As your parents or friends are certain to want you to call home once in a while, consider some of the following tips when you’re calling.
Country codes for countries that most JETs come from are as follows.
- Australia 61
- Canada 1
- Ireland 353
- Jamaica 1
- New Zealand 64
- Singapore 65
- South Africa 27
- UK 44
- USA 1
For other countries try this list of country codes.
The easiest way to dial out of the country is: 010 + country code + area code + phone number
This is considerably expensive, however, so we suggest you try one of the following.
International Phone Cards
They are cheap and convenient. Several cards can be used for domestic calls as well. Phone cards are available at convenience stores such as Lawsons. Many stores now have freestanding units with a touch screen, usually semi-bilingual, from which you buy the cards. There are several cards available. The cards have a 24hr. flat rate, and can be used from any phone (mobile/public/home). Rural convenience stores will often not have calling cards in stock but they can often recharge them for you. Try buying the cards at department stores and convenience stores in the cities, and then you can recharge them back in rural areas.
00** numbers are prefixes for connecting to the cheapest Japanese phone companies. They are simple to use – just dial 00** and then the number that you want. Look out for these deals because they are generally cheaper than NTT, and some do not have any registration fee or credit card requirements (such as 0061). You are charged for this service separate from your regular phone bill. Depending on where you call and how long you talk, they can be a good, convenient deal. Some of the discount telephone services listed below fall into this category.
Discount Telephone Service Providers: International and Domestic
The following companies can get you a better deal on phone calls than KDDI or NTT. Rates vary. Most companies offer flat rates and bill in yen. Make sure to ask if they have any special deals for JETs.
Tel: (042) 388-5958
Fax: (042) 388-1918
Mobile site: WorldLink-Tel.com/i
Address: Maehara-cho 4-17-26, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-0013
Cheap calls from Japan on your mobile phone and home phone. Local and long distance calls within Japan too. Direct dial calling with a 4-digit prefix.
i-Tel Long Distance (Impact Telecommunications, Inc.)
Hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm, M-F
1-75 Nigawa Yurino-cho
Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo-ken, 〒662-0815
○No sign-up fee.
11654 – 738 Plaza America Dr.
Reston, VA 20190, USA
○ No sign-up fee.
○ No monthly charges
Of course, the option people use most nowadays is Skype! You can make free video calls via the internet, or make phone calls for a fee.
Google Talk is not as well known as skype, but the quality of video and voice chat may be better than that of Skype’s. Google also offers cheap landline options…about as cheap as you can get at 1 cent per minute.