Many automatic teller machines (ATMs) in Japan do not accept credit, debit and ATM cards, which are issued outside of Japan.
The big exception are the ATMs found at the over 20,000 post offices and over 10,000 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country. These ATMs allow you to withdraw cash by credit and debit cards issued outside of Japan, including Visa, Plus, Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express and JCB cards and provide an English user menu.
ATMs at 7-Eleven stores are available 24 hours per day around the year. In case of post offices, however, only the central offices of major cities offer a 24 hour/7 days ATM service, including the Tokyo Central Office, Shinjuku Office, Shibuya Office and the central offices of Osaka, Kyoto and a few other major cities (note that even these ATMs are unavailable on Sundays and public holidays between 20:00 and midnight).
Postal ATM operating hours then decrease proportionally to the size of the post office, from major post offices (typically 7:00 to 23:00, shorter hours on weekends) to medium sized offices (typically 8:00 to 20:00, shorter hours on weekends, possibly closed on Sundays) to minor offices (typically 9:00 and 16:00, closed on weekends).
In addition to the ATMs at post offices and 7-Eleven convenience stores, international ATMs can be found at international airports, in major department stores and in Shinsei Bank branches. ATMs by Aeon Bank, found at Aeon malls and selected other locations, also accept cards issued outside of Japan.
In order to use international ATMs, ensure the following at home before leaving for Japan:
- Make sure that your credit or debit card can be used abroad.
- Inquire what fees and daily and/or monthly limits are associated with international withdrawals.
- Remember your card's secret 4-digit PIN.
- Notify your bank that you are going to use your card overseas, since many banks will block a card which is suddenly used abroad, suspecting a fraud.