iphone japan compatibility

Here is a detailed post about Iphone Japan Compatibility. Suppose you are looking for the iphone carrier compatibility. Then reading this article may help. It also includes how to use my iphone in japan.

The big day is coming. You’re going to travel to another country, in this case Japan, and you start thinking of all the things you need to get ready. After getting your flight tickets and all your papers ready, you start to cogitate at the devices you’ll be carrying with you, and then what happens? The one million dollar question invades your head. Well, I’m overreacting a little, but it is an important question anyway.

iphone carrier compatibility

Iphone Japan Compatibility

So, will my iPhone work when I travel to Japan? Almost every iPhone works perfectly in Japan; the only exception concerns the iPhone 5 that has some limitations in the countryside. Otherwise, either using a Japan SIM card or a pocket Wi-Fi, and even the home carrier roaming services, the iPhone will be flawlessly connected to the network.

Now allow me to explain you a little more about your options, so that you have all the information you need to make the best choice according to your needs.

Table of Contents

Using free Wi-Fi hot spots


I guess everybody already knows what free Wi-Fi hot spots are and the name couldn’t be any clearer 😉

As in most countries, you will find free Wi-Fi in Japan in some public areas like airports, shopping areas or train stations. You can also find free Wi-Fi at the hotels. However, even if this is what happens generally, don’t think you’ll be having free Wi-Fi all the time (specially if you land late at night and you don’t get to find your hotel).

If you decide to use free Wi-Fi only while in Japan, there’s a huge advantage on doing this: it is FREE, which means it won’t cost you anything. OK, but that’s too good to be true and you’ll inevitably be stuck at some point during your visit, since there’s no such thing as free Wi-Fi everywhere. And we all know that, when visiting a foreign country with a very high probability of language barrier, Google Map and Google Translate are our friends. 🙂 So if you’re thinking about going to Japan without a backup plan, be ready to face this huge disadvantage of using free Wi-Fi only.

Even if despite this tremendous heads up, you still want to try this option exclusively, I advise you to download some apps to help you find free Wi-Fi hot spots around you. I would recommend you to use the free app from the Japan National Tourism Organization, since it is a very complete app with information about Wi-Fi, but has also a lot of helpful travel tips.

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Using a pocket Wi-Fi

pocket wifi router
A pocket Wi-Fi router

Now let’s talk about the famous pocket Wi-Fi. This is simply the best option to have Wi-Fi with you all the time. So how does it work? It’s very simple. You just need a pocket Wi-Fi router and that’s it.

A pocket Wi-Fi router is a small device that fits in the palm of your hand – that’s why we call it “pocket”. If you look at the picture above, you’ll have an example of this kind of device. They don’t all look exactly the same, it depends on the provider you choose, but they’ll be small that’s for sure.

Let’s look at some advantages of this option:

  • Wi-Fi available all the time (even in areas that are far away from the cities)
  • Ready to use as soon as you turn it on
  • Small device easy to transport everywhere
  • Can be used with more than one device at the same time

In terms of disadvantages, there aren’t many. I just can think of these two:

  • Needs to be charged frequently as the battery doesn’t hold for too long over an extended period of time
  • Calls must be made using an app like Skype, because the pocket Wi-Fi only grants you data (if you need to make calls, you’ll have to buy or rent a Japan SIM card)
Sakura Mobile Unlimited Travel Wifi

All Japanese providers have a rental pocket Wi-Fi plan. For instance, Sakura Mobile Japan has a great plan specially for travelers. You can find an unlimited data plan at less than $3 USD a day on Sakura Mobile website. There are also some options at Klook website like this 4G pocket Wi-Fi with unlimited data from the Softbank provider. We all love unlimited data and it is going to be extremely useful while visiting Japan.

All the pocket Wi-Fi work pretty much the same way and you just have to order online and pick it up once you arrive to Japan (either at the airport directly or at the hotel most of the time). At the end of your travel, you just have to return it once again.

It couldn’t be easier, right?

Using a Japanese SIM card

iphone sim card

Another option is to buy or rent of a Japanese SIM card, but be very careful as almost every SIM are data-only. This means that you’ll have internet access, but you won’t be able to make/receive calls or send/receive SMS. Generally, you won’t need voice services as with data-only cards you can make calls using apps like Skype, for instance.

If you choose this option, your mobile phone must be unlocked to use another country’s network. In other words, if you bought your phone with a contract, it is probably blocked to your provider’s network and it won’t work with a SIM from a different provider.

You can ask your provider to unlock it if possible or you can buy a new phone for your travel. Nowadays you can find all kinds of cheap unlocked smartphones on Amazon, for instance.

Once you’re sure that you have an unlocked phone, you can either buy a SIM online or rent one.

The most important advantages of using a SIM:

  • There’s no need to charge a SIM as it uses your phone or tablet battery
  • There’s no need to carry an extra device with you to provide internet access (that’s what happens with pocket Wi-Fi)

SIM cards have also some disadvantages:

  • Compatible with smartphones and tablets only
  • Best in urban areas (you might have coverage problems in rural areas)
  • Only work with one device at a time (if you travel with someone, only one of you will have the SIM)
  • Requires changing APN (Access Point Name) settings of your device

If you want to buy a SIM and need lots of data, I recommend this SIM card from Docomo carrier on Klook. On the internet, there are other SIM cards with plans up to 30 days, so you’ll inevitably find one that fits your needs.

Sakura Mobile Unlimited Travel SIM

On the other hand, if you prefer to rent a Japan SIM card, you can do just like for the pocket Wi-Fi and choose one of the Japanese providers like Sakura Mobile, for example. Sakura Mobile has plans from 8 days and up to 90 days, so you will definitely find one that suits you. And the best thing is that the plans include unlimited data! Travelers usually pick the 8 days plan (around $42 USD) or the 15 days plan (around $61 USD). Renting a Japan Sim card works pretty much like renting a pocket Wi-Fi. You just choose a plan according to the number of days and data needed, pick the SIM card at the airport or at the hotel, and return it at the end of your travel.

Just be careful if you still have an iPhone 5, as I read that is the only model that won’t be able to connect to the network while in the countryside (in cities there’s no problem though). For these cases, a pocket Wi-Fi is a better choice.

how to use my iphone in japan

As every one as a different point of view and different needs, it isn’t that simple to say which option is better. My personal recommendation is to use free Wi-Fi as much as you can and to rent a pocket Wi-Fi as a backup when you can’t find free Wi-Fi. I wouldn’t recommend the SIM card as it doesn’t have as many advantages as the pocket Wi-Fi.

Many of your phone apps need internet connection to work, and specially Google Maps, which you’ll be using all the time to find your way while exploring Japan, so I hope that this post will help you stay connected 🙂

Feel free to share your personal experience in the comments below.


AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.


It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.


LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.


Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.


Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.


DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.


The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.


Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.


BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.


ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.


Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.


Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon


AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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