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Pagers in Japan... 2009/2/16 03:27
I'm going to be in Japan for three weeks from the end of March (bad timing...). I had planned to rent a mobile phone from the airport but it's just too expensive. I also considered asking one of my friends to buy a disposable phone, but that's too expensive as well! My British phone is too old and simple, so it's not supported in Japan. It seems I'll have to use public phones... Can anyone tell me if I can rent a pager? I think it would be really useful when my friends want to contact me. Many thanks!
by Hairyneville  

... 2009/2/16 08:34
Pagers are practically nonexistent in Japan, and I haven't seen anyplace that rents them. Rental phones aren't that expensive. For 3 weeks you're looking at around a 5000-6000 yen basic charge plus usage fees. Incoming calls are typically free too, so if you use it wisely you probably won't go much over the basic charges.

Check out this company for typical rates:


and rental shops at Narita for more options:
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

... 2009/2/16 08:37
I don't know if by now there are any places that rent pagers.

But I think renting a mobile phone would be easier - the reason is now most people have mobiles, so that there are less and less public pay phones. Even if you had a pager, you might find it difficult to spot a pay phone nearby immediately.
by AK rate this post as useful

Thanks for your help! 2009/2/16 18:12
I had a feeling that's what the answer would be...

The two big problems with my trip this year are that I simply can't afford it and I've chosen a stupid time to go (simply because I wanted to experience hanami and ... well ... eat strawberries...).

I haven't been to Japan since 2007 so I'm getting withdrawal symptoms and so I'm stubbornly carrying on with the trip. But it's going to be a bit of a challenge with just under 90,000 yen for three weeks and nowhere to stay (because all of my friends will be busy with family and work matters...). So, no money for renting phones. No money for paying the call charges from public phones to my friends' mobiles, either...

But I'm determined to have a great time anyway. Stiff British upper lip. Courage in the face of adversity and all that...

Many thanks for your helpful advice, though! I'm actually flying to Kansai Airport. In the interests of anyone else reading this post who may be doing the same, do you know any links for rental places at Kansai (and maybe Fukuoka - my personal favourite airport in Japan; so straightforward and efficient...)?

Many thanks again!
by Hairyneville rate this post as useful

... 2009/2/16 19:45

Um, wouldn't it be advisable to shorten the duration of your trip with that budget? That comes out to, 90,000 yen divided by 21 days, a bit over 4,000 per day including everything (I assume). A night's stay at a dormitory style place would set you back by 2,700 yen or so already, wouldn't it? With that, you might not be able to travel around that much :( I know the British still upper lip, but at times there may be some things that just cannot be overcome...
by AK rate this post as useful

Probably not a problem... 2009/2/16 20:53
Ah, the perils of booking cut-price flights! Not to mention the dangers of booking cut-price flights before arranging things with your friends in Japan...

I've never stayed at a hotel, guest house or ryokan. My previous trips were all arranged with the involvement of my Japanese friends. I basically cadged off of them. They put me up and I helped with their English studies. I definitely got the best of the deal - free lodgings, meals, days out and all-day Japanese practice.

This year, everyone's circumstances have changed - including my own. I booked a cut-price flight without checking the dates with any of my friends, meaning that I'm now going to be in Japan for the three busiest weeks in everyone's diary. I can't alter the dates because of the strict terms of sale attached to my booking.

I'm still not planning on staying at hotels, guest houses or ryokan, though - too expensive. I've invested in a 21-day Japan Rail Pass (the initial outlay was expensive but it was actually a bargain considering that my friends live all over Japan and I always hop on and off shinkansen) so I'm looking in to how I can best take advantage of the night trains covered by the pass. Rolling hotels. Without bathrooms or breakfast...

Failing that, a quiet spot in a remote park will have to do... (Sadly, that wasn't a joke.)

But fear not, for the Dunkirk spirit is alive and kicking! Just a shame that I was driven to it by own foolishness...
by Hairyneville rate this post as useful

A note to first-time travellers... 2009/2/16 21:00
I feel that I should probably point out that it really isn't a good idea for first-time travellers to Japan to even think of doing what I'm probably going to do.

This will be my fifth trip to Japan and I can communicate fairly clearly in Japanese (though that may change after a few nights' sleeping rough in a park). I also have quite a few friends in Japan who will help out in whatever way they can (beyond letting me stay, considering most of them will be busy with business trips, family matters and what have you...).

The moral of my woeful tale is twofold;

1. Make sure you have a solid plan with enough leeway to allow for unforeseen emergencies.

2. Make sure you can actually afford to take the trip...

Failing that, a devil-may-care attitude like mine may well come in handy. Not to mention good weather while you're actually in Japan.
by Hairyneville rate this post as useful

net cafes 2009/2/16 22:23
Don't forget internet cafes- for around 1,200-1,500 at some places you can stay all night in a booth with a reclining seat- some cafes have showers and most have free soft drinks, coffee etc.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Internet cafes! 2009/2/16 23:38
Thank you very much, Sira! I'd forgotten about internet cafes.

Now that you've mentioned them, I remember that my friend in Osaka told me about them as well. Definitely something to keep in mind...

Thanks again!
by Hairyneville rate this post as useful

... 2009/2/17 09:25
One thing you *could* do is to give up the JR Pass (I don't know how much traveling you will be doing), particulary you would not be "on the move" throughout the 21 days I imagine, so you could save on that (if you knew, for example, which part of the 21 days you will be in Tokyo, for example, or doing long-distance traveling in the second week, etc.) and get a shorter period pass. Or you could consider (drop the whole JR Pass thing and) use night buses for long-distance travels :)
by AK rate this post as useful

... 2009/2/17 11:36
have you considered couch surfing? Its a great way to cut down on accommodation costs and meet some great people in the process.

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

More food for thought... 2009/2/17 16:26
Thanks again for your responses!

You could say that I do more during my so-called "holidays" in Japan than I do during the whole of the rest of the year. I have a tendency to get either really fit or absolutely done in. This trip will be no exception, with friends to be visited all the way from Kumamoto to Koriyama. I generally look around on my own, too, so I don't have to worry about my friends finding themselves paying JR's often expensive fares. Those are the reasons why I always go for some JR pass or other. I've bought the exchange order already, so happily that doesn't have to come out of my relatively meagre budget.

As for couch surfing... That certainly appeals to both the penny-pinching and the gregarious sides of my nature. Needless to say I've done that kind of thing before, though usually with friends or friends of friends. I'm definitely going to check it out. I have a 21-day rail pass but I'm in Japan for 23 days (does anyone get the impression that this is the worst-prepared trip in the history of incompetence...?!) so I really need somewhere to stay for a few days which is within cheap travelling distance of Kansai Airport. This website could be just the thing. Many thanks for passing it on!

And many thanks for taking such an interest in my welfare! My first trip to Japan (back in April 2005 - tellingly, the only other time I've ever been to Japan in spring...) was an absolute nightmare, but I've kept coming back. As a rule of thumb, I always encounter some problem or other, but I always enjoy myself anyway. This year I seem to be encountering problems early (they didn't start until the day before I left Blighty in 2007!)...

Anyway, many thanks again for all your help! From pagers to couch surfing ... nice!
by Hairyneville rate this post as useful

no pagers,but... 2009/3/5 13:27
I have good advice for your needs.
Get yourself mobile in your country with 3G,or 3.5G.
If you are in HongKong it is
easy,just buy proper prepaid
SIM card,no contract,charge
it with -100HK$.
In JP it will work on roaming.
What it means?
If you talk,your 100HK$ will be finished in 2 minutes!!!
You can receive SMS without any charge!So,keep your mobile working as....YES!!
working,as pager!
You can also send SMS locally
and internationally for about
5HK$/sms.Of course - you will use your HK number for that.
If your SIMcard is from UK - you will use your UK number.
by Frank (guest) rate this post as useful

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