TELEPHONE CARDS -- These are business-card-sized flimsy plastic cards which you can buy at a number of locations. They come with a certain amount of pre-paid units on them (e.g., 100 10-yen units, 500 10-yen units, etc.). Insert them into a green or gray public phone and the machine will display how many units are left on the card. When you finish, the phone spits out the card and beeps at you. At intervals, tiny holes will be punched along a line of numbers on the card to show you approximately how many units are left. When depleted, the cards are disposable.
Telephone cards display illustrations or photos on their faces, usually commercial ones; however, personal photos may be placed on specially ordered cards for a fee, and some people even print their name, title and phone numbers on them and use them for business cards. Some people collect depleted phone cards. Phone card pirates have found ways to tamper with them electronically to "recharge" the cards, and then sell them to passers-by; one famous spot you could get them at (at least as of 1995) was the top of the Yamanote line platform staircase at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, where illegal aliens hawked them to commuters.
denwa telephone (literally, "electric speech") denwa bango phone number denwa-cho phone book Haro Peiji "Hello Page," NTT's Yellow Pages denwa o suru/kakeru to make a phone call denwa o kiru to hang up rusuban denwa answering machine naisen extension hanashi-chuu busy (lit., "in the middle of talking") 104 Number for information 110 Police emergency number 119 Fire/ambulence emergency number "Moshi moshi" Said when answering telephone