his article is one of the most important Tips you should know before coming to Japan. Why? You don’t want to surprised while on your Holiday, or business trip to Japan. The fact is – the cell phone you brought along with you from your own home country, will probably not work in Japan. If you want to be on the safe side, even if you’re coming for 2-3 days, you really should rent a Japanese phone.
The reasons are technical, and I will go into them shortly in a minute. But before I do that, I want you to note that this cell-phone problem is not limited to rural, out of the way places in Japan. Your Cellphone functionality is not guaranteed even in places like Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka.
Renting a cell phone while in Tokyo is the best way to solve this. Now you’re probably asking… How can I rent a Japanese phone?
Cell phone companies have kiosks at Narita airport, while other companies will mail a phone to your hotel. Renting is simple, and requires just a picture ID and a credit card. Renting is also reasonably priced. You can return the phones at the end of your vacation at the airport or through the mail, depending on the company. The fees for rental of cellphones are based on daily rental fee plus a usage fee.
The Reasons The major technical reason is because the Japanese phone system works through PDC, while in North America and Europe mobile phone systems are based on GSM standard. However, it’s best to get in touch with your local service provider before arriving in Japan, to check just in case, if your own Mobile is compatible with the Japanese network.
Another possibility is to rent a SIM card (from a Japanese provider). In that case you can use your own mobile phone with a Japanese phone number and lower rates.
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