Many establishments even display the phone number over their front door. However, in Japan, the number 9 is considered unlucky and sounds like "suffering" when pronounced aloud, therefore a price of $9.99, while normal in the West, would be seen adversely. There are also no zeros in Japanese currency, so any reference to it being a "zero price level" is meaningless.
In fact, throughout most of history, the number 9 had negative connotations in Japan. It was not until 1872 that this began to change, with the introduction of cash registers that used buttons manufactured in Japan. These buttons were designed with the number 9, as well as other numbers, which could not be used because they were already assigned to other buttons. This is why you cannot find any stores without at least one button that does not represent a number from 1 to 0.
Even though these buttons are now commonly used as decorative items, they still cannot be replaced with new ones because there are no more empty slots on them. If you ask anyone who works at a store with such buttons how many digits there are after the decimal point, they will laugh at you.
The reason for this is that before cash registers came into use, all prices were written as whole numbers with no decimals.
Only the single number nine has a terrible sound and is said to be unlucky. The number nine is not regarded frightening or unlucky whether used alone or in conjunction with other numbers. The Japanese are notoriously superstitious, and this number fills them with fear. Even today many Japanese will not go upstairs or take up any new projects of importance- they feel that if something bad happens to them, it's because nine people have been harmed in some way.
The origin of this belief is not known for certain but may have something to do with the fact that Japan was once ruled by a shogun who had nine officers under him. When these men were chosen they would die within nine months of each other. This fact may have caused people to think of the number nine as being especially dangerous.
Another theory says that during World War II, when American soldiers were confronted with Japanese suicide bombers, they often referred to them as "nine souls." Since then, the number nine has been avoided.
Yet another theory suggests that nine is always followed by one more problem to solve. If someone offers you money for your job, for example, they are saying that there is only one way to resolve the issue - through money. If you agree, then there is no need to worry about being unlucky - yet another reason why nine is considered bad luck.
The number 9 is dreaded in Japan because it sounds like to the Japanese term for torture or pain, much as the number four has a bad-luck soundalike in Chinese. There are several theories about why this should be so.
One theory is that there are only four true digits in the Japanese numbering system, so anything more than that is false information, which could be considered bad news. A related theory is that because Japanese names contain only two characters, they can only tell you so much about someone's personality. If you add a third character to a name, then that person will now have an identity beyond simply being another copy of someone else. Thus, adding things to names makes them less generic and therefore worse-luck numbers.
Another theory is that because Japan uses a phonetic alphabet instead of letters, numbers have their own voice which people try to imitate as far as possible without using letters. This would explain why there are no good-luck numbers in Japan: if there were, people would start using them instead of their bad-luck counterparts.
Yet another theory is that because Japan is such a homogeneous culture with a long history of class division, it has been thought that assigning numbers to individuals might be unfair, so they've been left blank.
Finally, it may just be superstition.