you don’t need the data you can turn off the data plan and pay 1100 per month for the phone line. If you choose to use the data it will cost 6000 yen per month, but since our readers are long-term we negotiated to let us use their students/teachers plan which cuts the cost to 4500 yen per month. (USE CODE :OKIHAI).
Mobal does charge 29 yen per min to call Japanese phones outside of their network, but all incoming calls are free. With so many apps these days like Line, Voxer, and FB messenger I can see how one could easily manage to not use so many outgoing mins.
Here is a link to buy your sim, also discounted for our reader, and we can ship them anywhere! We are currently running a promotion for the summer that will return the cost of the sim after you activate using the code “OKIHAI” and continuing the service for 6 months. That means a great service, cheap data on a major Japanese network, no contract, and free sim cards for every device you use for 6 months!
(Calls to Japan cell phones and landlines)
Calls to other Mobal Japan SIMs are totally free between 1am – 9pm Japan time
(Texts to Japan Numbers)
(Texts to International Numbers)