Money and English in Japan

Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 812
Money and English in Japan

I keep reading that cash is needed in Japan. Credit and debit cards either aren't accepted or don't work. My daughter is traveling to Japan with a large sum of money (to us anyway). She is advised to bring cash. She'll have a money belt but I'm still worried. Any advice?

Also she will need to exchange US dollars to Yen. Should she do this at Dallas-Ft. Worth or at Narita? Which would offer the best exchange rate?

When she gets to Narita she will have to take a bus or train to her final destination. Is signage provided in English also? I've found the website for Narita and printed out maps of where the trains and buses are. Will she have any trouble finding the ticket desks for buses and trains? Also, are the ticket sellers able to speak English?
BoniseA is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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It is probably best to have cash and also some travellers checks if you are worried about her carrying cash. I was able to find ATM's that work, and here is the trick. The ATM's that work are at Post Offices. I had no problem withdrawing money from those bank machines, so if she is stuck that is always an option. But I wouldn't rely too much on that. I did use my credit card in Japan without any problems.

She should exchange her money when she lands at the Narita airport. She will get a better exchange rate than if she exchanges it in Dallas. There are plenty of currency exchange booths in the airport.

There are not many signs in English. There may be a few, but she may have to ask someone, or have a good guidebook with her, so that it might explain to her how to get that bus or train. I took the train into Tokyo, and I managed to buy a ticket without any problems, as the people were very helpful.
The ticket sellers will speak very little English, but she will be able to get her point across with the destination name. I went 2 years ago, and perhaps some people have some different experiences to share. But, the Japanese are very friendly and will do their best to help your daughter.

I hope I was able to answer your questions. I am sure there will be many poseters with good advice as well.

Hope your daughter has a safe and happy journey!
Travelbug13 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I have used ATM cards (with PLUS emblems on the back) in Japan to get cash. There are ATM achines at Narita airport where your daugther is arriving that take these ATM cards. After that she can use the ATM card at post offices. I never found this to be a burden, it worked great for me. I am not sure why previous poster says not to rely on this, as I relied on it all the way through 2 two week trips. There are also ATMS that tke these cards in 7-11 stores (over 20K of them in Japan). She does not need to bring that much cash. And if she uses the ATMs she will of course get yen, so there is no cash exchange needed.

See good info here:

emd is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
Like the others who answered, I had no problem with the ATMs at post offices. At some post offices, you can't reach the ATM in evenings or on weekends, but they are readily available during weekdays. This link provides some information:
kja is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Thank you. Because of your posts I think we can drastically reduce the amount she was going to take. The problem is that she needs more money than what the daily withdrawal limit is at ATMs.

I'll tell her to exchange the money she does have in Narita.

I'll tell her to be patient and someone will help her with bus or train transportation.
BoniseA is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 05:35 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,343

The people at the Narita Limosine Bus desk speak English. Just tell them which hotel or stop that you need to go to and they will direct you to the bus stop(which is right outside the door).

You need cash to buy the ticket and you can get that also in the terminal as mentioned above. Everything is clearly marked in Japanese and English so should be no problem.

There are 2 desks to buy bus tickets if I remember correctly and they are both in plain sight as you exit the customs area. Use the link below to see how much it will cost to her destination

hawaiiantraveler is offline  

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