Inexpensive cell phone for three weeks in Japan?
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Mar 23, 2013 1:16 AM Last Post By: DennisGrass
Mar 11, 2013 12:20 AM
Inexpensive cell phone for three weeks in Japan?Friend of mine is visiting Tokyo for three weeks around the end of March. She would like to have a cell phone while she is there, to send as well as receive domestic (Japanese) calls. What are her inexpensive options?
In Latin America I've seen cheap disposable phones (and SIM cards) widely available - is this also the case in Japan?
My friend speaks Japanese, but she does not read Kanji.
Bonus question: Is there a system of international calling cards for calls back to the USA? Is any one brand better than the others?
Many thanks for sharing your recent experience.
Mar 11, 2013 9:18 PM
1Girlfriend and I arrived in Japan a week ago. We brought our unlocked smartphones (Iphone and Blackberry) from the UK and thought we'd try and get a pre-paid SIM card as we are here for a few months.
We were told that it wasn't possible to get a SIM for iphone or blackberry so that option was out.
Softbank do have prepaid mobiles (5000Y including 3000Y credit) that can make/receive domestic/International calls as well as unlimited texts (300Y oer month I think) but they didn't have any in stock. I am in the outskirts of Tokyo so you may be lucky in Ginza/Shibuya etc
Au told me that if I had a second hand phone, they can give me a prepaid sim. There are plenty of places like Book Off that sell cheap mobiles.
I was fortunate that a friend had a spare mobile for me so I didn't need to take up any of the above options.
For 3 weeks, it's probably easier to hire a mobile at the airport? It would cost a bit more but you don't have to go through the hassle.
Mar 23, 2013 1:16 AM
2Here is one site for you. I have not used them, so I can not provide feedback on their service.
Formed (In Kyoto) in 2001 by a long-term foreign resident, from the start our aim has been to provide the cheapest rental service available, whilst giving quality service.
Our rental charge is Yen 3900 for one week and Yen 300 per day after that, with lower rates after 20 days. Call charges are Yen 45 to the US and from Yen 35/min in Japan - much cheaper than other rental services. Unlike most other companies, there are no hidden extras for shipping, handling, tax, etc. Don't be fooled by other rental services (especially those with rental phone counters at Narita Airport) which offer very low cost rental but then grossly overcharge for calls.
With our rental mobile / cell phones you can use your own SIM or the Japanese SIM we send with the phone
Your own mobile / cell phone won't work in Japan if it is GSM only as Japan does not use GSM.
Even if you can use your phone in Japan, both receiving and making calls will be very expensive.
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