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Money question in Japan and I'm leaving on Saturday

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May 4th, 2011, 04:03 PM
  #1
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Money question in Japan and I'm leaving on Saturday

Can I get from the main airport in Tokyo to my hostel using the Limited Express train and subway without cash--just credit card? My directions say take the Keisei Line (1120 yen), get off at Aota Station, and transfer to Subway Asakusa Line and get off at Kuramae Station.

Does the 1120 yen cover the subway, too? Are the trains on the honor system like Germany, or are there gates like on the Paris subways.

Would you need cash for street vendors? Anything else?
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May 4th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Also, changing money. Would you recommend the LAX airport, the Narita Airport, or ATM's.
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May 4th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Sounds like you need to buy a guide book.
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May 4th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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ATM's and do it at the airport so you have some money in your pocket...
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May 4th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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It never pays to change money before you get to the country. The exchange rate is always worse elsewhere, So you can buy yen at LAX, but they will cost you more than in Japan.

You will need cash. Either use an ATM at the airport or take US$100 bills to exchange.
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May 4th, 2011, 06:36 PM
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But of course, as we know, not all ATMs in Japan take foreign ATM/debit cards. I know those at the post office or HSBC or 7-Eleven do, but many local banks' don't.
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May 4th, 2011, 06:46 PM
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Yes, you will need cash while there. Many restaurants do not take credit cards.
No, not all ATM machines work with US cards, in fact many we tried did not. But yes, 7-11 is a good place to start. There are also Citibank branches there where your ATM card should work.
The subways entrances have gates and you need a ticket to enter and hold on to it so you can get out.

Kathie-I have an exchange place I go to in downtown LA which sells foreign currency for about 3% over the interbank rate. That's about the same price I pay for using an ATM so sometimes I will go there and get $100 just to have some cash in hand on arrival.
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May 4th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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On my recent visit (Sept 2010) there was a Citibank ATM in Narita airport that had no problem with my Capital One ATM card, but I bought my train ticket into Tokyo with a Visa card anyway.
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May 4th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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Kristina. that's a pretty good deal. My ATM card charges just a 1% premium on foreign exchange, and no fee for use at foreign ATMs, so the local ATM is always a better deal for me.
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May 4th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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And my Capital One ATM card charges 0% foreign conversion and ATM fees, and pays 1.x% interest...
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May 4th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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Maybe hawaiiantraveler or other Tokyo experts will know the detail, but the transfer from the Keisei Limited Express to the Asakusa Line may not require going through a turnstile, or perhaps can be done on the same ticket. Saying this because the transfer at Aoto is actually to a Keisei Oshiage Line train (the same company as the Limited Express from NRT). The Keisei Oshiage Line train "runs through" onto the Toei Asakusa subway line ("A" line) from Oshiage (A-20) and stops at Kuramea (A-17). Aoto is not a stop on the Asakusa Line proper, but outside of it.
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May 4th, 2011, 08:17 PM
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japan is a cash society. the airport buses at narita take only japanese yen. if you use the train ticket machines, it takes only cash too. you can easily change your money for yen at narita airport. some restaurants and museum take only cash, much less street vendors. japan is relatively safe so i dont worry about carrying cash. yes, the train stations have gates. the tokyo train and subway system is very advanced. ticket prices differ depending on the distance. if in case, you cant read the characters and there is no one to ask just get a ticket for the shortest distance, and just go to the fare adjustment machine at your destination before you go out the train station. it has english translation. enjoy japan and its conveniences.
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May 5th, 2011, 03:26 AM
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OK, sounds like I should find a ATM at the Japan airport when I arrive and if I can't, go to a local currency exchange, but I will avoid LAX for a currency exchange.
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May 5th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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Can I get from the main airport in Tokyo to my hostel using the Limited Express train and subway without cash--just credit card?

Yes,if you use the Keisei ticket machines or go to the ticket windows at NRT. You should be able to purchase the express train and subway tickets at the window counter with your cc.

http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/

Would you need cash for street vendors? Anything else?

That said as others have stated Japan is a cash society and you should stop by one of the bank windows right in the arrival hall after customs. Very easy to use, fast and convenient. They speak English. Either bank will do as they have the same rates.Just fill out the small exchange form and they do the rest. Check here for the daily rates

http://www.narita-airport.or.jp/exchange_e/index.html

Check this site out to figure out the Tokyo subway system.

http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/index.html

Aloha!
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May 5th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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Kathie & thursdaysd- I agree. In general I never change a lot of money in advance. I also have an ATM card which only charges 1% but my Citibank card charges 3%. For me $2 to have some cash on hand on arrival is worth the peace of mind and it's one less thing to think about when exhausted.
The only time I bought a large sum in advance was when I needed to have 1000 euros on arrival to Rome to pay for an apartment rental.
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May 5th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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I didn't know that the Keisei line would sell you subway tickets -- live & learn.

At NRT, you'll pass an ATM or two on the way to the escalator down to the Keisei station, anyway. You'll want to have some cash when you get to the train platform, because, especially after a long trip, the vending machines with hot and cold drinks can look awfully good.
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May 5th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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As I mentioned, the train wally will be taking from Aoto to Kuramae will be a Keisei commuter train that runs through onto the Asakusa Line. So, Keisei can definitely sell him the ticket.
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May 5th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Thanks so much for your responses. I've never been to Japan. The plane gets in around 7:30 p.m. and I've been told that it will take about 1 1/2 hours to get to the hostel, but I do have a way of going the loonnng way at times. I don't do public transportation well. Where I live, my aunt had to drive until she was 95.
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May 5th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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In my haste leaving the house this morning I left you the wrong subway company website. Should have been for the Toei subway line as that is the one you will connecting to and not the Tokyo Metro.

http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/index.html

Also forgot to mention that you ask for the Skyliner/Metro Pass at the ticket window. See here for details:

http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetud...iner_metro.pdf

Aloha!
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May 5th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Hehe, it will blow wally's mind when he finds out there are like a dozen train companies in and around Tokyo alone, and two subway companies. Enjoy.
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