OK, so I “unlocked” my iPhone in the States just so I could insert a local foreign SIM and have it running the local calls for me, and without the roaming charges if I kept my AT&T data account. Well, we spent a good part of the day finding out about “pre-paid” cell phones – that is, Midori did 90% of the homework. It seems that Japan may be the only country that uses proprietary providers for the iPhone – gee, just like the States!
Anyway, the “prepaid” phones cost anywhere from Y2,000 to Y6,900 ($36-84), and the calls would cost Y90-100 ($1.05-1.20) / minute (they go by Y9 / 6 seconds, oddly enough, though it DOES make sense since calls are measured by the seconds).
So, the debate is now turned to … do we REALLY need a cellphone or not? The local / Japan phone card is relatively inexpensive – Y500 card can make more than (12) 3-minute calls for about Y32 each. That’s $5.91 for a card.
Things are definitely more expensive here in Japan, even in Fukuoka. We have been spoiled by Silicon Valley’s everyday givens of wifi accessible nearly everywhere, and if not at every coffee shop!
It was impressive that the Shinkansen offered wifi, though we were not able to get through the security password. We were too tired to ask. That said, however, the major train stations, and hub centers did NOT have wifi in any of their “Waiting Lounges” – though several clerks pointed us in that direction. What was available there were counters where laptops could be plugged into electrical outlets.
So, our experiment MAY be having Manigeh bring her iPhone and keep her service to see how much it would cost and whether it’d be worth paying the extra charge to have the iPhone activated and on roaming. In the meantime, my iPhone has chosen to go be unresponsive to touch, and won’t let me work on the the screen now. Sigh:: I think I ought to have left this phone at home.Other issues to tackle: Our itinerary to put online – now that we have our tix Lodging details Food Transportation in Japan Getting around Fukuoka Glass contacts in Japan
Oh dear, jetlag has hit me now, and I’m suddenly sleepy. Chris has been sleeping since 5:30 pm, and it was one hot, humid day today! Over 100 degree Farenheit, and close to 100% humidity. It’s now almost midnight, and Chris hasn’t eaten since our curry lunch at 1:30 pm!