Phone jacks are the same in Japan as in the United States. Many hotels have LAN and Wi-Fi connections for high-speed Internet access. Ethernet cables are usually available at hotels if you don't bring your own. Wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) is increasingly available for free at certain coffee shops (Starbucks, after free registration), convenience stores (like 7-Eleven), and various tourist sites throughout the country; some higher-end hotels charge an extra fee for in-room Internet access. There are Internet cafés in many cities, but they tend to be dark, cavelike halls focused more on manga (comic books) and computer games than staying in touch with people back home. Although free Wi-Fi access is not as widespread as in the United States, free services from local tourism, train companies, and other businesses allow tourists to access a number of Wi-Fi hot spots around the country. A useful one is Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi (for hot spots throughout Japan). Visitors needing consistent Internet access when out and about may want to rent a pocket Wi-Fi router.


The good news is that you can now make a direct-dial telephone call from virtually any point on Earth. The bad news? You can't always do so cheaply. Calling from a hotel is almost always the most expensive option; hotels usually add huge surcharges to all calls, particularly international ones. Calling cards usually keep costs to a minimum, but only if you purchase them locally.

The country code for Japan is 81. When dialing a Japanese number from outside Japan, drop the initial "0" from the local area code.

Calling Within Japan

Public telephones are a dying species in cell-phone-happy Japan. But there are some public telephones in train and subway stations, and in hotel lobbies. Phones accept ¥100 coins as well as prepaid telephone cards. Operator assistance at 104 is in Japanese only. Weekdays 9–5 (except national holidays) English-speaking operators can help you at the toll-free NTT Information Customer Service Centre.

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