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While in Japan over the holidays I got the chance to try a new tourist SIM from a company called Mobal. In advance of this summer's Tokyo Olympics they've been putting extra effort into advertising their "unlimited" data SIMs, throttled after usage in excess of 3 GB per day.

Any local SIM must compete with your carrier's "roam like home" equivalent, so it's up to you to do the math and figure out what's cheaper. Telus would charge $84 CAD for my seven days abroad; at ¥3,990 my 8-day Mobal SIM worked out to only $48 CAD or so and also offered 21 GB of fast data, so it made sense to try it out.

I ordered a pair of SIMs for the girlfriend and I well in advance of our trip—too far, as it turned out; they arrived at our door in only four days. On departure overseas we installed them in our dual SIM phones, with the understanding that they'd activate only when we landed in Japan.

Unlike other tourist SIMs for Hong Kong or Taiwan, the Mobal ones require the user to manually set up an APN:

APN: ppsim.jp
Username: [email protected]
Password: jpn

Once that was done the SIM worked as advertised... mostly. Speeds were generally fine, except for this one result:

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I can't help but wonder if Mobal is a second-class citizen on the Softbank network, and how that would affect a user visiting the country during a very busy Olympic Games. Still, the service was generally very good, and as an added bonus I didn't have to worry about returning anything like I would with other Japanese SIM providers.

Link: Mobal Japan SIM Cards