Making Calls Between the U.S. and Japan
Following the recent devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor breakdowns in Japan, there has never been a time since the signing of the Japan – U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security in 1960 when so many people in the two countries had an immediate need to reach each other by phone. The two countries have a 50-year political alliance that is one of the strongest, steadiest friendships in the modern world. Americans who need to reach relatives, friends, or work colleagues in Japan to confirm whether they are safe or in need of help can follow these telephone dialing instructions.
Dial U.S. to Japan
The time in Japan is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and 16 hours ahead of the Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) in the western U.S. Rates are cheaper when calling after U.S. business hours or on weekends. A good time to call, for example, would be when it is 9 p.m. in New York, 6 p.m. in San Francisco, and 10 a.m. the next day in Tokyo. First, dial the international access code "011" and then the Japan country code "81." Next dial the area code for the location in Japan. Note that all Japanese cities have either two-digit or three-digit area codes, such as "75" for Kyoto or "565" for the town of Toyota. Only the capital city Tokyo has a single digit area code, which is "3." Also note that when dialing a mobile phone anywhere in Japan, the city area code is replaced by a mobile area code of either "80" or "90."
After dialing in the above international, country and local area codes, dial the seven-digit private phone number of the person you are calling. A normal phone call to Tokyo, for example, with all the codes, should look like: 011-81-3-5245466. If a connection does not work, the best alternative is to call the international operator at "00" to ask for assistance.
Dial Japan to U.S.
When a contact in Japan unfamiliar with dialing to the U.S., needs to call you, here are the steps. First dial the International Direct Dialing number from Japan which is "010" and then dial the U.S. country code of "1." Then continue to dial the three-digit U.S. area code followed by the seven-digit local phone number of the person here being called.
More information on Japanese area codes and dialing instructions is found here. Information on discounted mobile phones, iPads and SIM card calling programs designed for international travelers can be found by visiting the travel phone company TravelCell at www.TravelCell.com.