When we no longer have need of something and cease paying attention to it, it will fade out in our active awareness. In time, it may become invisible though still present, transparent to the point of vanishing while in clear view of anyone who takes the time to look for it. This is the current status of payphones in Japan.
With smartphones in the pockets of most Japanese, and simpler cellular phones in the possession of the remainder, payphones are vestigial organs of the urban organism, immobile tools of communication left over from the time before telephones grew legs and began to walk around in large numbers. Even so, there are a surprising number of payphones still here, the apparent number ballooning wildly once you start paying attention to and looking for them. Unlike in other places with residual payphones, these mostly still work, though it’s unclear how often they actually get used.
This is an ongoing project.