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Fukuoka: Survival: Services
Services (Qjmp: 18006)
Internet cafes are far less common in Fukuoka than in other cities - check out the services section for details. They are usually 500yen/30min.
Internet connectivity is available from a number of providers including NTT (the telephone company), So-net and Global Online. The primary access mechanism is dial up 33.6k telephone or 64k ISDN although faster cable and ADSL connections are slowly becoming available. Few providers offer unlimited access, some offer a high level of access (150hours/month) for around 3500yen. Telephone calls are usually billed separately. Check out "area plus" and "telehoudai" from NTT - they will all reduce your bills to specified numbers.
Computers/modems that work in the US will usually work without problem in Fukuoka. (Disclaimer: - use such equipment here at your own risk, we take no responsibility if you fry it).
Fukuoka uses a 110V 60hz AC system (North/east Japan is on 110V 50hz AC) with 2 pin plugs for most sockets and 3 pin plugs for equipment requiring earth. Casual-but-extensive experimentation by large portions of the local expat community suggests that equipment designed for the 100v North American mark will work with no obvious ill effects to equipment or user. If you require adaptors they are best purchased before you come. If you need to buy them here larger Best Denki department stores (amongst others) carry a small range.
Mobiles: Mobile 'phone ("keitai") penetration in Japan is extremely high. Three main companies offer services, ("J-Phone", "Docomo" and "AU") all of them internet connected. However, the Japanese systems are not compatible with US or European (GSM) telephones at time of writing (8 March 2001)
Landlines: The telephone jack used is the standard RJ45 jack as used in the US. (Note: This is quite unlike the BT telephone jack used in the UK)
International calls: Not all telephones can make international calls. Those that can are clearly marked. Instructions may be found in the LCD screen in the telephone itself - press the button marked "English instructions". Some telephones accept only telephone cards, available at most shops. Others accept coins - 10yens or 100 yens.
You can buy stamps wherever you see the post office sign. Many convenience stores also sell stamps. They can also be purchased at stamp machines.
Mail (opening times)
Hakata-Ku Post Office, Chuo-ku Post office, Sawara-ku Post office.
Delivery post offices open from 9:00 am to 7:00pm Mon/Fri (in most case). Sat: closed, but some are open 9am to 3pm. Sun: closed, but some PO are open 9:00am to 12:30pm.
Non-delivery postoffices open from 9:00 am to 5:00pm Mon/Fri. Sat: closed, but some PO are open 9am to 3pm.
Sun: closed, but some PO are open 9:00am to 12:30pm.
Some services are available only at main postoffices.
The Japanese post office carries about 25.48 billion domestic items a year (1998 figure)
Airmail is 120yen for letters up to 10g. Postcards are 80yen. Width/length restrictions apply in both cases - "panoramic photos" sent as postcards attract a significantly higher tariff than ordinary postcards. Aerogrammes are 100yen.
The Japanese post office website has chapter and verse in English on the services it offers.