HOME > Living In Fukuoka > Communications > Telephone

1. Telephone

Public Telephones

There are a variety of public telephones in Japan; some are operated only by coins or telephone cards and some allow international calls. To make international calls, use a phone labeled "International & Domestic Telephone". Local calls from public telephones cost 10 yen for every 57.5 seconds (10 yen for every 77.5 seconds at nighttime). Certain type of phone accept 100 yen coins, but no change will be returned. Prepaid telephone cards in denominations of 500 yen and 1,000 yen are available at kiosks or convenience stores.


Land-line Phones

Telephone Subscription Right
Normally in Japan, it is required to obtain the right to a telephone line from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) that owns communications infrastructures in the country before installing a telephone at your home. NTT West offers the service in Fukuoka.

NTT West
Tel: 116 (0800-2000116 from mobile phones) http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/phone/

* Note that there are some private companies that sell telephone subscription rights that are cheaper than those provided by NTT. In addition, there are also companies that provide package deals that include both the telephone subscription right and connection to the Internet (the former service might be included for free in the package).
* If you no longer require the telephone subscription rights, you must sell it to either a private company or to an individual, for NTT does not conduct any buyback services. The negotiated amount will vary depending on the company, but you should not expect to receive more than several thousand yen for it.

Items Required for a Subscription
- Identification: residence card, alien registration card, driver’s license, passport, etc.
- Contract fee and subscription fee: about 37,000 yen.
- Installation fee: depends on the work required (For more details, dial “116”)
* If you purchase the right from a private dealer, the dealer will usually handle some of the required procedures for NTT. For more information, inquire with your dealer.

Telephone Installation
By applying for NTT over the phone or on the Internet, NTT will install internal wiring at your home. However, since most apartments usually have internal wiring already installed, simply plugging a telephone cord into the phone jack will enable phone. For more details on the type of installation you need for your home, please consult your nearest NTT office
For the telephone itself, you will need to purchase it yourself through NTT or at an electronics stores.

Relocating or Terminating Your Telephone Service
To relocate or terminate the telephone service, contact NTT West by phone or on the Internet, and provide your address, name, and current phone number, as well as the desired dates of disconnection and reconnection and your new contact information.

Telephone Bills
NTT West bills basic monthly charges other than dialing charges (e.g. connection fees).

Payment Methods
There are three ways to pay your bills: 1) automatic transfer from a personal bank or post office account (jido koza furikae); 2) credit card payment; and 3) payment through a designated bank, post office, or convenience store with an invoice sent by NTT. Application is required for automatic transfers or credit card payments.

A Reminder When Making Domestic Calls
You need to dial an area code when making a call to a non-local telephone number. However, this is not necessary for the following municipalities as they have the same area code as Fukuoka City (i.e. 092): Chikushino-shi, Kasuga-shi, Onojo-shi, Dazaifu-shi, Maebaru-shi, Koga-shi, Itoshima-shi, Nakagawa-machi, Umi-machi, Sasaguri-machi, Shime-machi, Sue-machi, Shingu-machi, Hisayama-machi, and Kasuya-machi.
All telephone numbers that begin with 0120 are toll-free. The "Dial Q2" service (numbers which begin with 0990) ceased to exist on 28 February 2014. (0900 is currently used for fundraising for natural disasters.)

<NTT 3-Digit Information Service>

Directory assistance
(60 yen for one number, 90 yen for two or more numbers)
*100 yen (per number) is charged for a directory assistance from a public phone
104
Weather forecast (Fukuoka) 177
Weather forecast (outside Fukuoka)
area code+177
Disaster messaging service
171
Time
117
Telegraph (domestic)
115
(Applications to send telegraphs can be submitted online at any time. Refer to D-MAIL for fees and other details.)
Telegraph (international) Apply through KDDI (Phone, fax or web)
Tel: 0120-44-5124
http://www.kddi.com/phone/international/telegram/
Collect call (domestic) The domestic collect call and automatic collect call services ceased to exist on 31 July 2015.
Automatic collect call (domestic) The domestic collect call and automatic collect call services ceased to exist on 31 July 2015.
Telephone repairs
113
Telephone installation, relocation, other inquiries 116
*113 and 116 are toll-free numbers.

Other Major Telephone Companies
At present there are telephone companies other than NTT that provide land lines. Some of them own dedicated lines that do not require the use of NTT lines (i.e. a subscription is not necessary.) Please note that this service is only available in limited areas, and there are also cases when emergency numbers including “110” and “119”, as well as a toll free number of “0120” cannot be used. In the case that you use an NTT phone line through a non-NTT company (this is called “MYLINE”), the basic monthly charges will be separately billed by NTT. For more details, please consult the telephone companies.

- KDDI
KDDI Home Plus
Tel: 0077-777

- SoftBank Telecom
Otoku Line (dedicated line)
Tel: 0088-221-221 / 0120-917-221
http://tm.softbank.jp/otoku/consumer/index.html


IP Phone

There are many telecommunication companies that provide IP phone service via the Internet such as ADSL or fiber-optic connection instead of the regular phone lines. Since many of them are Internet service providers, you can ask for IP phone service at the same time you apply for an Internet connection. For more information, see Internet Providers.


International Calls

International Telephone Companies
The following telephone companies are the major international call service providers in Japan. In addition, various smaller firms offer competitive rates and services. Before deciding which company to use, it is advisable to compare the rates and service contents offered by each company, check the related ads on foreign newspapers, or ask other foreigners for advice.

<Major Telephone Companies>
- NTT Communications (company code: 0033)
Tel: 0120-506506
9:00-21:00
*Closed during the year-end and New Year holidays
http://506506.ntt.com/0033data/howto.html

- KDDI (company code: 001)
Tel: 0088-41 / 0120-03-0061
9:00-21:00
http://www.001.kddi.com/

- SoftBank Telecom (company code: 0061)
Tel: 0120-0088-82
Open weekdays 9:00-17:00
*Closed during the year-end and New Year holidays
http://tm.softbank.jp/consumer/international/

Prepaid Cards for International Calls
The following types of prepaid cards are available for making international calls. For more information on prices, instructions, or purchase/recharge locations, please inquire at one of the international call service providers below.

<Major Card Types>
- World Prepaid Card
NTT Communications
Tel: 0120-506506
http://506506.ntt.com/0033data/howto.html
*The sale of World Prepaid Cards ceased on 31 March 2015, and the service will be discontinued on 31 March 2016.

- KDDI Super World Card
Tel: 0057
http://www.001.kddi.com/lineup/with-guidance/swc/

- Communication Card/Comica
SoftBank Telecom
Tel: 0120-85-0061
http://tm.softbank.jp/consumer/comica/

- Brastel Smart Phonecard *rechargeable
Brastel Co., Ltd.
Tel: 0120-659-530/03-5637-5903
http://www.brastel.com/

How to Make International Calls
The following methods can be used to make international calls via your home telephone or public telephones that connect international calls..

1.Direct call
Access number (code number of the desired company) → 010 → country code → phone number (area code → phone number)
*Generally the “0” on the local area code is omitted when dialing; however, there are exceptions.

2.Operator-assisted call
KDDI provides an operator-assisted service for person-to-person calls. Upon dialing “0051”, tell the operator which type of call you wish to make.

3.Prepaid card call
Various types of international phone cards are provided by different companies in Japan, and they can be purchased online or at convenience stores. Some are rechargeable while others are single-use only. Both types come with a specified number, so followed the audio guide and dial the number accordingly.

4.Credit card calls
Credit card call access code → signal tone or audio guidance → credit card number + # → PIN number → country code→ phone number (area code → phone number) + #
*Access codes for credit card calls
KDDI: 0055 (NTT Communications and SoftBank Telecom services have been discontinued.)

<Places for International Fax services>
Convenience Stores: Lawson or Family Mart
*Please inquire at the desired stores since not every store necessarily provides this service.
Other: Fedex Kinko’s


Mobile Phones

A number of phone companies provide mobile phone services that offer cellular services and incoming/outgoing email in almost all areas of Japan. Also an increasing number of cellular models are now equipped with global roaming services.

Purchasing Mobile Phones (Signing a Contract)
Mobile phones can be purchased/contracted at the service desks of phone companies or electronics stores. To sign a contract, you will need to prepare the following items: a form of ID that verifies your name, date of birth, and current address e.g. Japanese driver’s license, residence card or alien registration card, the “todokede-in” (a seal which you used to open your bank account) and a bank book or other documents that verify your account information to set up automatic payment, or your credit card if you wish to pay by credit card. In addition, there are also companies that provide prepaid mobile phones. For more information, please inquire at the following companies or mobile phone shops.

<Major Mobile Companies>
- NTT docomo
Tel: 0120-800-000
9:00-20:00
Tel: 0120-005-250 (English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish)
9:00-20:00
Open seven days a week
http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/

- SoftBank
Tel: 0800-21-2000 (toll free)
*Press 8 for guidance in English
Open 24 hours, seven days a week
Operator service is available from 9:00-20:00
*Prepaid service available
http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/

- au
Tel: 0077-7-111
(English: 0120-959-472, Chinese: 0120-959-473, Korean: 0120-959-478)
Open 24 hours, every day
Operator service available 9:00-20:00
*Prepaid mobile service available
http://www.au.kddi.com/

- Y!mobile
Tel: 0120-921-159 (24 hour automated service)
0570-039-151 (9:00-20:00)
http://www.ymobile.jp/index.html?ref=head

*As the rates and the contents of services fluctuate greatly in the telephone market, please check the latest information on the websites or at the service offices of the phone companies as needed.