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  2. Japan Travel Information

Keeping in Touch (Japan)

Phone calls
Hotels will have phones where you can make calls back home, however please be aware that the cost of these calls may be expensive and rates will vary between hotels. Therefore, always check the costs and procedure with hotel reception beforehand. Calling from a hotel is almost always the most expensive option. If the hotel does enforce a call charge, you will be unable to refute it after making your call.

Phone cards bought in Australia/New Zealand or in Japan can be used in most public payphones. Although public telephones are a dying breed in cell-phone-happy Japan, some can be found in stations and hotel lobbies. Domestic long-distance rates are reduced by as much as 50 per cent after 9 pm.

Australia: to call Australia, the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 61, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.

New Zealand: to call New Zealand, the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.

Calling Japan: Japan’s country code is 81. To call from Australia/New Zealand, dial 0081 followed by number minus the first 0.

Mobile phones

The Japanese mobile telephone system is not compatible with those of other countries, so only 3G or 4G mobile phones will work in Japan. Local mobile phones can be rented on arrival at the airport. This will cost approximately 500 Yen per day for regular phones, or 1,000 – 2,000 Yen per day for smartphones, plus call charges. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave home. It is possible to use mobile phone applications such as Skype and WhatsApp through complimentary Wi-Fi connections to contact friends and family back home free of charge.

Coverage throughout Japan is excellent. A basic rule of thumb is where there are people, there is cellular coverage - and that even includes tunnels, department stores and subways!

Internet and email

The majority of hotels and ryokans will have Wi-Fi connections available. The exception may be the very traditional ryokans. Please note that some hotels will only provide free Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby, and internet access in your hotel room may come at an additional cost. There are also Wi-Fi zones in coffee shops and public spaces, although Wi-Fi is not as widely available as in some other countries.


Japan’s postal service is efficient and reliable, and there are plenty of branches around if you wish to send a letter or postcard home. At the time of writing there is a flat fee of 70 Yen to send a postcard anywhere in the world, and it takes 2-3 weeks to reach Australia/New Zealand. Postcards and stamps can be purchased from post offices, convenience stores and kiosks at train stations.

Time Difference

Japan is 1 hour behind Australian Eastern Standard Time and 3 hours behind New Zealand (4 hours during Daylight Saving).


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