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Communication

1.Fixed Phone Line

1)To start using fixed phone lines

Under normal circumstances, to install a new fixed phone line in Japan, you have to purchase the right to open a line from NTT (the right to use their lines), by applying to NTT (in Iwate, at NTT East Japan).
For those who wish to use only ADSL there is a “Light Plan” in which the initial fees do not apply. Though initial fees are waived for the Light Plan, monthly fees are slightly higher.
The following information is required for application.

・Identification:Certificate of Alien Registration Card, Residence Card, Japanese driver's license, passport, etc.
・Contract fee and equipment installation fee (telephone application rights):Approximately ¥41,000
・Installation fee:Differs depending on details of installation. Call 116 for details or see the NTT East Japan home page (http://www.ntt-east.co.jp/ Site available in English).


2)When suspending service (when you move)

Please contact NTT as soon as possible when you move.


3)Payments

You can make payments by automatic withdrawals from your bank or postal account (automatic withdrawals), by credit card, or by using payment slips that you use at banks, the post office or convenience stores.
Applications are required for automatic withdrawals and credit card payments.


4)Making domestic telephone calls

When making a phone call from Oshu to a region other than Oshu, please include the city code for that region before the phone number.
Ex.) 0196-xx-xxxx (0196 is the city code for Morioka)


5)Making international telephone calls

Dial using the following formula: Company number + 010 + Country number + Area code + Phone number
※Company numbers for various telephone companies
 NTT Communications:0033
 KDDI:001
 Softbank Telecom:0041
 Ex.) To call New York in the United States:0033-010-1-212-xxx-xxxx


6)To contact NTT

・To apply for a telephone line: 116 (only in Japanese)
 ※From a cell phone: 0120-116-000
・NTT Information (Inquiries concerning telephones can be made in English)
(Toll free) TEL: 0120-364-463
(9:00 ~ 17:00 / Monday ~ Friday, excluding national holidays and year-end, New Year holidays)
・Telephone number information: 104 (Inquiries can be made in English)


2.Mobile Phones

1)Purchasing a mobile phone

You can purchase a mobile phone from a cellular phone company service store or electronics store.
The following information is required when applying.
・Identification: Certificate of Alien Registration Card, Residence Card, Japanese driver's license, passport, etc.
・Seal used to open account at financial institution and account book or similar
・Credit card


2)Inquiries to mobile phone companies

◇NTT docomo
 Tel:0120-800-000
 9:00~20:00
 Tel:0120-005-250 (English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
 9:00~20:00
 Open year round
 http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/(Site available in English)

◇SoftBank
 Tel:0088-21-2000
 ※Press 8 to switch to English instructions
 Available year round, 24 hours a day
 Operator services available from 9:00 ~ 20:00 only
 ※Pre-paid mobile phones available
 http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/(Site available in English)

◇au
 Tel:0077-7-111
 Available year round, 9:00 ~ 20:00
 ※Pre-paid mobile phones available
 http://www.au.kddi.com/(Site available in English)

◇WILLCOM ※PHS
 Tel:0120-921-156
 http://www.willcom-inc.com/(Japanese only)


3.Internet

To connect to the Internet from your home, you have several options available to you: fixed phone lines; cable television (CATV) lines; and fiber optics lines.
There are various providers available for using fixed phone lines. Please make inquiries directly with providers.
There are two CATV internet providers available in Oshu.

※Mizusawa Television
 TEL:0120-16-3238
 http://www.catv-mic.ne.jp/(Japanese only)

※Esashi Wai-Wai Net(Fiber optics line)
 TEL:0197-31-2288
 http://www.waiwai-net.ne.jp/(Japanese only)

Wi-Fi spots are also available in different parts of the city.
Softbank Wi-Fi spots are installed at branches of the Oshu city hall and regional centers.


4.Post Office

1)Types of Post Offices

There are two types of post offices:Simple post offices and regular post offices.

At regular post offices, you can send mail and packages both domestically and overseas, open a Yucho Bank account and transfer money to accounts at other banks or within the Yucho Bank.

At simple post offices, you can send mail and packages domestically, but not overseas.
In addition, though you can transfer money to accounts at other banks or within the Yucho Bank, there are some at which services such as making deposits, withdrawals or making changes to the details of your account are not available.
You may want to call ahead before visiting a simple post office to confirm which services are available.


2)Operating Hours for the Counter at Post Offices in Oshu

Regular operating hours at the post office are 9:00 ~ 17:00.
The Mizusawa Post Office and Esashi Post Office are open on weekdays 9:00 ~ 19:00.
The Mizusawa Post Office is open on Saturdays 8:00 ~ 17:00 and on Sundays and holidays 9:00 ~ 12:30.
There are post offices in each ward of Oshu, but none of them are open on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays except for the Mizusawa Post Office.
In addition, some of them have shorter operating hours so be sure to check before you go.