Japanese Payphones

sorabji.com: The Payphone Project: Japanese Payphones

Jboxr on Tuesday, December 8, 1998 - 12:32 am:

    The people at the NTT (Japanese teleco) office said that payphones in Japan don't have numberes except for the rental kinds.
    I was always able to get rental payphone numbers by calling my beeper and recording the number, but it was apparantly as the NTT people had said, because no number was displayed when I called from an ordinary phone.
    Well, I have word from the Japanese-Mac-Underground that NTT is full of it and every payphone has a number - usually written in the phone box area.
    I'd love to go on, but I have yet to find an English-speaking counterpart with whom I can study the phone systems here in Japan.
    Drop me a line sometime.

By JboxR on Friday, December 11, 1998 - 09:06 am:

    The other day I was poking around this apartment building not far from my place. I had noticed a guy from the telco parked out front the day before and wondering what he was up to, poked my head around the corner. He was busy with a box on the wall open, and its guts (phone wires) spilling out. I asked him a few questions but he wasn't very helpful. After he left...

    I popped open the box (they have keys, but you just tip open the lever and turn it and the box opens) and looked inside. Same box same guts. There was a set of wires for each apartment. And the NEAT thing was that you wouldn't have to strip anything here at all! You could just clip to the screws sticking out!

    Anyway, I closed the box 'cause I had nothing with me at the time - and it IS a little too close to home, but it definately opens some avenues for entertainment/education. (I wonder what a random rearrangement of phone lines would be like?)

    Next time I see one of these telco guys with his head in the box, I want to drive off with his car (just borrow it of course) and then with a a little privacy, get some good working materials.

By Me............ on Friday, December 11, 1998 - 01:44 pm:

    I LIKE you !

By JboxR on Wednesday, May 19, 1999 - 09:14 am:

    After a sabatical (sp?) from phone related conversations, I have something that may, should spark some interest in those of you who like to study, play with phones in general.

    I was recently solicited by a company here in Japan that offers a service which renders the basic-fee on your phone bill to zero. Sound interesting? Let me give you some background.

    First of all, NTT (Japanese version of AT&T) charges you about 1700 yen or currently, around $13 dollars a month for having a phone in your house. Now before you can do THAT, you must purchase the right to use a line. It's a bunch of bullshit that they shovel on to the public here saying that without a line you cannot use a phone. Well, YES, if there was no line you COULDN'T make a call unless it were cellular. Anyway, you pay over $500 dollars for this "right" which you can take with you if you move. (for that kind of money, you can be SURE I'll take it with me!) So you pay them to do the "construction" work to move a line to a new location. (BTW, I watched this guy - and he didn't like it - when I had a line moved to a new office location. He put a fusebox-like thing that basically connected the wires together - bang! $20 bucks. I was happy though because I noticed all the other lines with bare screws!! Fun!!)

    Okay, you've paid $500 bucks for the "right" to use a phone, $20-30 for various set up fees and now you pay $13-15 each month to let your phone sit there. Now if you want to call your neighbor to borrow a video or whatever, you get to pay 10 cents every 3 minutes or if you call at night, you get the cheap rate of 10 cents for 4 minutes. It only gets steeper with distance.

    Now with THAT in mind, here comes this company. They say that I lend/sign over my "right" to a phone line to them and while my phone number stays the same and you can still call me from any phone the same way you used to, I have to dial '0' to get an OUTSIDE line before I dial my number. This is because my line has somehow become an extension of this company's phone system. I was rather impressed with this. They must be getting their money by selling me 10 cents / 3 minutes phone calls while buying them from NTT for 8 cents or something. Then the basic-fee on my monthly bill becomes zero. Nice. I like that.

    There are some drawbacks. There are several services (paid for services) provided by NTT that I will not be able to use. O well.

    My curiosity lies in this. If my line becomes an internal line of this company, then can I somehow call my friend who is also on an internal line for free...?

    Any systems like this in the states? I would like some input on this.

By Eyvette on Thursday, January 20, 2000 - 02:28 am:

    WOA!!! Say "Hold on" while you put your hand in your pocket and pull out your hand, sticking up your middle finger. THey say "Here ya go". lol

    That has to be bullshit. Is it like that everywhere in Japan? If so, that sucks.
    Sorry to say that and in no way do I mean any

By JboxR on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 10:22 am:

    Reading these postings makes me feel like I'm
    talking into a vast nothingness, but so be it...

    Went to visit a girlfriend last week. On the
    bottom floor of the building was one of those
    "pink payphones" they have here in Japan. Great
    location. Surrounded by apartment and wall.

    There's a line that comes out of the phone, into
    a box and then from the box to the wall. The box
    is closed with ONE screw. Open it, attach a few
    alligators and you have instant free calls!

    I think I will just replace the payphone with a
    regular phone and put up a sign that says,
    "Curtousy of NTT."

By Naruzopsycho on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 09:17 am:

    You could always pick up (or make) a pirate phone card. The only problem is that they only work in green payphones (no international calls :( ) Oh well... I'm looking for instructions on how to make them, but the one I saw seemed like someone had cut off the side where the payphone punches the holes, flipped it around and then taped it on with a thin piece of scotch tape. I tried this on my own, but no luck. Must be a certain measurement I'm missing...


By -Indra- on Saturday, July 27, 2002 - 07:45 pm:

    I'm pretty sure it has to read a bar code or something on the card when you put it in. I saw one of those cards tho and tried it out. No dice. One of my Japanese friends told me once that you can put something over the part where it punches the hole or something (so that it acts as if there are no holes) and it works. I've never tried it.. It could be a bunch of BS but just trying to help out...

By JboxR on Friday, August 2, 2002 - 11:17 am:

    Naruzopsycho and Indra

    Perhaps you are referring to the remade phone
    cards the Iranians used to be selling out front
    of the stations all over Japan? (for those of
    you who don't know, these guys used to hang out
    in droves shuffling remade phone cards like poker
    dealers in Vegas saying in crappy English (or
    Japanese) "You wanna buy a phone card? Very
    cheap for you today!")

    Anway, NTT pretty much fixed the phones so those
    cards can't be used - as far as I've learned, but
    good old beige box phreaking still works like a
    charm! Just check out your local train station
    where there are lines of payphones set up. Check
    behind them on the tables they rest on. Usually
    you can find some of the boxes (3 1/2 inches
    long) that open up easy enough with a phillips
    driver. Then aligator clip clip and bingo!
    you've got a dialtone! Have fun!

By JboxR on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 11:50 am:

    Wow! It's been for*ever* since I've been on

    Just had a sit down chat with a guy who has been
    working with NTT for over 20 years.

    Re: Iranian made phone cards. They still work,
    but not on the new phones NTT has been replacing
    the old ones with. Few left that will accept the
    forged cards. That, and nobody is selling them

    Payphones - why anyone used to come here...
    Payphone numbers will have the same 3 digit
    prefix as the area and the last 4 digits will
    usually start with or end with 42 or 49. (if you
    speak Japanese, you'll understand why. It's kind
    of a "13" sort of thing.) So instead of having
    to ring 10,000 possible combinations (4 digits)
    you only need to try 100. If you don't
    understand what I'm talking about or know
    anything about permutations (sp?) then just
    ignore me.

    good to be back!

By Bluehavana on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 05:53 am:

    If any body would like to discuss phreaking in Tokyo, there is finally a 2600 meeting in Tokyo.



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