Page 2 of 2

Japan: How to get budget internet for tourists

Get a budget internet data sim card when you visit Japan

If you are looking for cheap internet in Japan, a budget travel sim card is just the right internet for you. I got one myself during my trip to Japan last November.

Looking for more budget tips in Japan? Chat us here.

I went to Japan alone as a tourist, but with a lot of help from friends who lived there, the experience was one of its own.

gps-internet-data-sim-card-in-japan

I got myself an internet data sim card during my stay in Japan.

Internet access for tourists

When I visited Japan, I knew that getting internet access would be challenging. With research, I came to know how Japan has many internet service providers, so, apart from leeching WiFi from shops or hotels, you can get internet access by either:

  1. Renting a pocket WiFi

    Although convenient, this option can be a little pricey. Kiosks can easily be found in airports, but I wouldn’t recommend this, especially when you’re on a budget trip or there’s only one or two of you.

    If you’re traveling alone, it’s better to get a data SIM card with your own open-line smartphone.

  2. Go on roaming

    When you do not have an open-line smartphone, you’ll need to ask your telephone service provider’s help before you travel. I’m biased against getting roaming services. I think of them as overly expensive. Telco fees vary, plus you’d need to seek approval from your ISP. I can’t vouch for roaming, really, as I’ve never tried it before.

    An open-line smartphone, for those who need to know, is one that will accept any carrier SIM card. They are not locked to one network and can work with a Japanese telco SIM. A closed phone line will be of no use in Japan unless it was set to roaming before the trip.

    Which brings us to a third option.

  3. Buy a data SIM card

    This is the cheapest option for getting travel internet in Japan. A data SIM card is available for tourists who are staying in Japan for a limited time. You will need to bring your own open-line smartphone during your travel.

    My data SIM card only cost me around 1700¥ + 10% tax during my week-long stay. That’s around‎ ₱822 then. Again, you have to be a tourist to get this SIM. The cashier will ask for your passport upon payment.

    internet-sim-card-in-japan

    A full section of internet data sim cards are sold in Japan.

Free FB, Viber, WhatsApp, etc.

Some data SIM cards offer free messaging apps, which is a must if you get lost and need to chat Clueless Commuter while in Japan.

Nonetheless if you have decided that the data SIM card is what’s right for you, here’s a few tips.

Things to bring when you buy your data SIM card

In Japan, I strongly recommend that you get yourself a data SIM card when you visit as a tourist. Make sure you bring the following during purchase:

  1. Your money in Yen.

    yen-currency-in-japan

    Don’t forget to bring Yen in Japan stores and shops.

  2. Your Passport and Japanese Visa (if applicable)

    Travel SIM cards, as far as I know, are only for tourists. You have to be identified as a temporary visitor in Japan to be able to buy them. You will also need to prove you are eligible to do transactions.

    Also, a number of shops promote TAX FREE Shopping.

    NOTE:  The tax free policy only applies to (A) Single receipt consumable items (make-up, food, etc.) worth ¥5000 or (B) Single receipt non-consumable items (clothes, gadgets, toys, etc.) worth ¥5000. Only tourists are eligible for this so they ask for your passport when you avail of tax free shopping. NOT all shops exercise this just like the one in this post.

    japan-visa-approved

  3. Your open-line, data-capable smartphone

    The store will need to configure it for you, so it’s better to bring the device when you buy. You can configure it by yourself when you go back to your hotel but I don’t recommend you do this. Even if the SIM pack comes with a manual in English, it’s better to have your internet working ASAP before you go.

  4. Determination, patience and understanding

    Japan is a non-English-speaking country. They understand key English words but locals will have to use sign language to get a message across. There will be English speaking staff, but, most likely, the one who approaches you first will be a local speaking staff. Just remember to respectfully and nicely ask, especially as you are the tourist here.

    Most importantly, you will need patience. You will have to wait for your turn since there are fewer English-speaking staff and a number who might be tourists. They are doing you a favor by helping you with your internet needs.

How and where to buy your internet data sim card

In Japan, the electronic stores such as Yodobashi and BIC / BIG Camera will be located around the city or train central stations. So, what you’ll need to do is:

internet-data-sim-card-in-nagoya

I found an electronic store near Nagoya Station’s vicinity, in Nagoya City Center. There, I bought my internet data sim card.

  1. Go to city centers or central train stations

    Electronic shops can be found there.

    electronic-stores-in-japan

    I got my internet data sim card from BIC Camera store in Nagoya City Center.

     

    They’re just lying around there, waiting to be discovered. You will find them by walking around. If they have appliances, cellphones or electronic devices displayed by the entrance, it’s most likely going to be an electronic store. You won’t be able to read much since the characters will be in Japanese too.

    internet-sim-card-store-in-japan

    The electronic shop signages are in Japanese, so take note of this brands in their store entrances.

  2. Communicate

    Ask where the internet SIM Cards are. Say keywords such as, “English” to let them know you do not speak Japanese. They will find an English-speaking sales person for you. Or you can directly say “Internet Data Sim Card.” As I have mentioned, staff can understand basic English words. They just won’t be able to reply back. By saying this, they can lead you to the isle full of internet sim cards!

  3. Choose your sim card

    Take your pick from the wide variety of telco sim cards. Read the packaging while taking these considerations:

    • Length of stay
      Some sim cards are packaged for 7 days, 14 days, while some are good for up to 30-60 days. Just check the package details.
    • SIM Card size
      Make sure it will fit your smart phone or the device you will use it with. That’s why it’s important to bring the device you will be using with you during your purchase.
    • Coverage
      Make sure it will work if you plan to go to Neko Island or other far-flung destinations in Japan. Ask your English-speaking crew about the internet company handling your chosen sim card for coverage.
    • Freebies
      The sim card I got had free Facebook, Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, etc. with it. It meant more data for searching in Google.

    sim-card-options-in-japan

  4. Have it installed

    As I mentioned, It’s better to have it installed before you leave the shop. Some of the sim cards might need additional fees for installation. I did not pay extra since my manual had an English translation with it. Pay the minimal installation fee instead of risking the chance of going home and not successfully installing your sim card.

Bring your own device during your trip

You will need to bring a separate open line smart phone if you plan to do this. I assure you– as a budget traveller, this will cover your basic internet use. It might be slower, but it will cover basic GPS, maps, Google search queries and sometimes, free messaging Apps. There will be a lot of carriers to choose from. Others have better Sim Card networks which may be a bit more expensive with 4G or LTE capabilities. Just ask your English-speaking sales person.

Also, since the Sim Cards are for tourists, you may also read the packaging since they are usually in English.

Just the right internet for the basics

During your Japan trip, your internet data sim card will meet your basic internet needs. It will have a decent GPS for maps. It will have a decent internet coverage for doing quick searches. And for starters, you will most likely just roam around known tourist places where there’s always going to be internet coverage.

Better brands will have better GPS accuracy and internet speed. Just ask the English-speaking sales person on this. At the end, I just bought this since I will only stay there for 9 more days.

cheap-budget-internet-sim-card-in-japan

I got this data sim card since it was cheap, and it was all that I would need.

It’s the internet for tourists

Internet data sim cards are really for Japan tourists to discover. For me, finding myself a cheap internet sim card was an experience on its own.

I also found it fascinating how my friends from Japan did not know of this. They also do not frequent the shops I have mentioned here since their telco providers usually offer and deliver electronic services in package deals.

After all, it has to be for tourists.

Izakaya Hideyoshi: Japanese food at Makati Avenue

Their choices are very decent and a bang for the buck.

009.jpg

If you’re craving for some Japanese food around Makati Avenue, check out Izakaya  Hideyoshi just across A-Venue Mall. It’s a good go-to place and I’d highly recommend around the Makati Avenue.

I’d say that Izakaya Hideyoshi is at a middle price range. There’s very few of them that rings a bell along the strip. More so, there’s fewer that offers quality Japanese for their price range around the vicinity.

8 pcs Gyoza at P180

For example, their gyoza set costs P180 as of my writing. They use flour on their mix. It’s not as juicy and scrumptious as Mendokoro‘s gyozas, still tasty. But maaaan? 8 pieces at P180? You have got to be kidding me.

003.jpg

Katsudon at P280

We also ordered a Katsudon set. Their Katsudon costs Continue reading

Visit University Burger and Try Their Ice Scramble Milkshake

I visit University Burger every once in while for one reason: their Ice Scramble Milkshake sends me back my childhood. 

I come back to University Burger for their Ice Scramble milkshake.

University Burger is a new burger joint on JP Rizal Avenue in Poblacion, Makati. It’s sending waves because of its affordable, home-grilled, yet agreeable Angus beef patties. If you’re on a tight budget but are still looking for great-tasting burgers in the metro, consider this your day.

University Burger's home grilled burger.

University Burger’s quality home-grilled burgers.

Where is University Burger?

The shop is two blocks away from Makati Avenue if you’re coming from the Makati City hall complex.

Look for Robelle Hotel and Funeraria Filipina along JP Rizal Avenue. The tiny street between these two landmarks will lead you straight to University Burger’s doorstep.

univ_burger_04_01.jpg

How to Commute to University Burger

If you’re commuting from EDSA-Guadalupe, find a jeepney that goes to L. Guinto or Munisipyo ng Makati. It will pass through JP Rizal.

After the jeepney crosses Makati Avenue, go down at Robelle Hotel. It’s a huge green building to your left. University Burger is on the street next to it.

You’ll recognize the joint by its chalkboard-decorated interior and yellow-lit, high-school-hangout vibe.

What’s in the Menu?

Their shop caters to budget trippers! You can get a home-grilled meal for as low as Php90. Check their full menu here.

univ_burger_03.jpg

During my previous visits, I have ordered…

  •  Mr. Nice Guy – Quarter pounder basic burger Php 90
  • Cheese Quesadilla – Php 55
  • Choco Loco Special Shake – Php 100
  • Big Bully – Half-Pounder Burger – Php 140

If you’re on a diet, visit on cheat days so you can splurge on extra with their novelty milkshakes. I tried Chocoloco and I did get loco with the choco mallows inside the mug. 

univ_burger_05.jpg

Chocoloco specialty milkshake at University Burger

What to Expect

The store has a tambayan setup that can accommodate 4-8 foodie groups at a time. They say there’s more seats upstairs, but I haven’t checked the second floor yet.

univ_burger_06_02.jpg

If it gets cramped, there is a second floor. Otherwise, share a seat and earn a friend!

The ground floor can get a bit crowded due to the store’s rising popularity. Make it a consideration if you’re going as a group. If you’re going alone, I recommend just sharing a seat and gaining a friend if the place becomes too cramped.

The shop also has reminiscent classroom interior in it. It’s the perfect place to invite your high-school friends for a mini-reunion. Or, you know, invite your highschool crush for a budget date.

Open Hours and Delivery

Take note though, they’re only open from 3pm-2am. I know–you can’t visit them at the normal lunch hour. Just visit them after work, maybe?

Also, they said they CAN deliver, but only within Makati’s vicinity. And for a minimum of Php 700. If you could, just visit them so you could also enjoy their grilled burger right from the kitchen. For more details, visit their facebook page.

Final Thoughts

University Burger is the best place to visit when you’re on a budget and you’re still craving for quality burgers. It’s also great if you’re looking for a budget date in Makati during pre-salary periods.

Lastly,  the store’s interior makes for a fun environment to reminisce school memories. I was actually surprised to learn that some of the owners were my high school batch mates!

Got more questions about University Burger? Like their facebook page and contact them!

LIKE US

Newer posts »

© 2017 Clueless Commuter

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑