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Getting Cell/Keitai Phones


14 May 2004
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I plan on living in Japan for a year and was wondering if anyone can let me know if cell phones are easy to buy/rent/sign-up for over there.
I am thinking of doing a "Pre Pay" cell phone system. Do those have Web Messaging/email as well? Also is it easy to get the phones in English, since I cannot read Japanese at all. I would welcome any and all recommendations.
Also are there places to buy non-Japanese groceries? I am from America and would probably want to occasionally buy American grocery products, like Tropicana Orange Juice, etc. Since I cant seem to find great tasting OJ in Japan.
Thanks in advance.


6 Jun 2003
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I have vodafone prepaid. When I got it, it was by far the best deal for prepaid phones in Tokyo. The other companies that have prepaid are DoCoMo and Tuka. The phones all have email, but with prepaid it isn't possible to get one of those really fancy phones with cameras and games and stuff, I don't know if that matters to you or not. I mainly use it for email, so it is much cheaper than a monthly plan.

All the prepaid phones are in Japanese, but they come with multi-language instrucion manuals, and you can change the language of the automated administration call-in system (for checking your balance, etc).

As for food, most large grocery stores will usually have a few foreign products. If you need more hard-to-find items, you can try Carrefour, which is actually a French supermarket, but they also have the largest selection of American grocies that I have seen so far in Japan.


29 Jan 2004
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If I remember correctly, I got mine with an alien registration card as the ID and a credit card for billing. Prepaid phones, if you don't need or want the fancier features, are normally a better bargain. There are shops selling phones almost everywhere you go, and Vodafone, for one, also sells their products, on-line.

No idea if anyone imports, for example, orange juice from the U.S. or simply buy and process oranges locally in Japan under the Tropicana name. Try one of the supermarkets in a department store like Atre and Mitsukushi, though; they usually have more imported stuff than a local market.

Haven't been (or seen) a Carrefour yet, but then, I didn't know there was one! :)
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