One of the most frustrating things this week was the fact that none of our mobile phones worked. In my attempts to get a prepaid phone or a short-term or whatever we discovered that you have to have a Japanese passport to get a phone since they are subsidized by the phone companies. That and the fact that they really don't want to sell you just the phone.
However, we learned that there are certain models that can be easily modded to work wherever there is network access--or at least wherever there is Vodafone access, you just can't get the English menus. Anyone who wants to learn more can shoot me a note.