Journey Into Japan - 2019
Behind the tourist façade
Frequently Asked Questions

Calling to, from, and within Japan


First, we hope you will feel that you can forget about your cares and woes back home while you are on this adventure. At the same time, we recognize you may have valid reasons for at least being accessible if necessary.

So here is some information about phones in Japan.

Historically we have told people that "first and foremost, you should know: your cell phone probably won't work in Japan."


But on our most recent trip, we found that things have changed ...

  • If you have a reasonably current smartphone
  • If you have a good carrrier plan
    • Recent experiences
    • I took my T-Mobile Samsung phone. (I chose this carrier for it's extensive international coverage and great international phone plan). It worked everywhere. I was able to call, text and read email.
    • I took iPhone 5C. Worked okay with hotel wi-fi.must have local phone service or local phone card for staying in touch with group
    • So, check with your carrier to be sure (and press: be sure they are including 'Japan' in their plan or information)
    • Remember to take a charger

Still, our trip leader(s) will rent a Japanese phone for local calling, and we'll give out the number(s) to everyone

  • If you would like to rent your own cell phone, we can help you find various services
  • You will have phone numbers for all hotels, although international calls through hotels tend to be very expensive
  • You can purchase pre-paid phone cards in Japan that will work from international phones found in most hotels and many other locations
  • Your carrier may have an option to switch to that includes international calling at a reduced rate, and you can turn this feature on before you leave and off when you return, online