Getting a Phone in Japan
This time around there was no need for SMS. Practically, the SMS went unused last trip anyway, even among people who did go to Comic Market. The one call I received at the time was during Comiket itself so it was impossible to hear it anyway!
So I considered 3G internet to be enough and started searching for the cheapest options.
This time around I must have improved my Google skills or something because I found eConnect Japan. They charge 4100円 for 1GB limited but very fast 3G account where you don't even have to return the SIM. This added bonus of not having to return the SIM turns out to be handy at the end of the trip because you don't have to swing by a post office just to post back the phone.
- The SIM itself: 4100円
- Shipping: 790円
When the SIM arrived, I realised that I had somehow accidentally bought the USIM instead of the microSIM (pro-tip: be careful about shit like this!) Thinking, "wait, I think you can cut these down to fit", I tried... unsuccessfully (a microSIM has less contacts than a USIM.) Then I contacted them about my failure.
Somehow I was lucky enough for them to be in the area at the time, and they helpfully dropped me a microSIM at the hotel! Fantastic service. So I got hit for the second 4100円 but didn't have to pay shipping for the second SIM at least.
Including the cost of my own fail, I ended up paying 8990円. So I did pay more than I paid on the previous trip in the end, but it still seems more worthwhile as it avoided both the need to post back the stuff and also the need to turn on two devices (my phone and the wireless hotspot) every time I wanted to use the Internet.
I hope that this page eventually helps some other people who like me, were not having a lot of luck with searching for answers on Google.