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Thread: Electronics in Japan

  1. #1

    Default Electronics in Japan

    So I have a few questions regarding electronics for you former JETs on here. These questions are rather premature since obviously I may not even be going to Japan this year but some things have been floating around in my mind- and I thought I'd ask before I forgot them again.

    First question, and this will seem a little silly. But did any of you JETs own a Kindle, Nook or other ebook reader? And if so were you able to purchase books when you were overseas? Or did it only carry what ones you already had installed?

    Second question, adapters. I have a friend who went overseas to Japan via Interac. He got a fairly state of the art computer that apparently wasn't plugged into the proper adapter and now will occasionally give him the blue screen of death. I think this might have been his own undoing seeing how he wasn't really savvy on how electronics worked on different wattage over there (his computer was made for US usage). Do any of you JETs know of any good adapters that would be a smart buy?

    Finally, did you JETs have someone help set up your wireless when you arrived in Japan? Cause I'm not afraid to admit that I would be fairly hopeless at figuring that out. I'd have to assume the added language barrier would only make things more complicated for me.

  2. #2
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    1a) I own an iPad, it was purchased here in Japan, but it is setup to my Canadian Account
    1b) It is also setup to a Canadian Kindle account.

    2) LOL. No laptop would ever have a problem in Japan, short of the physical adapter requiring a change. All laptops are compatible with this power grid, meaning his laptop is just a piece of junk.

    3) Sadly, I did that myself, but it's not particularly difficult.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
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    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  3. #3
    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    I have a US Kindle. It costs money to send books over the Internet, but you can transfer them from your computer for free. You can plug in pretty much anything that has a brick since they accept a range of voltages. I have wireless, but I brought a Linksys router from home.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    I have the old free 3G Kindle Keyboard with a US account. I've bought books over the air and it didn't cost anything extra to download. Keep in mind that it's an old model, though, so the new ones are probably different. 3G browsing works, but emailing files to the device costs more.

    Your Interac friend is mistaken if he thinks the power screwed up his PC. Laptops are self-regulating and desktops only need the wire swapped out for one without the grounding plug. My guess? He's playing games above his PC's specs.

    I use my mac mini when I need wireless, but after a while, I found out I didn't need it. The apartments are pretty small, and for any bedtime browsing I might want to do I use my phone. Flat rate plans FTW.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  5. #5
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    You'll be fine. Most US electronics work in Japan without any problem. As for the kindle, are you wondering about the 3G? The coverage in Japan is pretty good and as long as you don't close out your US debit/credit card you won't have any problem buying things since it's, you know, over the internet :P

  6. #6

    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Yeah, what everyone else said. You'll have zero problems managing any accounts (iTunes/Kindle/etc.) as long as you have a home address/debit card attached to them. The only problem you'll encounter anything that checks where you are (Netflix/Hulu/etc.) but that can be solved with a good VPN.

    If you're worried about working through wireless here some companies will set it up for you if you get a router through them (you have to pay a rental fee, though), you can pay a premium for an Apple router that you can set up in English ($90 I think?), or you can bring one with you/find a US brand on Amazon.jp. TBH I already had the apple router from a leaving ALT so I haven't gone through the process myself.

    I haven't had a single electronics related problem in Japan since I've been here, tbh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    A VNP can flag your card also. Having your card come through multiple IP addresses or sometimes going through known routers will set off some cards.

  8. #8
    Member tobenaitori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    This is only marginally related to the question you asked, but I wanted to throw in my two cents-- I wasn't able to install some Japanese apps on my American ipad. That could be my fault though because I'm pretty low tech and not familiar with apple products.

  9. #9
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    That's usually because your connected account is from the US store rather than the Japanese store. You can't use both at the same time (which does kinda suck a bit).
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    A good number of apps are geo-restricted. I wasn't able to install the yahoo mail app on my JP android until I went home on vacation, for instance.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  11. #11
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    itunes and amazon aren't region-limited, you just have to open a Japanese account in order to download Japanese apps/books and log in to the right account when you update. (You technically need a Japanese credit card to open a Japanese itunes account, but you can get around it by buying an itunes gift card from a convenience store in Japan)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Wow guys! Thanks for all the fantastic answers. I hadn't even thought about Itunes but that probably would have come up at some point. And I have a Nook not a Kindle (but I figured they'd be about the same in terms of access). I just know more people have Kindles than Nooks. I picked the wrong brand that xmas. I was really expecting Nooks to kick off and they didn't. Oh well.

    I also have the first generation kindle. But its battery life is so terrible I don't plan to use that in Japan unless I have no access to my Nook.

    As for my friend's laptop, he had an alienware computer. He suspected not using an adapter killed it but then again I can't attest to his computer usage habits. And I don't have any intention of buying alienware. But I am planning on purchasing a new laptop before I go (if I go this year) because the computer I am currently using is on its last legs.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by HorseFeathers View Post
    he had an alienware computer
    There's the problem right there. He had an overpriced Dell.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiekelly View Post
    There's the problem right there. He had an overpriced Dell.
    Haha. Yeah, I was told not to get one for that exact reason.

  15. #15
    Senior Member dialogue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    I have a Nook and haven't had any problems with it, aside from some books I thought would be good and turned out to be poo.

    About settin' up internet, I had a router in my house from the pred and the provider folks said they would set it up for me for fifty bucks or I could do it myself. Tried to do it myself, failed about halfway through. Asked someone at the office for help, she helped me with the rest. No problem.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by dialogue View Post
    I have a Nook and haven't had any problems with it, aside from some books I thought would be good and turned out to be poo.
    Man, has that happened to me a lot lately. I've been using my local library because I got tired of buying books that I ended up hating. But I won't have that luxury (at least not for English books) in Japan.

    About settin' up internet, I had a router in my house from the pred and the provider folks said they would set it up for me for fifty bucks or I could do it myself. Tried to do it myself, failed about halfway through. Asked someone at the office for help, she helped me with the rest. No problem.
    Yeah that will probably be me. Failing halfway. But nice to hear that people didn't have too much trouble setting it up.

  17. #17
    Senior Member zombiekelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    One heads up that I should mention since e-books are being discussed- kobo refuses to cooperate with you if your computer has an IP from Japan. It's owned by Rakuten, and in pure Japanese fashion can't seem to wrap its head around the idea that someone in Japan might want to use the English page or shop in another currency instead. The kobo phone app and Kobo Desktop stay in English/USD for me, but the main site won't unless I use my VPN.

    tl;dr- kobo sucks, pray that your favorite authors don't use it exclusively.
    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Beaming down a rainbow into a San Francisco apparently inhabited exclusively by The Village People? It really says it all about Star Trek, imho.

  18. #18
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Its Japan, nobody cares about pirating anything in English. Go nuts.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Its Japan, nobody cares about pirating anything in English. Go nuts.
    You think? I reckon a NJ will be first to be targeted, to be made an example of.

  20. #20
    Perpetually confused. johnny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Electronics in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by zombiekelly View Post
    One heads up that I should mention since e-books are being discussed- kobo refuses to cooperate with you if your computer has an IP from Japan. It's owned by Rakuten, and in pure Japanese fashion can't seem to wrap its head around the idea that someone in Japan might want to use the English page or shop in another currency instead. The kobo phone app and Kobo Desktop stay in English/USD for me, but the main site won't unless I use my VPN.

    tl;dr- kobo sucks, pray that your favorite authors don't use it exclusively.
    Yah, it's a huge pain. At least when I log onto the site it switches to English. That's something.

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