Author Topic: Loose in Japan for a MONTH  (Read 1498 times)

Offline Shandi

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Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« on: March 06, 2013, 10:17:44 AM »
So, my mom and her friend are landing in Japan on March 30th to enjoy a visit here...until May 1st.
While I am very excited to see them, I am a little unsure of setting these lovely, sweet, naieve 60+ year old ladies free in a country they're really not familiar with. Especially since they don't have much travelling experience (not that I do, mind you).

My main concern is communication. Since they'll be here for such a long time, I think that having at least a phone - if not internet access on the go - would be a good idea. Problem is, I'm not sure if their phones would be compatible here. I've looked into rental phones, but I don't know if they have credit cards (I know my mom doesn't!).

Does anyone out there have any helpful suggestions or whatnot? On anything really.

Please? Thank you. You're welcome.

Offline Coleman

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 10:21:13 AM »
When my buddy came over he bought a data card and slipped it into his iphone to have maps and internet access... So, no talk time, but data only.  I think he said he got 10 Gig for 6000...

Offline Croninokehige

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 10:58:11 AM »
Do either of them own a kindle? When my parents came over, my mom had her kindle with her. Thanks to Amazon's Whispernet service to let you download books no matter where you are, Kindles have free 3G access in virtually any country that has it. With the experimental web browser tucked away inside the kindle that most people don't know about, you can actually access you email, facebook, etc., albeit slowly. I was able to show my mom how to use hers so that we were able to text back and forth while they were here. If they (or you) don't have one, I guess you're out of luck, but it's worth looking into if you do.

Offline Marc!

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 11:36:08 AM »
Do either of them own a kindle? When my parents came over, my mom had her kindle with her. Thanks to Amazon's Whispernet service to let you download books no matter where you are, Kindles have free 3G access in virtually any country that has it. With the experimental web browser tucked away inside the kindle that most people don't know about, you can actually access you email, facebook, etc., albeit slowly. I was able to show my mom how to use hers so that we were able to text back and forth while they were here. If they (or you) don't have one, I guess you're out of luck, but it's worth looking into if you do.

I think newer kindles no longer have the full extent of this function. Even the "global 3g" models can only freely access amazon and wiki now, I believe. I tried researching it now and found one site that said all access outside of amazon and wiki is blocked, and another site that said that access to other sites isn't blocked, but that you are only allowed 50 MB per month for sites outside amazon and wiki. I dunno. Maybe someone with a newer 3g kindle could confirm this.

Offline Croninokehige

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 11:42:17 AM »
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK I hope you're wrong. I was planning on using mine when I go to Cambodia at the end of the month. I'll be so mad if I gotta actually use internet cafes.

Offline keeperofalstooth

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 12:14:13 PM »
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK I hope you're wrong. I was planning on using mine when I go to Cambodia at the end of the month. I'll be so mad if I gotta actually use internet cafes.

You may want to check with Sarah, and this could have changed since we went a couple of years ago, but I don't believe 3G worked on her kindle while there--not a kindle problem, but a Cambodia problem. She had an older model anyway so what Marc is saying is still true I believe.  Nick did some research and I THINK kindle keyboard was the last model that had the free 3G access stuff.

Offline Shandi

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 01:18:23 PM »
The data card sounds great, and possibly the kindle idea too - if it works.

I forget that the biggest issue is that I am the most "technologically advanced" member of my family...and I don't even have a radio in my apartment <cough>

Maybe I'll just buy a kindle for them. Or convince them to buy a iphone before they come down.................

This is going to be harder than I thought, isn't it?

Offline karta

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 02:22:04 PM »
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK I hope you're wrong. I was planning on using mine when I go to Cambodia at the end of the month. I'll be so mad if I gotta actually use internet cafes.

You may want to check with Sarah, and this could have changed since we went a couple of years ago, but I don't believe 3G worked on her kindle while there--not a kindle problem, but a Cambodia problem. She had an older model anyway so what Marc is saying is still true I believe.  Nick did some research and I THINK kindle keyboard was the last model that had the free 3G access stuff.


Yay something I know about!

Ok, so I have a Kindle global 3G model and no it most definitely doesn't work in Siem Reap.  I looked it up just now and says there is 3G in Siem Reap but it would not connect on my kindle the entire time, not even in the tiny airport or the hotel which was near pub street.  Maybe Phnom Penh would be less of a problem. But still, I wouldn't bank on it and it would definitely not be worth buying a new kindle which wont be able to access anything anyway.

All newer models no longer have global 3G. Those that have domestic 3G can access the amazon store and wiki ONLY.  The model I have can access global 3G for anything but it is limited to 50MB a month.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 02:28:16 PM by karta »

Offline karta

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 02:33:26 PM »
The data card sounds great, and possibly the kindle idea too - if it works.

I forget that the biggest issue is that I am the most "technologically advanced" member of my family...and I don't even have a radio in my apartment <cough>

Maybe I'll just buy a kindle for them. Or convince them to buy a iphone before they come down.................

This is going to be harder than I thought, isn't it?

Might be easiest and cheapest to just rent a phone?  If they don't already have an iphone, its a lot of trouble and money to get one and then get a rental sim. 
I don't know why there is such a thought that you cannot rent a phone in Japan.  When they land at Narita, there are plenty of places to rent. It becomes tough to get one OUTSIDE of the airport and I think that's why this myth is so prevalent. They will most likely need a credit card though.  You could always purchase it with yours?

Here is a list of places in Narita that offer rental services:
http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/guide/service/list/svc_19.html

Softbank offers rental phones, and sim cards for both iphones and smartphones:
http://www.softbank-rental.jp/e/rental-plan-ib01.php

Offline Shandi

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 11:24:56 AM »
I don't have a credit card  8-) <cue desperate laughter>

Last time I checked, neither did they, but let's hope they've just been keeping it from me. I'll probe into the options :)

Offline jesse

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 02:35:24 PM »
seems like its posible to give them a deposit if you dont have a credit card.

Offline devilwoman

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 06:18:09 PM »
If you have a computer with internet access, can you not give them your phone while they're here? That's what I did with my parents. That way you can message each other by Facebook/gchat/whatever and as everyone has email on their phones anyway people can still reach you.

Offline Shandi

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Re: Loose in Japan for a MONTH
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 04:07:11 PM »
Seems like they might have a phone compatible for a simcard from here. I'll take their word on it, and just carry on working on a plan B.

Unfortunately I access the internet by tethering with my phone ^_^" although it would've been a perfect and simple plan otherwise!

Thanks for the feedback everyonw ;)