[Updated November 2023] How should I charge and set up my smartphone when traveling to Korea? _ Summary of things to be careful of when in Korea



  • Power supply situation in Korea

    • What shape is the plug? Do I need a converter?

    • What voltage? Do I need a transformer?

  • Can I still use chat and phone?

    • Can I use LINE or Messenger?

  • Set a PIN for your Japanese SIM card in case your phone gets stolen


■Prepare a converter between SE and C type power plugs for your trip to Korea!

There are three types of power plugs in Korea: Type A, which is the same as in Japan, as well as the rounded SE and C types. The width of the SE and C types of plugs differs slightly. Type A is the same as in Japan, so you don't need a converter, but it's a good idea to have a converter for C and SE types ready. We recommend purchasing a converter for converting Japanese plugs to overseas plugs in advance, such as online.

■If you just want to charge your smartphone, you generally don't need a transformer.

The voltage in Japan is 100V, but while there are some 110V voltages in Korea, 220V is the norm. Most smartphone chargers are compatible with both 220V and 110V, so if the charger's input column says something like 100~240V, you can use it in Korea as is. (If it's hard to see, try looking up the model number of the charger you have online.)

You can still use the chat even if you use a new SIM card.

Even if you use an overseas SIM or eSIM , you can still use the usual LINE and Messnger . However, if you need SMS authentication, you will need to have a Japanese SIM inserted. With a prepaid eSIM for Korean communications, you don't have to worry because you can use the SIM you normally use in Japan with it inserted. In particular, VOYAGE eSIM allows you to use unlimited signals from Korea's largest telecommunications company, KT , so you can use LINE and Messnger anywhere in Korea.


■Be careful with iPhone's iMessage (SMS function).

If you use a Japanese SIM card in Korea for SMS , it will cost 100 yen per message. Normally, chatting between iPhones can be done for free using the iMessage feature. This means that if the speech bubbles for past conversations are light blue, you can chat for free, but if they are green, you will be charged for the SMS feature. In other words, if you use green speech bubbles, it will cost 100 yen per speech bubble. It is best to only use iMessage with people you are communicating with in light blue, and if possible, to avoid mistakes, it is best to avoid using the SMS feature while traveling.


■Don't forget to set a PIN for your Japanese SIM in case your smartphone is stolen!

If your smartphone is stolen... If you have overseas travel insurance, the warranty for the smartphone itself will be valid, but what is surprisingly unknown is that only the SIM of the stolen smartphone will be used. Since SIM cards can be easily removed, there have been cases where criminals have actually misused them by replacing them with their own smartphones and charged nearly 1 million yen in usage fees. You can set a PIN from the SIM PIN item on the mobile communication screen of the settings screen. ( eSIMs purchased for overseas travel are prepaid, so there is no need to set it.) If you do not receive calls or SMS from Japan, you can leave your Japanese SIM in Japan, but this is not recommended as it will be ineffective when entering and leaving Japan. You may need the PIN code later, so be careful not to forget it.

■Other information you need for your trip to Korea

[Latest] Summary of Required Procedures before Entering Korea [K-ETA Application Exemption]

[Latest Edition] Popular local apps and recommended travel apps for Korea

[Latest] Taxi fares in Korea are surprisingly common! Summary

"Getting to know Korea" A useful summary of the differences between Japan and Korea when traveling