Taking Money to Japan

This post used to be a well-rounded discussion about personal preference when using cash or card on holiday.

It used to outline how to get yourself a cash passport and what a convenient and useful product that would be. Now that we’ve finished our holiday in Japan and have been back on AU soil for a few months I’m changing this post.

Cash or Card?

Take cash to Japan. Anything else will be a massive pain in the ass!

And particularly: don’t trap your cash on a Mastercard – they’re not commonly accepted in Japan.

For half of our trip we could withdraw money from our Mastercard Cash Passport from the 7/11 only. Then on the 19th of April they change their policy and now only accept Visa. If you insist on using a card then choose Visa, it seems to be marginally more accepted than Mastercard.

But honestly you should just take cash. Forget your personal preferences and just get Traveler’s Cheques, exchange them at the airport, bury that money in your luggage and work with notes and coin.

It’ll be much, much easier.

Until next time,

Kally & Mon.

[Feature Image Credit: Cash Passport AU]

Have you been to Japan? What was your experience using money? Cash or card? Easy or nightmarish? Leave a comment!

5 thoughts on “Taking Money to Japan

  1. Oh man. There are plenty of cashpoints that don’t accept MasterCard. If you haven’t already ordered this, please reconsider: You want cash, believe me. Even in Tokyo.

    Cashpoints which accept foreign cards are mostly situated in post offices. That means access to them vanishes at closing time, and you are cut off from your money until Monday morning.

    Carrying vast amounts of Yen in Japan really isn’t a problem. I usually take about £1,000 in spending money, then calculate what that gives me on a daily basis and put that amount into my wallet. The remainder is safely tucked away in a pocket-within-a-locked-pocket in my backpack, and this has kept my cash safe in cities like London, Barcelona and New York, let alone the much lower crime rates across Japan 🙂

    I’ve travelled with people who insisted on taking a MasterCard to Japan and their holiday became a hell of trying to find cashpoints and post offices.

    • Argh!

      Hello Troo, thanks for your comment but sadly we leave tomorrow and I have already loaded a cash passport with my money!

      That’s a great heads-up though – in this case I think what I will do is find a post office, Mastercard vendor or 7/11 (apparantely they accept them?) and withdraw a large sum of cash in one go.

      I had kind of planned to do this anyway but will definitely make sure I do now.

      I have about a 1/3 of my spending money on me in cash so I will be ok when I land.

      Again, thanks for the tip! ^.^

      – Kally x

      • You’re welcome 🙂 And deffo get cash when you can, especially if you want to go out in the evening, or head out of the city 🙂

  2. Pingback: Home to Haneda: a dubious start | JaPlanning

  3. Pingback: Tips for visiting Japan | JaPlanning

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