Calling to Japan
Making Calls while in Japan
Making Calls while in Japan
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Information About Japan Telephone System
Though Japan is no longer the telecommunications leader it was in 1980s, it still has an exceptionally advanced system. Over 60 million land lines and over 100 million cellular lines are in use in the country. About 78% of the population is thought to own cellular phones.
Important Phone Numbers To Know if Traveling to Japan
Most embassies are located in Tokyo. In addition, there are U.S., British, and Australian consulates in Osaka.
The U.S. Embassy is located at 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, near Toranomon subway station (tel. 03/3224-5000; consular section open Mon-Fri 8:30am-12:30pm and 2-4pm; phone inquiries Mon-Fri 8:30am-1pm and 2-5:30pm). The Canadian Embassy is 7-3-38 Akasaka, Minato-ku, near Aoyama-Itchome Station (tel. 03/5412-6200; consular section open Mon-Fri 9:30am-noon; embassy open Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm). The British Embassy can be found at 1 Ichibancho, Chiyoda-ku, near Hanzomon Station (tel. 03/3265-5511; consular section open Mon-Fri 9-11:30am and 2-4pm). The Australian Embassy is located at 2-1-14 Mita, Minato-ku (tel. 03/5232-4111; Mon-Fri 9am-12:30pm and 1:30-5:25pm).
Other Important Information to Know About Japan
GMT + 9.00. Current time in Tokyo.
One U.S. dollar is equivalent to 120.08 Japanese yen. One British pound is currently worth 239.21yen. Current exchange rate for Japanese yen.
National holidays include January 1 (New Year's Day), second Monday in January (Coming-of-Age Day), February 11 (National Foundation Day), March 20 or 21 (Vernal Equinox Day), April 29 (Greenery Day; from 2007 it will be called Showa Day, after Emperor Showa), May 3 (Constitution Memorial Day), May 4 (to be called Greenery Day beginning 2007), May 5 (Children's Day), third Monday in July (Maritime Day), third Monday in September (Respect-for-the-Aged Day), September 23 or 24 (Autumn Equinox Day); second Monday in October (Health Sports Day); November 3 (Culture Day), November 23 (Labor Thanksgiving Day); and December 23 (Emperor's Birthday).
When a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday becomes a holiday. Government offices and some businesses are closed on public holidays, but restaurants and stores usually remain open. The exception is during the New Year's celebration, January 1 through January 3, when nearly everything closes.
Japan is the official language and is spoken by 99% of the population. However, schools require students to study English, so you will likely encounter English speakers, especially in tourist areas.
As in the eastern United States, Japan has four distinct seasons. Regional weather differences are similar to those within the range of Boston to Atlanta in the U.S. A rainy season lasts from about mid-June to mid-July. Rainstorms can be followed by hot and humid conditions. From late August through September typhoons may arrive, but their direct effects rarely reach land. Autumn is beautiful in Japan with pleasant and slightly cool days. Winter is often snowy, while spring is lovely and features the country’s famous cherry and plum blossoms.
Fun Facts About Japan
- Sumo wrestling is considered Japan’s national sport, but baseball is the country’s most popular spectator sport.
- Shintoism and Buddhism are the major religions in Japan, and festivals at shrines and temples are common.
- Tipping is not the norm in Japan. Service charges of 10% to 15% are added automatically to restaurant and bar bills.
- For travel between cities, hop on a train. They are safe, comfortable, and fast. The Shinkansen, or “Bullet Train”, travels at 187mph.
- Rice and noodles are staple foods in Japan and are often combined with fish, tofu, and meat.
- Kyoto is famous for its shrines and temples. While there, you can also visit Sanjusangendo Hall and Nijo Castle, former home of the shogun.
- Remember to remove your shoes before entering a Japanese home, traditional inn, or temple.
- The evening meal is the most important and substantial meal of the day for the Japanese. It is often served with sake, an alcoholic beverage.
- If you are traveling between islands, consider taking a ferry if you have the time. They are inexpensive and pleasant.
- Try some of Japan’s locally brewed beers, including Kirin, Sapporo, Asahi, and Suntory.
- Don’t leave your chopsticks sticking vertically into your rice when dining. This is how they are served as ritual offerings to the dead.
- About a dozen Japanese cities offer “Home Visit” programs where tourists are matched with Japanese families. This is a great way experience Japanese life for just a few hours.
- It’s easy and cheap to stay hydrated in Japan: tap water is safe to drink throughout the country.