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How to stay connected in Okinawa: Best network and connectivity options

Your Nomad eSIM for Japan will work in Okinawa

· 2 min read

Okinawa, a picturesque island prefecture of Japan, offers a unique blend of rich cultural heritage and modern amenities. A visit to Okinawa is bound to include a lot of island-hopping; and with 160 islands in the prefecture, perhaps you are wondering what the best way to stay connected is. Let's take a look.

Photo by Lewis Yin

Which provider has the best coverage in Okinawa?

First things first, let's look at what network operators there are in Okinawa. Okinawa has the same telecom operators as any other place in Japan; which means that the three major operators you should be aware of are: NTT Docomo, Softbank, and au by KDDI.

While NTT Docomo is generally accepted as the network with the best coverage across the Japan, things are a bit different in Okinawa. Over at Okinawa Prefecture, au by KDDI is the operator that provides the best coverage across majority of the islands.

The coverage in the main island of Okinawa is generally stable regardless of provider, but if you were to island hop and visit the other islands, connection could be rather spotty on the Docomo or Softbank network. This is especially so when you are traveling up North.

That said, regardless of operator, it is important to be aware that there are some dead spots in Okinawa where you just won't be able to get any signal — mostly in the jungles. So before you venture out far, make sure you have downloaded the essential information that you might need for offline consumption.

Staying connected in Okinawa

Free WiFi is available at most accommodation and major tourist attractions in Okinawa. But, for most itineraries in Okinawa, you are unlikely to be able to rely entirely on free WiFi. It is highly recommended for you to ensure you get mobile data.

Staying connected in Okinawa is no different from how you would stay connected in any other destination. Your options are pretty much the same - get a local SIM card, turn on international roaming, or even better, get a travel eSIM.

If you are planning to get a local SIM card, you will be able to pick up local SIM cards or rent a pocket WiFi at the arrival lobby of Naha Airport International Terminal.

But, for a more convenient option, consider getting a travel eSIM instead. With a travel eSIM, you can buy your eSIM even before you arrive. Install your eSIM before arrival, and get connected once you land!

Will my travel eSIM for Japan work in Okinawa?

Yes, it will!

Considering Okinawa is part of Japan, and that they share the same network operators, your travel eSIM for Japan should also include coverage in Okinawa and you should be able to continue using that same eSIM in Okinawa.

So, as long as there is sufficient network coverage where you are, the eSIM that you got for Japan should continue to work. When choosing your eSIM, remember to check the network that it will be using.

For the best coverage in Okinawa, get a travel eSIM that uses KDDI, or sometimes marketed as au.

Get a Nomad eSIM for your next trip to Okinawa

Planning a trip to Okinawa?

Stay connected with Nomad's travel eSIM for Japan. Nomad has a variety of plans for Japan, ranging from 1GB to 50GB. All of Nomad's plans for Japan works with KDDI, and some plans also allow you to switch between KDDI and Softbank so you can be assured of good connectivity when you are in Okinawa. Check the various plan details for the network information. Should you run out of data, it is also easy for you to purchase an add-on and continue using the same eSIM for the rest of your trip.

If you are not sure how much data you need, Nomad also offers day plans for Japan, where you get to decide for yourself the duration of your plan and the amount of high-speed data you need a day. When you have consumed the daily quota of your high-speed data, you can continue to use your data at a throttled speed.

And in case you need to share your data across multiple devices, Nomad's eSIMs also allow tethering and data-sharing!