Credit cards, ATMs and cash in Japan

May 26th, 2014, 09:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Credit cards, ATMs and cash in Japan

I'd like to know if I'd be able to use ATMs with my Visa/Amex card while in Japan. Where should I look for ATM's? What is the upper limit for one cashing? I understand in many hotels I can pay by credit card, but not in everyone. What about restaurants? Buses? Museums?
I'm coming for a month so as little cash as I can manage to travel with, is easier for me.
Any information will be valuable
tasta is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,997
ATMs: I don't have information specific to Visa/MC use, as I've only used bank-withdrawl ATM cards. (For U.S. banks, using a Visa/MC to withdraw money is treated as a cash advance, with typically heavy charges.) With the bank-issued cards, i've always been able to get cash at the ATMs at all 7-11 convenience stores. My understanding is that ATMs at Post Offices work as well, though I've never used them. 7-11 stores are ubiquitous in Japanese cities. The ATMs at the 3 airports that I've flown into (Narita, Haneda, Kansai) all accepted foreign-issued cards, as well. I don't know the limit of the amount of cash you can withdraw; however, because Japan is a place where it's common to carry very large amounts of cash, I'd expect any limit to be very high.

Card acceptance: All major hotels and business hotels that I've stayed in accept credit cards, and many restaurants and shops do so as well. The types of place where credit cards aren't accepted are smaller shops, restaurants, and ryokans. Although high-end places are more likely to accept credit cards, there are still exceptions: Jiro's sushi joint (like many others) might cost $300 per person, but it's cash-only.

As for public transportation, credit cards are fine for train travel and for stored-value cards such as Suica that are valid for use on just about all public transportation in the Tokyo area.
DonTopaz is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
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In Japan, withdrawing money can be a bit tricky. Japan Post and 7Eleven ATMs usually accept all foreign cards, but they are pretty much the only ones that do.

Japan being a usually really safe country, you might want to carry more cash than you would do usually since cards usually got withdrawing limits and banks can be helpless in Japan. Being a really traditional country, it is surprisingly troublesome to use credit cards in Japan.
Papytofu is offline  
May 27th, 2014, 10:59 PM
Join Date: May 2014
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Where in Japan will you particularly visit?
venture00 is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 01:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Thanks everybody! I'm coming with my husband for a month, so we'll need pretty much amount of cash. We'll be travelling from Tokyo to the North (Nyuoto onsen) than back through Magomoto-Takayama,Hakone.. (places where I less expect to change money, more spending cash ) Some bigger places like Nikko, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima ... So I think I'll need to use ATM for a couple of times, I'm not used to carrying large sums of cash, no matter that the place is safe.
That's why I want to know how I can get in one operation larger sum.
By the way, I'm not from USA, so my cards are Amex/Visa/Diners/MC and that's it...
tasta is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,841
Do your cards take money out of your bank account or is any money you take out a cash advance on your credit card? This is very important as cash advances are quite expensive.

We were able to use credit cards most places, and found we took too much cash out of the ATMs. We had expected to need to use cash more often.
Kathie is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 07:42 AM
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I received an answer for my question,maybe it will be useful forcthe others,so i ,m giving it here - in 7 Eleven you can get up to 2000$. So looks like i shouldn't worry .
tasta is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,099
I am from the US and I can only take out what my bank sets as a daily limit which in the case of one of my ATM cards is $600. I have asked if they could raise that limit - it's a Capital One online savings - and they said point being that it isn't only the ATM you use but your card....
Mara is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 47
Of cause,you are right,Mara. But usually ATM limit is lower than that from your bank. we had sometimes problems in Europe,getting less than 200$ when we needed 500$,and we already have some reservations in Japan that need 600 in cash.
tasta is offline  
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