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Preparing for a trip to Osaka, Japan

By 5:03 PM

I would like to share some important information about preparing for a trip to Osaka, Japan.

You might think, I'm a Japanese so I don't need to prepare anything special.

I know the place, I have a family, I can speak a language, yes, but important thing is how I can contact my friends in Japan, how I can use my tablet in Japan. I'm living in Australia so long, I don't have any mobile or WiFi service I can use in Japan. Without WiFi, it's so difficult to survive in anywhere those days.

What I wanted to do was using my new Samsung Galaxy note8 in Japan as a phone and tablet without expensive roaming charge.

Japan has some kind of law that you can not buy a prepaid phone or SIM if you are not living in Japan. You can rent a phone at the airport or you can rent pocket WiFi. It is quite expensive. I didn't want to spend too much money for those things for this short stay. 

So, I finally found I can rent a prepaid SIM card at Kansai Airport. I must say, "rent" because the company says "The SIM card is provided to you on a loan basis.Please return it to the address listed below."

When I arrived at Kansai airport, I just simply swapped to the So-net prepaid LTE SIM. This is a prepaid wireless data service (Can't use phone service. ) You can find the vending machine at Kansai (also at Narita) airport. 

Accept only Japanese yen. There are several other places to purchase this SIM. If you are interested you can check their web.

So-net Prepaid LTE SIM

I got a 500M, about 2 weeks later there were no warning just couldn't access the net anymore. Obviously I used up the data usage.  
You can top up more data via their web. Don't through the card away, that information (SIM phone number and Password) you need for top up. 

I didn't read carefully and through the information away, so I struggled to top up. (TДT;)

If you activate this SIM, you can access internet. yay!! Amazingly I had no problem accessing their network service even though I was  in the countryside of Japan. (^o^)/

Then I needed to call some of my friend's mobile phones. I have checked skype phone, but couldn't call Japanese mobile phone, only you could call home phone. Its useless isn't it, so I decided to use the LINE premium phone service.
You can check the service here


Most of my friends use LINE app, so we can call each other without premium phone service, but some of my friends don't use this app, such as my mother. So, use this service to call my mom's and other friend's mobiles directly. 

If you want to book a restaurant or just making phone calls during your trip in Japan from your mobile phone, this premium service is very useful. It is very hard to find pay phone those days!

Only problem is the phone number will attach to your original phone number (not the prepaid SIM phone number) If you don't have Japanese phone number like me ( my phone number is Australian number ), people can't call your phone or can't use SMS.  Probably there are another service better than this, but it was good enough for me.

In Osaka there are several free WiFi spots, such as airport, Mac, Starbucks, Hankyu railways. I thought Hankyu's free WiFi was so useful. At theHankyu railway's station, you can access their WiFi easy. You have to sigh up (name and email address), but if you need the WiFi right now, you can use it on the spot. 

I used Facebook Messenger, LINE and LINE premium phone service to contact my family and friends. If you need to look up the map or some kind of information with your tablet, this SIM is very good. 

Hope you enjoy travel in Japan!!

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