Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Using older cell phone as visitor? 2008/1/29 07:21
Hi all,

I've been reading all the threads on cell phone rentals and what I know now is that it's impossible for visitors to buy a prepaid phone (unless they have a foreigner card) in a convenience store anymore.

However, someone did say that it was possible to buy a Softbank phone at Narita along with pre-paid cards.

I'm going to Japan for 3 months and I've lived there before so I have two Japanese cell phones.

Does anyone know if I could re-activate one of my old phones and use the pre-paid card sold at Narita?

Everyone else seems to be asking about their European/North American phones being usable in Japan but I haven't seen anyone asking about their old Japanese phones being usable.

Thanks very much!
by Returner  

also 2008/1/30 06:31
Just wanted to add that if someone could explain the difference between a prepaid phone and a regular cell phone (if there even is one??) that would be greatly appreciated as well.

by Returner rate this post as useful

no physical difference 2008/1/30 07:08
I just read here (http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/473508)
that there actually is no physical difference between prepaid and regular cell phones so technically I *should* be able to use my old Japanese cell phone with a rented SIM card, right?
by Returner rate this post as useful

softbank 2008/2/3 01:58

I contacted Softbank and a few other companies on the Narita services page and all the other companies got back to me right away saying they don't use Softbank style phones (only Docomo or AU, etc) and that I should contact Softbank's store, which I did, but never heard back from them yet.

Has anyone ever used their older Japanese cell when returning to Japan?
by Returner rate this post as useful

. 2008/2/3 04:10
I'm afraid it may be virtually impossible.

New prepaid phone activation now requires a Japanese ID by law, just like contract phone.
So it is difficult for a visitor to activate a prepaid phone.

so technically I *should* be able to use my old Japanese cell phone
with a rented SIM card, right?

It's possible only if your phone is a Vodafone/SoftBank 3G phone and you
use a SoftBank rental SIM because all Japanese phones are locked and
only SoftBank offer rental SIM service.
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

Prepaid phones for gaijins 2008/5/19 22:05
As a foreigner you can only buy prepaid phones at the softbank store in Shibuya. It's close to the 109 building (a big shopping mall). If you have a japanese phone or a 3G phone you can go there and get yourself a japanese phone number.
by Asa rate this post as useful

sooo 2008/7/19 13:56
so the shibuya softbank store DOES let foreigners buy prepaid cellphones?

on the website it says that you need to show one of the following (list). one of which was passport

it would be alot easier to get the cellphone at narita.
and it would be alot easier than having to get one of my friends to take off work early or something to fill out the application for me
by michi rate this post as useful

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