Public phones

The number of public phones has drastically decreased over the past decades due to the popularity of mobile phones, but they can still be found distributed across the country in part for use during natural disasters when the mobile network may be disrupted.

Local calls are possible from any public phone, while international calls can be made only from certain phones. Most phones accept coins and telephone cards which are sold at convenience stores, kiosks and vending machines.

Landline phones

Broadly speaking, there are two types of landlines available in Japan: old-fashioned, analog landlines and digital landlines that connect via the internet. The leading landline service provider is NTT (divided into NTT East and NTT West), which offers both analog and digital landlines (the latter is known as Hikari Denwa) and phone numbers that start with conventional local area codes (e.g. 03 for Tokyo). Furthermore, there are IP Phone landline services offered by various internet providers with phone numbers that start with 050.

Digital landlines are generally less expensive than analog landlines, but - unlike analog landlines - they cannot be used during power outages. Furthermore, IP phones cannot be used to call certain phone numbers, such as emergency numbers and toll-free 0120 numbers.