How to make a phone call when you don’t have smartphone in Japan?


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It is pretty typical to become “Lost in Translation” literally right after you flew to Japan. So do I. Even for a lot of Japanese, it was pretty frustrating to make a phone call when coming back to this small island occasionally. Besides, telephone call becomes in need when you want to get help from public service especially. I needed to ask some questions about legal matters to an agency without any phone since it was right after I arrived to Japan.

So here is what I did to make a phone call to an agency from my laptop. All you need is a wi-fi connection and a device.

Use Google Hangouts

That’s it. If you have used it, it is also usable in Japan. You can even call to local dial number too. Here is what I did.

  1. Find a wi-fi connection nearby
  2. Open Google Hangouts on your laptop or smart phone
  3. Press “Phone Call”
  4. Type phone number in the search box shown in the screen shot below

Google Hangout

I was able to call to the agency with these steps basically. If you have no deposit on your Google Hangouts, press plus button in the search box.

On the next screen, you will be able to find some options to add credit card so that you can fund your empty deposit.

Quality of the phone was good enough to make a normal conversation. It was super easy, handy and accessible overall.

So keep it in your mind this tip! Now, you don’t have to rush to buy a cell phone or SIM card right after you arrive to Narita airport :D


88年長野育ちの研究者系フリーランス。専門はスウェーデンの若者政策と民主主義。スウェーデン・英語での通訳・翻訳、視察コーディネート、執筆、ブログで生きています。ストックホルム大学院国際比較教育(修士) / 東大特別研究生(2016)
まぐまぐ !にて有料メルマガはじめました




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