Your Guide to Docomo Services in Japan
When it comes to mobile carriers in Japan, there are four major players: Docomo (holding around 50% market share),
KDDI (AU), Softbank, and the recently introduced Rakuten Mobile. Each of these carriers offers unique advantages and features for users. When traveling to Japan, it’s important to have reliable connectivity, convenient payment options, and access to various services. Docomo, short for NT Docomo, offers a range of services tailored for tourists. In this guide, we will explore the most useful Docomo services for tourists, helping you make the most out of your trip.
1. Docomo Mobile Phone and Data Plans
Staying connected while exploring Japan is crucial; Docomo, with its extensive network infrastructure, boasts the most cell towers among the competition, ensuring reliable and widespread mobile reception across Japan. Below is a comparison chart between the four major telecom providers and their selected most-value plans offered to customers. While subjective, we would consider Docomo to provide the best value plan to customers.
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Purchasing a mobile plan directly from Docomo can be expensive and that’s where Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) come in. MVNOs function independently but rely on the network infrastructure of the primary carriers. Some popular examples of MVNOs that use Docomo’s network include GTN Mobile, Sakura Mobile, and Mobal. These MVNOs often provide competitive pricing and specialized services, catering to specific user needs.
2. D Point Reward Program
As you navigate the streets of Japan, you’ll notice the Docomo d Point logo at various stores and restaurants. The d Point reward program allows you to earn 1% cashback/points for purchases made at participating establishments. These points can be accumulated and redeemed for discounts, special offers, and even as currency for future purchases (1 d Point = 1 Yen). Signing up is completely free and can be done online. You won’t have to pay any fee unless you upgrade to silver or gold card. Keep an eye out for the d Point logo and take advantage of the rewards while enjoying your time in Japan.
d Point Card
d Point Logo
3. D Wi-Fi Services
Access to Wi-Fi is essential for modern travelers, and Docomo provides the D Wi-Fi service to keep you connected throughout your journey. With D Wi-Fi, you can enjoy internet access at numerous locations across Japan, including airports, train stations, shopping centers, and popular tourist spots. To set up D Wi-Fi, simply create a free dAccount on the Docomo website and follow the easy steps to connect to the network. If there is a network nearby, your device will conveniently auto-connect to the Wi-Fi.
D Wi-Fi Icon
4. D Payment and D Card
Making payments in Japan is a breeze with Docomo’s mobile payment service, D Payment. By linking your dAccount to the D Payment app, you can enjoy cashless transactions at a wide range of stores. Simply load up your account by connecting a bank, card, or depositing cash at an ATM and use your smartphone to make quick and secure payments via QR code, eliminating the need for cash or traditional credit cards.
dCARD silver (no annual fee) & dCARD Gold
The main benefit is the ability to obtain double points in one app, first by scanning your dpoint barcode and then paying with the app to get additional cashback. To amplify the cashback even further, you can opt to sign up for a dCard and if approved, Docomo will send you a VISA credit card that you can use to make purchases. You must have a bank account in order to register.
Note: when it comes to getting the best point rewards program, we would recommend committing to PayPay (offered by SoftBank) or Rakuten as those have better point rates and exclusive offers. You can learn more HERE.