What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

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What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby red spacesuit » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:07 am

I know there's a lot of general info on the official forums, but since everyone it's pretty ESID with coverage and such I thought it best to ask the Kumamoto pros themselves :mrgreen:. My pred didn't really go into too much detail about these things so...

What carrier do you think has the best coverage in Kumamoto? I heard only softbank has the iphone and with so few towers sometimes it can take a while to get your texts. Any other smartphone/carrier recommendations?

I was reading in the official handbook that the post office does banking too. Does anyone only use the post office bank? Pros/cons/totally worthless?

What high speed internet provider do you recommend? How long did it take to get set up? I just want to be able to download my music and shows on itunes, upload whatever videos I make without taking 500 years, and stream stuff online :)...

And the mega bonus! Paypal in Japan. How is it transfering from paypal to your Japanese bank account? Is it better for people to pay you in your/their native currency or in yen?
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby ExclamatIan » Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:45 am

I use Softbank because of the iPhone. Back home, I thought they were stupid and pretentious...but here they're a huge convenience. There's a Japanese app on it that's paid for itself like....50 times over already haha. Sometimes when I send messages to people in the more rural places (Amakusa, in particular), they won't get them or I won't receive their messages.

As for banks, I'm pretty sure everyone in the Moto uses Higo Bank. I don't think we have a choice really haha
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby Heidi of the Alps » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:58 pm

red spacesuit wrote:What carrier do you think has the best coverage in Kumamoto? I heard only softbank has the iphone and with so few towers sometimes it can take a while to get your texts. Any other smartphone/carrier recommendations?


-I have used all three carriers during my 4 years here. I ended up going with Softbank for my final two years because I loved how convenient the iPhone proved to be. With AU, you can get an Android though. Both AU and Docomo work anywhere while Softbank can leave you in the dark up in those remote places. Docomo was more expensive than AU for me and it worked about the same. In the end, it's up to you what sort of handset you'd like.

red spacesuit wrote:I was reading in the official handbook that the post office does banking too. Does anyone only use the post office bank? Pros/cons/totally worthless?


-The post office does banking and it's a very good way to do it here. Most of the people I know that have an account with JP Post, also have an account with Higo Bank. I think they end up using the post office as a way to save here in Japan.


red spacesuit wrote:What high speed internet provider do you recommend? How long did it take to get set up? I just want to be able to download my music and shows on itunes, upload whatever videos I make without taking 500 years, and stream stuff online :)...

And the mega bonus! Paypal in Japan. How is it transfering from paypal to your Japanese bank account? Is it better for people to pay you in your/their native currency or in yen?


-I think the majority of people use YahooBB. If you live in the city, then you have more options like the Hikari service. YahooBB will take at least a month to set up because you have to wait for your alien card. Without that, there's very little you can do to get any of these things started.

-I have never tried PayPal in Japan so I can't really help you there. The easiest way for me to send money home was using GoLloyds. With that, I only had to make one transfer and make a furikomi card at the bank. With that card, I was was able to go to the bank each month, insert my furikomi card and just type in the amount I wanted to send. With GoLloyds, you get your money the same day back home (as long as you performed the transaction before 3pm).

I hope all of this helps.

~Heidi
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby Heidi of the Alps » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:03 pm

I just realized that you were asking about sending money from home to Japan. The way I did this was I had people send/deposit money to my US account. You can withdraw money from your US bank account here. Any 7-11 or Post Office ATM will accept just about any of the bank cards back home. I think you just need a bank card that has a VISA/MC logo on it. Through the post office ATMs, you can withdraw in 1,000 yen increments while in 7-11 it's 10,000.
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby Holly » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:33 pm

Softbank/Higo/Go Lloyds

Softbank has terrible service but it has the iPhone.
Higo Bank gave me no issues but won't give you money after 8 or 9pm on Saturdays.
Go Lloyds is better than JP Post for sending money home because rates are better and it is quicker, about 3-5 days vs 7-10. Also, if you set up a furikomi card it is SUPER easy to send home.

Exchange rate today was like 79.3. SO dope.
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby umeboshi » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:44 pm

I use JP post because that is what I had set up when I first moved to Yokohama a few years back. One thing about JP post is that it is nationwide so it makes it easier to do banking across the country. Higo bank is local. Not sure in what ways that is limiting since I don't have an account. :coffee:

A few points of difference:
JP post
- it's 800 yen to have your pay directly deposited into your account (vs. free at Higo)
- if you wanna do GoLloyd's, there is no furikomi card to use and there is no way to do it with your account. I have to go to another bank and punch in a series of numbers and information each time. Pretty annoying and difficult if your Japanese is limited. Plus, I have to get to the bank before 5pm.

verdict - I have decided to open up a Higo account! But will probably continue to use both since I like the flexibility of JP post and I can use one for savings. :nunchucks:
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby jsteenderen » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:46 am

For internet I started of with YahooBB, being the only carrier in the area. Good thing about YahooBB is that ending the contract is super easy (when you pretend not speaking any word of Japanese). Just one phone call to their English contact centre to end the contract, takuhaibin your modem en done! Now I'm with OCN, using hikari, which took over two months (almost three) to get installed. On the side they won't supply you with an decent (wireless)router, so add another 5,000 to 10,000 for that.

If you have WiMax coverage you could go for that for the first month (monthly plans available, also free trial of 14 days available) http://www.uqwimax.jp/index.html

I use JP for banking, although I also set-up a Rakuten-Bank account for their debit-visa card. Getting a credit card here seems to be impossible :)
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Re: What phone/bank/internet do you kuma folk use?

Postby umeboshi » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:57 pm

Hey Joost, I want to get a Rakuten Bank account and just checked out the site and it is in all Japanese. Any tips/advice on what should be done? I see the application PDF stuff but was wondering if you could give a heads up on how to go about this.
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