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Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/28 16:55
Hey everyone i will be leaving for japan travelling around Kansai and Tokyo in 2 days time and will be carrying a large amount of money most of the time on my trip, around $1500 USD. Whenever i travel to big cities in europe and elsewhere i usually have a moneybag/slingbag to keep my money in front of me and safe. I know that Japan is a Really safe country and crime rate is very low , im planning to bring a small sling bag to store my money and keep it in front of me whenever im out and about do you think this is unnecessary? i would much prefer being able to keep my money in a small compartment tucked away in my backpack. Thanks in advance!
by Jason Lewis  

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 07:36
I consider the risk of being robbed in Japan to be negligible. If anything, I would probably more likely lose or forget the money somewhere due to my own mistake. Neither has ever happened to me in 15+ years of intensive traveling across Japan, though.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 07:41
I always carry all my money with me in separate parts of my person. I usually bring in about USD$4000 and never have I felt uncomfortable.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 07:56
Japan is a safe country, but it is not crime-free.
Personally, I would not put all eggs in one basket.

by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 08:38
We (husband and I) usually carry several thousand dollars in cash.

When moving, we divide it in half and then into thirds or quarters, and distribute those parts around our clothing and luggage.

We take out only the amounts we need for the day, leaving the rest in the safe in the hotel room.

Nowhere is perfectly safe, and touristy areas by definition have a high proportion of non-Japanese people. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 09:23
"huge" is a relative term and I often carry that much around with me for just day-to-day expenses.

If you want "huge" I think you would need to be in the millions of yen category. I see that from time to time - people paying taxes at my local post office bring in a few million yen in plastic supermarket bags.

And yes robberies do occur, but usually with some knowledge of the victim - for example this year, an 80 million yen theft (but certainly not the largest recent one).
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/05/national/crime-legal/prec...

Carrying 384 million yen was considered safe, but not always:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/21/national/crime-legal/poli...
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 12:16
Thanks for all the enlighting advice guys, will definitely keep that in mind for the trip!
by Jason Lewis rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 14:07
Also note that changing money at Singapore airport (if your changing cash) will be a better exchange rate that in Japan.

Japan is also very much a cash society and often people carry around a reasonable amount of cash. You'll be carrying more than I do - but I also use Visa/Mastercard Debit which is great for hotels but not Ryokans.

The comment on splitting up the cash seems like a good idea.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/29 23:16
Although I agree with much of what has been said already, I wouldn't risk it. Japan is very safe, but the way I see it is that somebody is going to be the victim of some crime or other misfortune, and while it's unlikely to be me, it definitely won't be if you if I keep the money in my bank and instead rely on the convenience store ATMs which are on virtually every street corner.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/30 07:46
Also note that changing money at Singapore airport (if your changing cash) will be a better exchange rate that in Japan.
Really? When I do USD to yen exchange I get very good rates (low margins) here in Japan - usually less than 2%. Singapore uses neither USD or JPY so why they would offer lower margins is not intuitive. Care to provide examples of the spreads available in Singapore compared to Japan.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/9/30 11:21
Japan suffers a lot of pick-pocketing and snatching. People have even been injured or accidentally killed when they were snatched. The news and public bulletins keep warning us residents about it. I myself am a Japanese living in Japan for more than half a century and have been stolen cash multiple times just by accidentally leaving my wallet behind in a friends room or dropping it in a seemingly nice neighborhood.

If you have been successfully carrying cash in other countries by following a certain procedure, do the same in Japan. And note that there are many streets in Japan without sidewalks. So, be sure to keep your cash on the side of your body away from the motorbikes.

By the way, foreign visitors would often drop cash and have it returned and assume that Japan is safe. The reason that cash tend to be returned in Japan is because it's easy to report dropped cash to one of the many "koban" police booths located throughout the country. The Japanese grow up learning to report even the smallest coins they find. There is also an unwritten rule that whoever returns cash can expect to gain 10 percent of the amount from the owner as a gesture of gratitude. If the owner never shows up, the person who reported dropped cash can gain all of it.

For these reasons, if you ever find dropped cash, it is wiser to report it to your nearest police.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/10/1 17:27
JapanCustomTours,

What is the reason for business user to carry hundreds of millions cash personally instead of using either a bank transfer or security services?

For example, in Estonia and i guess that G4S provides similar service European-wide:
https://www.g4s.ee/en/corporate-customer/services/cash-transport-and-p...

Pretty hard to believe, that this kind of service is expensive in Japan for those, who need to transport millions of cash. Or are bank services also expensive compared to Europe? For comparison, transfering money using the bank selfservice portal inside my country from one account to another to a different bank is 0,35 EUR.

Best regards,
Lauri
by Lauriandres (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/10/1 18:02
@ Lauriandres
Japan is simply (still?) a very cash based society.
Yes, credit cards exist, but payment in cash is still very much the norm. So that's what many people do, even though there exist alternatives. Obviously there are credit cards (although somewhat hard to get one as a foreigner), there are bank transfers etc, but still good old hard cash is widely preferred.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Carrying Huge amounts of money in Japan 2019/10/1 21:45
RE JCT: The person is from Singapore thus he will use SGD. It's true that USD has a good exchange rate in Japan, but the SGD kind of sucks most of the time when changing money in secondary countries.

I live in Singapore and travel to Japan twice a year (but not soon). As such - I normally look for the best way to take money to a country with low rates. Normally the rates at Singapore airport are around 2-3% (from memory) for JPY. Oddly most currency exchanges outside of the airport have worse rates which I find odd.

I've actually found a better way if I use a credit card in Singapore - but I doubt that the person will open a UOB Bank travel card (VISA) which uses fx rates without any credit card fees if you have already changed the money into the currency.

I can say more - but I doubt that anyone will find it interesting...
by mfedley rate this post as useful

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