Calling to Japan
Making Calls while in Japan
Making Calls while in Japan
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General Tips for Making Phone Calls within Japan
Remember to dial a preliminary 0 for any domestic long-distance calls. Local calls are simple: just dial the 4-8-digit subscriber number. You may see NTT in our guide and on public telephones across Japan. NTT stands for Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, a company that dominates the telecommunications market in Japan.
Mobile phone calls within Japan
Japanese cellular phone numbers always begin with 2-digit cellular prefixes. These prefixes are followed by 8-digit subscriber numbers. Do not forget the preliminary 0 for all domestic calls to cell phones. Cellular prefixes include:
- 70- xxxx-xxxx
- 80- xxxx-xxxx
- 90- xxxx-xxxx
Receiving calls from abroad
If you are calling Japan internationally, always dial the international access code first, followed by the country code, area code, and subscriber number. Remember, there is no need to dial the preliminary 0 before the area code for international calls.
For calls to Japanese land lines from the U.S., dial:
For calls to Japanese cellular lines from the U.S., dial:
Other calls and numbers
For local calls within Japan, just dial the 4-8-digit subscriber number.
Toll-free numbers in Japan are often referred to as “free dial.” They always begin with the prefixes 120 or 088. Remember to include a preliminary 0 when calling them within Japan.
Be careful calling these numbers from outside Japan. You are likely to be charged the international rate.
Toll-free public service numbers in Japan include:
- 110 Police
- 118 Maritime Emergencies
- 119 Fire
- 171 Earthquake Assistance
- 100 NTT Operator
- 106 Operator Assistance (collect calls)
- 108 Automated Assistance (collect calls)
- 113 NTT Technical Faults Hotline
- 116 NTT Customer Service and General Inquiries
Tips for Calling Internationally from Japan
For international calls from Japan, first dial the country’s international access code, 0039. This should always be followed by the country code of the country you are calling, area code, and subscriber number. e.g. For a call to the U.S. from Japan, dial 0039-1-xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Avoid making calls from your hotel room. Public telephones are the most economical option. They can be found in public areas, restaurants, and cafes. A local call costs ¥10 (10¢) for each minute; a warning chime will ring to tell you to insert more coins before you are disconnected. Many public phones accept both ¥10 and ¥100 coins. The latter is best for long-distance calls, but remember that no change is given for unused minutes. All gray, ISDN telephones are equipped for international calls.
You can also purchase a magnetic prepaid telephone card for domestic calls. These are available in values of ¥1,000 ($9.50) and are sold at vending machines, station kiosks, and convenience stores. Green and gray telephones accept telephone cards. Keep in mind that domestic long-distance calls are 20% to 40% cheaper at night, on weekends, and on national holidays for calls of distances more than 37 miles. NTT also has its own silver and orange IC Card Payphones (found mostly in hotel lobbies) with its own card (sold in adjacent vending machines), which you insert into the phone. For international calls, phone cards are your best bet.
Many larger hotels offer in-room high-speed dataports for laptop modems and adapters. Most charge anywhere from ¥500 to ¥1,500 ($4.75-$14) a day. The business centers in hotels may be even more expensive, but some business hotels do have lobby computers you can use for free or a small fee. Internet cafes are also easy to find. You can usually e-mail either by paying a fee or by purchasing a drink or a meal. NTT operates pay telephones equipped with a modular jack for portable computer hookups. Look for gray ISDN telephones, many of which have English-language explanations on how to use them. They also accept prepaid telephone cards.