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a few questions (cell phones and such)

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a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Thu 12.11.2008 10:53 am

I'm in Japan right now. I don't feel like telling my life story, so I'll just leave it at that.
I'll be returning to America in a few months for what i hope will only be 5months, but could turn out to be a year.
Anyway, I want to keep in touch with my boyfriend and everyone, but phones in America just don't compare with the high-tech phones of Japan.
I feel stupid for not knowing, but can American cell-phones have their own email address? Does it cost extra to text internationally? (i would assume it would even with my unlimited texting plan)


forget all my specific questions about phones though, i can ask my provider about international texting and what not.
I'm wondering if anyone has advice on how to stay connected using a cellphone between the US and Japan.



Just to throw it in here:
When i come back, I would like to stay in a weekly apartment rental facility, but I don't understand them exactly. Are such facilities available to foreigners? I want to stay in Nagoya. Do any of you know of a good, fair priced rental facility?
i've been searching online, but my results seem questionable. =/ If any of you have links to helpful sites, they would be appreciated.
or even if you just know of a good living option for a short term stay (like a month). a hotel is too expensive. Dx no way!
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Thu 12.11.2008 11:04 am

i think these are 2 tough questions. :lol:
even the providers at softbank can't really tell me what i should do.......... :cry:

Hopefully, someone out there has experience and can tell me something.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby keatonatron » Thu 12.11.2008 3:24 pm

Japanese cell phones have the same type of e-mail addresses that computers do, which means you can send messages between a Japanese cell phone and your computer for free (well, for free to the person using the computer, and for very cheap to the person using the cell phone).

I know it's possible to get an American cell phone with the same capabilities, but I'm not there so I don't know the details. I'd just suggest using your computer.

Pay-by-the-week lodging in Nagoya
First search result for "weekly mansion nagoya" on google.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Fri 12.12.2008 12:57 am

I'm already aware that I can send emails via computer and the type of address. I have a Softbank phone. I don't want to rely on a computer, which is the dilemma. I'm sure phones have email access now a days, but I was wondering if American phones can operate like Japanese phones and thereby have their own seperate address.




Thanks for the link. I did google search, but i have trouble being concise on google.
ie "weekly rental apartments located in Nagoya"
a bit longer and i guess the words would distract the search.

ANYWAY, thanks =] I'll take a look at that site.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby OitaFish » Fri 12.12.2008 9:06 pm

chiisu321 wrote:I'm already aware that I can send emails via computer and the type of address. I have a Softbank phone. I don't want to rely on a computer, which is the dilemma. I'm sure phones have email access now a days, but I was wondering if American phones can operate like Japanese phones and thereby have their own seperate address.


Most, if not all, of them do. When I lived in the US and my wife traveled to Japan, that is how we kept in touch.

If you are only going to be in the US temporarily, another option you may want to look at is getting an international phone in Japan. Check coverage and rates though. I have one through au. It worked in Portland, Oregon but not in Nice, France. I've heard that softbank has better international coverage. If you have coverage, you would be able to e-mail your friends in Japan (or the US for that matter) and if someone in Japan wants to call you, they just dial your same Japan phone number and it will connect to you in the US. I had trouble going the other way though -- I was not able to figure out how to call a number in Japan from the US.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby keatonatron » Sat 12.13.2008 11:21 am

OitaFish wrote:
chiisu321 wrote:If you have coverage, you would be able to e-mail your friends in Japan (or the US for that matter) and if someone in Japan wants to call you, they just dial your same Japan phone number and it will connect to you in the US.



This is true, except that it costs about $1 per minute, which makes it unaffordable for us normal folk.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby OitaFish » Sun 12.14.2008 9:05 am

keatonatron wrote:
OitaFish wrote:
chiisu321 wrote:If you have coverage, you would be able to e-mail your friends in Japan (or the US for that matter) and if someone in Japan wants to call you, they just dial your same Japan phone number and it will connect to you in the US.



This is true, except that it costs about $1 per minute, which makes it unaffordable for us normal folk.


It depends on the plan. That's why I advised to check the rates. On my plan, I have a certain amount of monthly minutes. When getting a call while overseas, they charge several minutes for each minute of your plan but you don't pay extra until you run out of your regular minutes (although I think there are taxes you have to pay). I think e-mail's are charged the same way.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby keatonatron » Sun 12.14.2008 11:03 am

OitaFish wrote:It depends on the plan. That's why I advised to check the rates. On my plan, I have a certain amount of monthly minutes. When getting a call while overseas, they charge several minutes for each minute of your plan but you don't pay extra until you run out of your regular minutes (although I think there are taxes you have to pay). I think e-mail's are charged the same way.


The monthly minutes are actually calculated in monetary amounts (e.g. Pay the price of plan A, and included is 2000 yen of talk time, billed at 30 yen per minute). When calling within Japan, the price is always the same, so they can pretty accurately predict how many minutes that is (in this example, 66.6). When you go overseas, they will most likely charge you about 100 yen per minute, which means on the plan above you would only get 20 minutes of talk time before having to pay extra.

Of course you won't know the exact price until you look it up, but I have looked it up before--and it's insanely expensive.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Sun 12.14.2008 11:40 am

keatonatron wrote:
OitaFish wrote:It depends on the plan. That's why I advised to check the rates. On my plan, I have a certain amount of monthly minutes. When getting a call while overseas, they charge several minutes for each minute of your plan but you don't pay extra until you run out of your regular minutes (although I think there are taxes you have to pay). I think e-mail's are charged the same way.


The monthly minutes are actually calculated in monetary amounts (e.g. Pay the price of plan A, and included is 2000 yen of talk time, billed at 30 yen per minute). When calling within Japan, the price is always the same, so they can pretty accurately predict how many minutes that is (in this example, 66.6). When you go overseas, they will most likely charge you about 100 yen per minute, which means on the plan above you would only get 20 minutes of talk time before having to pay extra.

Of course you won't know the exact price until you look it up, but I have looked it up before--and it's insanely expensive.


I'm not 20 yet, so even attaining one of these phones would be a hassle (one of my least favourite rules in Japan). 20min of talk time per month at an unreasonable price sounds.........unreasonable. haha
I have a softbank phone now, but i didn't even ask if it was internationally? capable.

I used Sprint in the US and I remember it has international features. Like, you pay an exta $5 or so a month to make international calls at the normal price. Dunno if it costs the other person more though. I suppose it would =/
OH! does Japan have like free calls after blah blah o'clock? I should know this, but I don't :o

BUT, im not worried about the calling, it's the mail. :? :cry:
Like softbank has (blahblah)@softbank.ne.jp, but like verizon and sprint don't give out phone addresses..........right?
I guess i could get a new sprint phone with instant email alert, but even that needs an internet email address. also, i would have to get a contract which then wouldn't make sense because I'm coming back to japan :?

can a japanese phone text message with a US phone using the phone number?......does that cost extra?
(i should ask sprint XD........gah but i hate talking to the phone assistance operators. They always ask a million unnecessary questions and put you on hold for forever.)
SO! if you know about the mail and texting procedure, do share. If not, i'll ask Sprint eventually. haha
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby keatonatron » Tue 12.16.2008 1:35 am

chiisu321 wrote:I used Sprint in the US and I remember it has international features. Like, you pay an exta $5 or so a month to make international calls at the normal price. Dunno if it costs the other person more though. I suppose it would =/

Japanese phones are charged nothing to receive calls and e-mails.

Like softbank has (blahblah)@softbank.ne.jp, but like verizon and sprint don't give out phone addresses..........right?

Like I said, some US phones now work just like the Japanese ones: you get a normal e-mail adress.

can a japanese phone text message with a US phone using the phone number?......does that cost extra?

In fact, they can. It's called SMS, and has become an international standard. I think it's cheaper than sending normal e-mails even... but you can only send 100-something characters (as opposed to e-mail's 5000 or more), and only in English.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby Pork Chop » Tue 12.16.2008 12:56 pm

Some of the new smart phones these days are pretty spiffy...
I think the iPhone and the Instinct hold their own against Japanese phones.
Even without international options, sprint is $80 a month for unlimited text, email, and internet...
I'm sure you could find some way in there to reach people internationally.
If you're only here a short time, why not use Skype?
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 12.16.2008 2:38 pm

chiisu321 wrote:I'm not 20 yet, so even attaining one of these phones would be a hassle (one of my least favourite rules in Japan).


I wish the USA and the rest of the world would adopt such a forward thinking attitude. Kids with phones are worse than kids with guns.. Go do some research on pictures forwarded from cameras in high school and junior high and then wonder why the increase in "sexual" predators is on the rise and also, ask yourself why so many kids are leaving high school with "pedaphile or sexual deviant" permanent records, these same kids are also required to register with any other sexual offender..
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Tue 12.16.2008 10:36 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:
chiisu321 wrote:I'm not 20 yet, so even attaining one of these phones would be a hassle (one of my least favourite rules in Japan).


I wish the USA and the rest of the world would adopt such a forward thinking attitude. Kids with phones are worse than kids with guns.. Go do some research on pictures forwarded from cameras in high school and junior high and then wonder why the increase in "sexual" predators is on the rise and also, ask yourself why so many kids are leaving high school with "pedaphile or sexual deviant" permanent records, these same kids are also required to register with any other sexual offender..


Is this another pondering question? haha. I hear of so many incidents involved with people phone mailing others they don't know. Quite a shame.

It's just that since the age of adulthood is 18, it seems to make less sense for you to need to be 20 to sign for your own phone. I am 18, so this erks me a bit.
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Tue 12.16.2008 10:53 pm

keatonatron wrote:
chiisu321 wrote:I used Sprint in the US and I remember it has international features. Like, you pay an exta $5 or so a month to make international calls at the normal price. Dunno if it costs the other person more though. I suppose it would =/

Japanese phones are charged nothing to receive calls and e-mails.

Like softbank has (blahblah)@softbank.ne.jp, but like verizon and sprint don't give out phone addresses..........right?

Like I said, some US phones now work just like the Japanese ones: you get a normal e-mail adress.

can a japanese phone text message with a US phone using the phone number?......does that cost extra?

In fact, they can. It's called SMS, and has become an international standard. I think it's cheaper than sending normal e-mails even... but you can only send 100-something characters (as opposed to e-mail's 5000 or more), and only in English.


Thanks for clearing it up. :mrgreen: I think I didn't understand the first time. :oops:
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Re: a few questions (cell phones and such)

Postby chiisu321 » Tue 12.16.2008 11:28 pm

Pork Chop wrote:Some of the new smart phones these days are pretty spiffy...
I think the iPhone and the Instinct hold their own against Japanese phones.
Even without international options, sprint is $80 a month for unlimited text, email, and internet...
I'm sure you could find some way in there to reach people internationally.
If you're only here a short time, why not use Skype?


i Definately can not afford an iphone haha. $80 is about how much i pay for my sprint phone. I have all the features you mentioned. =] so i guess texting wouldn't cost either of us much.

Skype is another option i considered, but because of the time difference im afraid i would disturb too many people at night while i try to speak into my laptop built in microphone. Talking into a phone reciever would at least let me speak more quietly. But, still Skype is another option. :) it's free too ^^
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