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 only be made from certain phones. Most phones accept coins and telephone cards which are sold at convenience stores, kiosks and vending machines.

Landline phones

Conventional Landlines

Conventional telephone lines must be bought or rented. A new phone line costs around 35,000 yen, while it is possible to buy second hand phone lines for much less. Rented phone lines may not allow you to make international calls. Telephone lines are handled by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone).

Internet Based Landlines

Internet-based phone services (VoIP) have become more popular and are offered packaged with internet access plans. They offer substantial savings over a conventional landline for both domestic and international phone calls. With optical and cable internet services you can now get a phone without buying a traditional phone line.