Travel

Traveling to Japan, never traveled before

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  • Feb 20th, 2020 3:04 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 17, 2016
19 posts
10 upvotes

Traveling to Japan, never traveled before

I never traveled before, and I'm curious what peoples recommendation is for money. do i bring it cash? get a travel CC? i have no idea and was wondering if anyone had some insight. Thanks
26 replies
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Nov 15, 2004
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Watch these:

Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 17, 2016
19 posts
10 upvotes
Piro21 wrote: Watch these:

holy crap thanks! i should have thought of this first, but i appreciate the help!
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Jun 11, 2005
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Rurrutia wrote: I never traveled before, and I'm curious what peoples recommendation is for money. do i bring it cash? get a travel CC? i have no idea and was wondering if anyone had some insight. Thanks
Pretty ambitious for your first trip.

Always have some cash with you in the country you are landing in. You never know what you will need cash for but you will need cash. Also have at least 2 credit cards in case one doesent work. Good luck and have a safe trip.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Rurrutia wrote: I never traveled before, and I'm curious what peoples recommendation is for money. do i bring it cash? get a travel CC? i have no idea and was wondering if anyone had some insight. Thanks
Credit cards for foreign spending: list-credit-cards-foreign-currency-purchases-2122295/

Every Canadian traveler should have a STACK prepaid mastercard. It is by far the best way to get cash at foreign ATMs. You get Mastercard's daily exchange rate which is typically ~0.2% above mid-market, and no ATM fee other than the ATM operator's fee. Most Japanese ATMs have no fee, the ones at 7-Eleven definitely don't.
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May 22, 2005
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I just went to a 7/11, Lawson, or whatever konbini/convenience store to grab cash when needed, a few hundred at a time. I found the rates better then when I got the cash before I left on the trip.
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Mar 9, 2007
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Think of the Childre…
You're in Japan now?
coriolis wrote: I just went to a 7/11, Lawson, or whatever konbini/convenience store to grab cash when needed, a few hundred at a time. I found the rates better then when I got the cash before I left on the trip.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Jul 29, 2005
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Bring some yen enough to last you a few days at least.
And get a Stack no fx fee MasterCard. Preload the MasterCard with enough cash that you think you'll need and you can withdrawal at 711 or use it as a regular credit card.
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Jan 27, 2006
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Japan is pretty much a cash-based society especially for smaller everyday purchases (ie meals/snacks, gifts) so don't expect that you can use any credit cards for your smaller purchases.

Also, before going nuts on the ATM route, check how much your bank will charge you for an overseas ATM withdraw as many of them have hefty fees especially if those types of ATM withdraws aren't covered by your banking fee plan.
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Aug 12, 2014
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Toronto, ON
Rurrutia wrote: I never traveled before, and I'm curious what peoples recommendation is for money. do i bring it cash? get a travel CC? i have no idea and was wondering if anyone had some insight. Thanks
cash is king. There are still a lot of places that don't accept plastic in japan even in Tokyo.
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craftsman wrote: Japan is pretty much a cash-based society especially for smaller everyday purchases (ie meals/snacks, gifts) so don't expect that you can use any credit cards for your smaller purchases.

Also, before going nuts on the ATM route, check how much your bank will charge you for an overseas ATM withdraw as many of them have hefty fees especially if those types of ATM withdraws aren't covered by your banking fee plan.
That's why it's good to get the Stack MasterCard. No bank withdrawal fees.
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+1 for stack. My go to for cash overseas with no ATM fees and near market rates. Also be aware that you will likely want to get a Suica or Passmo card (or local variation in other cities) for transit. You cannot load them with a credit card, so first need to get cash.

There’s tons of 7-11 ATMs at the arrivals level, but recommend having a bit of local currency (¥2-5k) just in case. Many bank’s ATMs don’t work with foreign cards, so best to stick with 7-11. Most people don’t have any problems with them. You are never far from a 7-11 anyway.
Last edited by wysiwyg on Feb 14th, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jan 12, 2005
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I got cash here. Not a lot. Most large restaurants and shopping malls take credit card in major cities. I load most of my cash in the Pasimo card to avoid holding coins, but you should have cash with you at all times.

It might be cheaper to find an ATM in Japan, but I would not want to wander around the airport looking for cash and ATM. I prefer to be ready to go the moment the plane touches the runway.
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Jul 26, 2007
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get an IC card (there are basically 8-9 different regional IC cards, but essentially they've all amalgamated into one system so you can use a Suica or Pasmo card pretty much anywhere in Japan is the short version of it). it's indispensable in Japan. it basically figures out all the costs of navigating the transit system for you (transfers between different subway lines in Tokyo, for example, can be a headache if you're paying in cash) so you don't have to calculate it yourself.

the annoying thing is that the only way to (re)load it is with cash at the machines (available in pretty much every subway station in Japan). kinda backwards to not allow charging IC cards with credit, but apparently credit is not prevalent in Japan.

cash is a must. the only places where I would fully expect to be able to pay in credit are department stores or chain electronic stores (bic camera, yodobashi camera, etc). restaurants are pretty iffy. I find it's been 50/50 of the restaurants I hit up in Japan as to whether or not they accepted credit.

I wouldn't worry excessively about navigation. all signs in train stations have english. you'll have no trouble. google maps works fantastic in Japan.
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Speaking of transportation, depending where you want to go in Japan (unless you want to stay just in some place like Tokyo), a JR Rail tourist pass is a great deal to move between cities or even day trips out of cities within Japan. You can only buy the pass outside of Japan as it's meant for foreign tourist only.

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