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Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/9 02:53
Canada
Leaving to Japan from Canada for 14-days next Saturday and I'm preparing to get my money situation arranged.

I've read so much about this topic and I can't seem to find a sufficient answer that suits my needs.

I understand Japan is widely cash-based, so I have decided to stick with that. I will have a credit card for hotel amenities and emergencies, nothing else. So I will be using cash.

I will be in Tokyo for week 1 and Osaka for week 2.

I have decided to get one week's worth of currency up front here in Canada ~100,000Y, and then use a traveler's cheque for the same amount for my second week, but is that ideal? I'm not sure where to exchange the T/C for my 2nd week. Any ideas?

Or, I can go to Japan with nothing and get my first week's worth of spending at the Narita Airport with a T/C?

All of my funds will be on a debit card..

Any advice please? I need to know by Monday.

Thank you.
by Ryan1337  

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/9 19:08
If you are going to Tokyo and Osaka, credit card can help you out half the time. Japan is becoming card friendly, slowly but surely
by Joshua hugh (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/9 19:17
If you are set on exchanging CAD to JPY at home, why not exchange it for both weeks and save the trouble of acquiring and exchanging T/C?

Also do check with your bank the exchange rates they apply when you withdraw cash on a foreign ATM. You may find that it is more competitive than you thought.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 00:52
Your Canadian debit card will work perfectly fine at 7/11 and Post Office ATMs.

I've travelled from Canada to Japan several times with nothing more than a few thousand Yen on me, a credit card for hotels, and a debit card for withdrawing money as I go.

People complain about the ATM fees and the conversion fees but honestly if five dollars breaks your bank you probably shouldn't be on your trip.
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 00:53
Thank you, fellow Canadian!

How does 200,000Y sound for a 2-week trip for spending? Food, shopping, entertainment.
by Ryan1337 rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 04:57
I live in Canada and travel regularly to Japan. From the very first time (in the last years of the 20th century) I have used credit cards for hotels, and get cash at Post Office and 7-11 ATM with my bank card.

Anyone that say that the Japanese don't use credit cards has never seen the list of Japanese cards available...

Be sure to look at the ATM screen carefully. In Canada they show (not all of them) multiples of 20 or 50$ ..in Japan they may show 10 000 Yen...and you ask for 2, 3, 10 etc.

In Japan, as in Europe, one doesn't use a credit card to buy a coffee or something low priced, but cash...
Many Japanese will use their transit pass or cell phones as both have a E-purse used for small purchases..
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 05:17
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 05:24
Not sure what you're on about, Red frog, but only the really big places accept Visas, Mastercards, etc. In daily life, you can use them at the combini and that's basically it. Also, only a handful of banks issue them as debit cards, mostly they're credit cards and very ifficult to obtain, even for some Japanese.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 06:12
AFAIK, buying yen in Canada is like in the US - not a good rate. It'd be better to have some yen on you before your trip, but you could get a much better exchange from your ATM card after arriving in Japan.
http://www.jp-bank.japanpost.jp/en/ias/en_ias_index.html
http://www.sevenbank.co.jp/intlcard/card2.html

Just for reference, you can see current exchange rates in Japan at:
http://www.narita-airport.or.jp/exchange_e/index.html
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 06:48
I researched this for different currencies and Canadian Dollars get a fairly bad exchange rate in Japan. The comments that say it's only a few dollars are not correct as I've seen a 34% difference between the buy and sell rates, but other places only 20%. (so a 7% improvement if you get to a bank = $300 on Y200,000)

If exchanging at the airport, go to a proper bank (UFJ or post office). If you can buy USD cheaply in Canada (i.e. with a low margin) you will get a better exchange rate in Japan.

As for how much, Y200,000 for two weeks should be plenty, including spending money. Do it in one hit to save time messing about with banks half-way through.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 11:03
People complain about the ATM fees and the conversion fees but honestly if five dollars breaks your bank you probably shouldn't be on your trip.

Seriously, if your bank doesn't charge commission on overseas withdrawals, is there even a better alternative, exchange-wise, that is also practical for a short-term visitor?
by Faiyez rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 12:36
Sorry JapanCustomTours but your math is off.

7% of Y200,000 Yen is not $300 Canadian.
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 12:51
Yes, my math was off - CAD140 rather than $300. But, it would still walk the extra 20m at Narita to save 7% on an exchange rate.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Getting Yen in Canada 2015/5/10 15:56
The original poster is Canadian and so am I.
I have been to Japan for years and I know for sure that my Canadian debit card works in the Post-Office and 7-11 ATM.

I never had a problem using my Visa and MC credit cards in Japan either. I am too cheap to go to expensive hotels, my favorite hotel chain is Toyoko Inn.
I have used them in Kinokuniya (the bookstore), in Tokyu Hands, and some moderately priced restaurants.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

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