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Japan, ATM Advice

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A part of my travel plans is not as Karl Malden would put it “American Express, Don't Leave Home Without It”, but “Don't Leave Home Without A Few Benjamins, Jacksons And Washingtons”.

The thought behind this is that I avoid or minimize using my credit cards and paying what I consider to be ridiculous “foreign transaction” fees. When my I run out of my friendly President's, I simply find an ATM and withdraw local currency without any fees except those that may be charged for using the ATM. After all, I am using my own money and this way I do not end up with a big credit card bill when I get home.

This plan has worked well for me almost everywhere that I have traveled except in Japan, I run into a bit of dilemma. Apparently, most ATM's here do not accept credit/cash cards issued by foreign banks. However, the banks here will exchange your “Green Backs” without any transaction fee. This is a process that requires your passport and takes about twenty minutes to complete.

Down to my last two “Benjamins”, I may have to return to the airport, the last place I saw an ATM that I know for sure will give me some more of my friends even if they have now turned Japanese.

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