Carrying Cash or Card

  • Carrying Cash or Card

    Posted by Nick on January 26, 2024 at 12:43 am

    I trying to digest all the information available regards cash or cards in Japan . It seems cash is the most popular form of payment but where are cards accepted? As explained we are using a taxi service (Wilgo) and have also booked an accessible wheelchair tour in Tokyo which I have given my card details for . Do they still require cash payments and are the card details there in case of a no show? Another question .Are all railway stations cash on the ticket machines or can you use cards. I suppose after all that my question is should I expect to bring slot of cash for transactions ?

    Josh Grisdale replied 3 months, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • schroth-sensei

    January 26, 2024 at 2:23 am

    Hello Nick,

    Credit cards are usually accepted at hotels, big franchise restaurants, supermarkets/grocery stores (if they aren’t tiny), department/mall stores, and just about every expensive high-end shop. I also have found that most convenience stores (7&I Holdings, Lawson, Family Mart) in the city take credit cards as well (my guess is this is the same in rural areas too).

    You can also use ATM machines in convenience stores like Lawson to withdraw cash from either a Credit Card (assuming your card has cash withdraw available) or a debit card, though I don’t recommend the former as the interest fees can be expensive. Nevertheless, not every company’s cards are accepted (I remember seeing that Discover cards are not at Lawson, and I can’t imagine all bank cards would be either), but Visa and MasterCard seem to be popular.

    As for the companies that you booked through with your credit card, I can only assume that is the payment method that will be used, usually the stuff I book online is paid online unless it says otherwise. Please check with the company you booked with if you are concerned about this, I’ve found responses from Japanese companies are usually very prompt and helpful.

    When it comes to buying train tickets at the station (not counting express/limited/bullet trains), foreigners credit cards can’t be used in station ticket machines, so your options are cash (Yen) or rechargeable IC cards (1 per person). To give an idea about cost, if you plan to visit Tokyo area and say return to Yokohama, a point-A-to-point-B round trip could cost about 1,000-yen a person.

    How much cash you bring will depend on what you want to do/buy. Don’t slight the small cash-only restaurants and food stalls if you want to find some of the most delicious food you can get. If you or family members like capsule toys (machines are everywhere and have a wide variety of items), they are cash only. Likewise, popular shopping areas with souvenir stores/stalls have fun and interesting gifts and may not take credit.

    I hope that helps clear things up,


  • Nick

    January 30, 2024 at 6:53 am

    Thank You Justin, a lot of information that is so valuable. I am thinking about bringing a Revolut card with me with loaded Yen currency It’s a Mastercard debit. I have read a few things about Revolut and I’m hoping it will be ok to withdraw Yen though ATMs and also pay with the card . I’ll take all your information onboard Thanks again

    • Josh Grisdale

      January 30, 2024 at 5:04 pm

      I’ve never heard of it – let us know how it goes! Hopefully your experience with it can help the next reader 🙂

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