Despite confirmation from the telco-provider of mine, it was double disappointment when I ended up not able to using my mobile phone in Japan. Roaming in Japan is not only expensive, and for those who does their homework, but also difficult to find usable mobile phone models to support local providers. Of course in my recent travel I had opted for phone rental, instead of relying on the chance of getting my phone roaming in Japan.
There are numerous phone rental services available upon touch-down in Narita Airport. For those who are looking for a cheaper option (i.e. no deposit and flat call/message rates), I am recommending Mobal Narita; especially to travelers who are confined to a limited budget. After searching on the internet and read reviews, I decided to give Mobal Narita a try.
Deposit free - you wouldn't need to worry about 'pocket burning' deposit as the company offers no deposit for the phone you are renting. Of course, there is option to insure the phone, but at a very low daily rate. I ended up only paying 800 yen for the insurance upon collection - no other amount required.
Online booking - it took me no more than 10 minutes to complete the online form and obtain booking confirmation. Included together was the local mobile number, so you could immediately use the number to inform anyone in Japan or in your country of your designated contact number. I was able to notify my friends in Japan about the number even before I reach the country.
Friendly customer service - although I had to collect my phone in Terminal 1, it was a quick and clear procedures. It was all done in English and within 10 minutes, I was already using my phone. Thanks to the online booking, they have prepared the phone in advance; less hassle and saving time ultimately. Even returning the phone was just as easy as collecting.
Self tracking of phone usage - aside from their great deals on call and messaging rates, you could also do your own tracking online. The invoices are made available and the charges are automatically debited from your credit card. Although I was informed that it will take about 4-6 weeks for the total bill available, I was impressed to see it available in less than 2 weeks after my return. Furthermore, I was able to see itemized billing for the usage of the phone.
In total, I spent a reasonable amount of money for both local and international calls/messaging expenses. Surprisingly, as compared to my last experience renting phone in Japan, it was only a fraction of the amount although I was using the phone for a longer duration and more. I would definitely use the same service when I am in Japan again, the next time. Visit Mobal Narita for more information.