From Chief Editor about Telephones and Mobile Phones

Landline phones

Before choosing your landline phone service providers, you need to make sure if a phone subscriber line (“kanyu denwa”) is connected as far as to your telephone outlets in your house or apartment. In case no phone subscriber line is available as at a newly built house, it’s easier and cheaper just to go with mobile phones.

Once you confirm that a phone subscriber line is available, you can choose a telephone company to conclude a contract, arrange a telephone device to start using it.

You may pay the bills monthly as other utilities.

Public/pay phones

As more and more people use their own mobile phones, there are less and less public or pay phones in Japan. The public or pay phones here are colored light green or gray. You can use 100 yen coins, 10 yen coins and magnetic prepaid telephone cards available at vending machines (in or near public phone booths). Some gray ones are good to call overseas, too. And you’ll find how to call overseas at such booths.

For asking directions:

Where can I find a pay phone (to make an international call)?
(国際電話を掛けられる)公衆電話はどこにありますか?

Mobile phones on subscription plans

There are many mobile phone carriers for you to choose from. There are many different subscription plans including landline services, the Internet and WiFi connections, tablets and more. Even though you carefully weigh each complicated plan of each carrier, carriers modify their plans from time to time and it’s hard to catch up with their changes.

There are some types of mobile phones such as cell phones (“keitai denwa” or “garakei”) and smart phones.

In order to conclude a contract with a carrier, you are asked to bring in your ID such as your Resident Registry Card (“juki” card) with your photo or Residence Card (“zairyu” card).

There are rental and prepaid mobile phone, too.