Except for some traditional ryokan and minshiku, nearly all hotels have Wi-Fi. There are some free services that allow tourists to access a number of hotspots around the country. Two of the most useful are Travel Japan Wi-Fi (throughout Japan) and Free Wi-Fi Japan (mostly Tokyo and the surrounding tourist sites). Rent a pocket Wi-Fi router so you can use Google Maps to navigate your way around.


Free Wi-Fi Japan. Access to many hotspots in Tokyo and surrounding areas. Requires getting a free password and log-in online or at a tourist center.

PuPuRu Mobile Phone Rental. Pocket Wi-Fi routers reserved online before your trip can be picked up at the airport and returned by post before you leave Japan. Rates range from ¥400 to ¥1,000 per day depending on device.

Travel Japan Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi access at up to 200,000 hotspots throughout Japan using iOS or Android devices. Requires online registration.


The country code for Japan is 81. When dialing a Japanese number from outside Japan, drop the initial "0" from the local area code. The country code for the United States is 1.

Calling Within Japan

There are sometimes public telephones near convenience stores, train and bus stations, and, of course, in hotel lobbies. Phones accept ¥100 coins as well as prepaid telephone cards. Domestic long-distance rates are reduced as much as 50% after 9 pm (40% after 7 pm). Telephone cards, sold in vending machines, hotels, and a variety of stores, are tremendously convenient.

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.


Directory Assistance. 104.

NTT Information Customer Service Center. 0120/36–4463.

Calling Outside Japan

The best way to call abroad is to use an Internet-based service like Skype or Google Voice. There are still a few telephone cards that can be used to call out of Japan such as the KDDI Super World Card. Each card has different access codes so follow the included instructions. Major U.S. cellular carriers also offer international voice and data plans. Check with your carrier for details.

Japan has several telephone companies for international calls, so make a note of all the possible access code numbers to use to connect to your U.S. server before departure.

Access Codes

AT&T USADirect.

Sprint International Access. 800/866–7509;!.

Calling Cards

Telephone cards for ¥1,000 can be bought at station kiosks or convenience stores and can be used in virtually all public telephones. For international calls, look for phones that accept KDDI prepaid cards valued between ¥1,000 and ¥7,000. Cards are available from convenience stores.

Mobile Phones

Japan is a non-GSM country. It's best to rent a phone from one of the many outlets at Narita, Kansai, and Nagoya airports. Softbank sells SIM cards so you can use your own number in Japan. Most company rental rates start at ¥525 a day.


JALABC Rental Phone.


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