• Japan Tips

Money matters: your guide to money in Japan

Cash Payment Above All

Japan still remains largely cash-based. Most parts of Japan, especially outside of urban areas, only accept cash as payment. Credit cards are accepted only at major stores and restaurants as well as convenient stores.

When you arrive in Japan, it is important that your money is available to you in accessible cash. This can be in the form of cash, traveler’s checks, or on a Visa DebitCard. You are strongly advised not to have your money on a credit card.

Visa Debit Cards are useable in ATM machines at most post offices and 7-Eleven convenience stores but you may be limited in how much cash you can withdraw. Be sure to let your bank know your travel plans and ensure your card is usable. Many ATMs do not accept MasterCard, Maestro, or Cirrus-branded cards.


Exchanging Currency

No matter how you bring your money to Japan, be sure to bring your funds in major, easily convertible currencies such as Japanese Yen, US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds Sterling (issued by the Bank of England). Please be careful to avoid Pounds Sterling issued by non-Bank of England institutions or in Northern Ireland as there have been cases where a new Interac ALT has experienced trouble exchanging at Japanese banks.


The information related to the initial money requirements is a guide only. We provide no warranty and accept no responsibility for the performance in Japan of any facility or service offered by, but not limited to, for example, a bank, ATM machine provider, Visa, or 7-Eleven.


Sending Money Home

We know many ALTs often continue to have financial commitments in their home country while they are in Japan. It is reasonably simple to transfer money out of Japan once you have registered with a service provider or bank. One such service that is popular amongst the foreign community in Japan is the GoRemit Shinsei Overseas Remittance Service offered by Shinsei Bank.