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Money Question 2007/10/18 01:57
Is there a way to exchange American money for Japanese Yen? If not is it possible to spend American money in Japan?
by Jake English  

foreign currency 2007/10/18 22:22
From the American money you can exchange the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar in Japanese Yen at international airports and some banks in Japan. No other American currency exchanged and no other currency but Japanese Yen accepted within Japan.
by Peter rate this post as useful

There are a few more places 2007/10/19 01:41
Some of the major hotels should also offer currency exchanges. Their rate (I believe) may not be as favorable as compared to the exchange at Narita.
by Steve Lozowskki rate this post as useful

ATM 2007/10/19 02:11
I was told by others who had travelled to Japan that it is easy to use an ATM to get cash. I'm unsure what transaction fee you may encur though, it probably varies by bank.
by Paul H rate this post as useful

Thanks guys! 2007/10/19 02:52
you people are really helpful and nice thanks a whole lot! ^^
by Jake English rate this post as useful

Oh, by the way 2007/10/19 03:52
If you haven't left your country yet, another option is to have a bank change some money before you go.

I called my bank to have them do it for me (Wells Fargo). They took it directly from my checking account, at 112 YEN/Dollar (A few YES less than market, as a service charge I guess). They'll send it to my address, or any branch I choose.
by Paul H rate this post as useful

. 2007/10/19 03:54
I never exchange money back in the USA, you always get a bad exchange rate. Yes you can do it in Japan as mentioned, at currecny exchange booths in the airport, major hotels, or various international ATMs (if doing it from a card withdrawl).
by John rate this post as useful

tips 2007/10/19 04:34
1) typically no, only Yen or credit cards are accepted in Japan. And almost always Yen! This cash-crazy country will make you wish you had a bigger wallet to carry all of the cash needed....
Try to have on hand at least $100 USD equivalent at all times! ($200-500 is better...)

2) big cities and big restauratns/shops, you can usually get away with using a credit card (Visa or Mastercard preferably - anything else is begging for trouble) + your passport.
Keep in mind that they may have to call the card company for verification on big purchases (eg. electronics) to prevent theft and card misuse.
Most major hotels and ryokans will have credit card services, but WATCH OUT!!! - ryokans do vary and some are big, but work on a cash only basis! Those outside big cities in travel areas (eg. Nikko, Odawara, etc) may be all cash even though they're a travel destination! (Yep, I had a nice long walk to the ATM upon visiting one place I was to check into that was cash only.)

3) Trains, trains, trains.
Just bring cash and stop asking about credit! You'll drive the locals nuts.

4) taxis - ditto.
yes, big cities they'll often take credit, but try not to make them work overtime. just bring cash.

5) most restaurants for ramen, yakis, etc. - just bring cash.
(If you do a moderate to expensive sushi restaurant, bring lots of cash =P )

6) Best place to change for convenience - Narita airport after you exit customs and get into the main building. Usually two shops open, decent rates without having to hunt around a lot, and quick.
They only exchange BILLS, no COINS!
After that, it's super easy to hunt down any Post Office, where you can get cash using your ATM/DEBIT card + PIN number to withdrawl directly from your bank account (works for sure at the Tokyo Station huge Post Office right outside for Bank of America USA checking accounts).
Also, in Tokyo Station Underground mall, there are ATM terminals on the Yaseu side where you can withdrawl cash using debit cards as well (in case the Tokyo Post Office ATMs are down, which I've experienced as well).

The idea here is that you will want to convert as much as as you'll need for the trip, or at least a few days, so that you won't have to be hunting for ATMs all the time.

If you go into the trip areas like Nikko, do bring $100-200 USD of converted cash at the minimum! (any less and you may find that you've spent it all on transportation and nothing left to eat or get back with)

ATMs outside big cities will usually not work with your card, so watch out! Yep, even Visa/Debit withdrawls don't work at 7-11 stores outside Tokyo in the middle of nowhere - they simply aren't connected to outside-Japan accounts.

Most ATMs will have hours of operation, so don't get caught trying to pull money out in the middle of the night! (A few, like the Tokyo Station + Post Office outside ones are okay for longer hours at night.)

Bigger hotels will usually have conversion capabilities at the front desk, smaller ones won't.

7) Of course, best is to start the search at home to see if any local exchange place will give you a great rate for money exchange. That way, you can start off by having Yen and not worry about spending time converting it at Narita. Minimum I'd carry in would be $200 USD equivalent since the NEX or other transportation into Tokyo/etc. will cost you up to $50 USD (and you'll need some more for food, first day's hotel stay, etc.).
by d =) rate this post as useful

WOW thanks so much! 2007/10/19 06:28
you guys have truley helped me out thanks so much! see you all in JAPAN!
by Jake E. rate this post as useful

ATM 2007/10/19 12:04
Paul H said:
"I was told by others who had travelled to Japan that it is easy to use an ATM to get cash. I'm unsure what transaction fee you may encur though, it probably varies by bank. "

This is NOT true. Many, many regular overseas ATM cards DO NOT work in Japanese bank ATMs.

The only exceptions are the ATMs in Post Offices and at 7-Elevens. (When I say 7-Eleven, I don't mean ANY Convenience stores, just 7-Eleven)
by Sandy rate this post as useful

. 2007/10/19 12:51
And Citibank ATMs and some Shinsei Bank ATMs.

Not withstanding there are over 20,000 Post offices, and 10,000 7-11 ATMs if you are in any major city you shouldn't have much problems finding one.

by John rate this post as useful

true 2007/10/19 15:05
most atm's don't take foreign cards, whether debit or credit.

but as long as you stick to the Post Office ATMs in major cities, and the big bank ATMs, then you'll be fine.

oh, and remember to make sure you're pin is 4 digits!!! (any longer and you won't get it to work!).

And remember the numbers! the pads are often opposite of the US pads (eg. computer keypad vs. phone pad arrangement), so remembering by position or touch will get you in trouble.

Some, in the post office, are simply a long horizontal row of single digits!
by d =) rate this post as useful

DO NOT rely on ATMs! 2007/10/19 21:09
As someone has said, NOT ALL foreign ATM/credit cards work in Japanese bank machines. DO NOT rely on this!!!

Bring a few hundred dollars in CASH, and exchange it for Japanese yen in the airport in Japan. You should be able to manually withdrawal money (via a bank teller who speaks English) in case ATM machines fail you. Still, at least have a few hundred dollars in cash to change into yen... just in case.

This is not a country you want to be without money in.
by Breetai rate this post as useful

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