Information on Money

Money Exchange

In most parts of the country, Japanese yen is the only currency that can be used when purchasing goods in cash.
There are no restrictions on the kinds of currency you can bring into Japan, however there may be currencies that cannot be exchanged to Japanese yen in Japan so it may be better if you check before arrival. Also, if you carry into or out of Japan money worth more than one million yen you will have to declare at the customs.              

Currency can be exchanged at airports, hotels and banks across Japan but again, you need to be careful because some places do not handle certain kinds of currency. The easiest would be exchanging at the international airports. US$ is the most handled currency. The rates and commission vary accordingly to each money exchange and banks, changes on a daily basis.

Traveler’s Checks and Credit Cards

Traveler’s Checks (T/C) must be exchanged to cash (yen) before you set out, since checks are not accepted except in major hotels and leading banks in principal cities.
Hotels, banks, department stores and a lot of the retail stores take credit card payments, including American Express, VISA, Master Card and Diners Club. Nonetheless, it is always better to prepare some cash since credit card cannot be used for public transportation (except for some taxi services) and smaller cities have few places that accept credit cards.

ATM Services

Many of the ATM machines do not accept cards (credit/ cash/ debit) issued outside of Japan. If you plan to use the ATM to withdraw/ deposit cash, you may want to refer to your bank or the card issuer prior to departure whether your card is usable in Japan and in which machines. You can also create new cards such as international cash cards which you can use outside of your country.

Having said so, there are ATMs across the country in which you can use your overseas issued cards and they are at the post offices. Currently 26,000 ATMs are installed in the post offices in Japan where you can withdraw cash (yen) with your credit card. Post offices which have those machines usually display stickers saying, "International ATM Service" and take cards from VISA and VISA Electron, PLUS, MASTERCARD, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, and Diners Club as well as JCB.


Tipping is not a custom in Japan so you do not need to give tips even in hotels and restaurants.
(Although, some restaurants take “service fee” after evening or night, which is already included in your bill.)

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