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Japanese Cell Phone

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Japanese Cell Phone

Postby Kailene » Thu 06.04.2009 6:57 pm

Hey hey! (again!)

So I'm thinking that I want to get a cell phone in Japan. From what I hear, it's how all the young people keep in contact with each other. I also heard that they tend not to call each other, but they send emails on them, right?

So anyways, I'm going to be in Japan for 5 weeks. People were telling me to either get a prepaid phone or a phone from the US that works in Japan. I definitely don't want to get a US phone, because I'm planning on using it like the Japanese kids do :) I don't like calling people, and I'll have access to Skype for international calls and stuff. I couldn't get a direct answer from anybody, so I decided to ask here.

If I get a prepaid phone, can I use the same functions as a Japanese phone (aka emailing and junk)? If I can, where do you suggest I buy one of these buggers? If I can't, do you have any suggestions for me?
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Re: Japanese Cell Phone

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 06.04.2009 8:01 pm

You can get a prepaid phone any cellphone shop (of which there are many) or from a convenience store, although I would recommend getting one from a proper cellphone store. You can also get them at the airport when you land in Japan if you want.

AU, Docomo and Softbank all have pre-paid phone plans, and they allow mailing/texting as well as making and receiving calls. And, unlike in the states, you do not get charged for receiving calls (although I believe you do get charged for receiving mails, dependent on the plan you use).

If you wait until getting to Otawara, I would suggest going to the Tobu Department store which is the large shopping center in the town. They will probably have shops from all the cellphone companies, but I'm not sure, as I have never been to Tochigi.

As for which company to get, you should ask what everyone around you is using. Cellphone coverage and service quality varies by area, and in some places you might not get reception with docomo, while you can with au, or the reverse. In my own experience, I find that docomo and au have the best coverage of rural areas, but each area is different.
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Re: Japanese Cell Phone

Postby fuzzycuffs » Fri 06.05.2009 3:16 am

There are lots of rental phones in Japan. I tend to use the phones from JAL ABC at Narita, which tend to be the cheapest (and oldest, and crappiest, etc). No mail, really old phone, but it gets the job done.

AFAIK, you can't get prepaid sim card in Japan if you're just there on a tourist visa. You need to show proof of residency to get prepaid sims if you were to bring your own phone (which it doesn't sound like you want to do).

Now if you really want to be like the Japanese kids, just remember to dangle a bunch of cellphone charms on your phone, and have it light up in a million colors when you open it. :lol:
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Re: Japanese Cell Phone

Postby Yaacov » Wed 06.17.2009 3:05 am

I don't know about prepaid phones but I'm going to grad school in Japan and my iPhone better work!!! (useless comment, I know)
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Re: Japanese Cell Phone

Postby fuzzycuffs » Sun 06.21.2009 3:56 am

Yaacov wrote:I don't know about prepaid phones but I'm going to grad school in Japan and my iPhone better work!!! (useless comment, I know)

You're going to need to carrier unlock it. Look up yellowsn0w (and upcoming ultrasn0w). Otherwise it'll work fine in Japan, but you'll be internationally roaming the entire time and spend a fortune making calls. :)

But you'll have to get a prepaid dealy in Japan, and I don't know if they cover data. Maybe you can get a cheap phone with data plan with another provider under contract and take the sim out and put it in the (unlocked) iPhone. It's a common practice in other parts of the world, but Japan not so much.
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