Guide: iPad Data Plans for Japan

iPads are great for travel. You can watch movies on the plane, read tour guides, or even check your email from almost anywhere in the world. If you want to take your iPad to Japan, here's how:

15063-620x-ipad-japanYou should have a WiFi + 3G model
Free WiFi isn't very popular in Japan, so if you want to really enjoy your iPad abroad you need a model with 3G included. 

Don't go over your limit
Once you go over your data limit, prices get insanely expensive very quickly.  There are specific guides for both carriers below.

Save data, use sparingly
You don't get very much data for your money. Here are some tips for what you should and should not do:

Do
Turn off push email and push notifications
Use the Usage page (under Settings) to monitor your data usage
Use Onavo to compress your data 

Don't
Watch videos over 3G (like on YouTube or Netflix)
Make Skype phone calls using 3G (a long-distance phone call is cheaper)
Download email attachments
Load photos
Use GPS for navigation or Location Services

AT&T users
International Data Roaming is an additional feature on top of your normal data package. Click here to see a chart with international data rates. Current prices are:

50MB: $24.99
125MB: $49.99
275MB: $99.99
800MB: $199.99 

Log in to your AT&T Wireless account to add an international data package.

Verizon users
Global Data is an additional feature on top of your normal data package. Here's your chart with Verizon data rates, but in short here are the current prices: 

50MB: $30
150MB: $75
300MB: $125 

Visit Verizon Wireless to log in to your account and add an international data package.

Data too expensive?
Overseas data is really expensive. It's much cheaper – and there's no overage fee – when you visit an internet cafe. Read the Konnichiwhoa Guide to Internet in Japan.