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mt99
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ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:58 am

What better place to ask questions than to the friendly well travelled folk at a.net?  

I am planning my vacation to Japan in the next weeks and i have found conflicting information on the use of US Bank ATM cards to withdraw money from my checking account.

Some places say that ATM cards will not work at all, others just to withdraw advanced on you credit card

I have travelled all over Europe/Australia/South America with no problem (well a bit in the Czech Republic), and i really hate carrying cash, and hate even more exchanging cash. Much rather just get my own money directly.

Than being said, any tips for a first time visitor? Spending 10 days in Japan.. Probably a night or two in Kyoto.. the rest mainly in Tokyo but open to day trips here an there..

Any recommendations?

Thanks!

[Edited 2009-02-16 17:59:17]
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iairallie
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:10 am

I've used my US ATM card in Japan. Tokyo and Okinowa. It doesn't work on every machine there but international banks like Citibank will let you withdraw from their ATM's for a fee. I recommend asking you bank if they have any partners over there. Some banks have international agreements that will save you withdrawl fees.
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COIAHLGW
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:13 am

For questions such as these - I would go here - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=27 and then do a search for "japan atm".

There seems to be a few helpful threads that may point you in the right direction. Sorry I can't be of more help as I haven't been there  Smile
 
KirkSeattle
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:13 am

I'd recommend looking at the back of your card and see what networks are displayed. On my VISA Debit Card from Wells Fargo, it has the PLUS logo, STAR logo and INTERLINK logo. Even if you have a regular ATM Card (with no VISA or MasterCard logo) there should be some logo's on the back. CIRRUS is another common one.

I've had no problems getting cash around Europe, Canada and South America.

I'd also recommend calling your bank to let them know what countries you are travelling to so when they see the withdrawals so far from your home, they won't shut your card off for fraud.  eyepopping 

Also, ask them what options are available for cash in Japan.

Hope that helps and safe travels.

-Kirk
 
JRadier
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:28 am

We were successfully able to withdraw money at postoffices, citibank atm's (especially at the airports) and at 7-11's. Good luck!
 
AMS
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:16 am

I have lived in Japan for several years. Most ATM's do not accept foreign issued cards.
Your best bet would be the Machines at the Post office or some Major Banks like Citi Bank.

Even Japan is a modern Country, it is definitely not a credit society.
Make sure that you have some cash on you.

Regards,

AMS
 
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Aaron747
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:00 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Thread starter):

Some places say that ATM cards will not work at all, others just to withdraw advanced on you credit card

I have travelled all over Europe/Australia/South America with no problem (well a bit in the Czech Republic), and i really hate carrying cash, and hate even more exchanging cash. Much rather just get my own money directly.

You must carry cash in this country, period. Major credit cards will work in most major hotels, restaurants, JR shinkansen ticket machines, department stores and airport shops, but outside of that, no guarantees. Carry a minimum of 30,000 yen on you, just in case. There is virtually no street theft here for a tourist unless you go into the wrong back alleys of Roppongi in Tokyo or Namba/Dotombori in Osaka. The places you'll need cash most and where credit cards will be most useless are hospitals and bars.

Foreign issued bank cards on the Cirrus network will work at any Post Office, Citibank, or 7-11 ATM, as others have stated. Citibank and 7-11 will charge a minimum of 210 yen for the transaction, sometimes more. The major Japanese banks, including Mitsubishi UFJ, SMBC (Sumitomo Mitsui), and others will not work, period. Be forewarned about Citibank - 75% of their branches are in Tokyo, the rest are only at airports or major downtown train stations in Osaka and Nagoya and many of their ATMs close before 8 pm. Again, the Post Office is your easiest and safest bet, and they are everywhere.

As an aside, I highly recommend spending at least one day and a night out in Osaka if you're making the time for Kyoto. The people in Osaka have a completely different character from Tokyo and are generally more friendly.
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allrite
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:28 pm

As has been said... the Post Office ATM's are your best bet and they do have English instructions too. Unlike Aaron747 I've had a lot of luck using credit cards in most of the shops in Tokyo and Osaka, not just department stores but local clothing chains, electronics, music and hobby shops. Still, you do need cash as Eftpos is definitely not as big as in Australia and Europe.

Quoting Mt99 (Thread starter):

Than being said, any tips for a first time visitor? Spending 10 days in Japan.. Probably a night or two in Kyoto.. the rest mainly in Tokyo but open to day trips here an there..

There are many day trips that you can do both from Tokyo and Kyoto.

Tokyo: Nikko, Kamakura, Hakone, Matsumoto, Nagano, etc
Kyoto/Osaka: Koya-san, Kurashiki, Okayama, Hikone, Himeji, Hiroshima, etc

I can provide more details if you are interested. Just preparing myself for yet another Japan trip in March. There seem to be an infinite number of interesting sights.
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Doona
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:04 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Thread starter):
Some places say that ATM cards will not work at all, others just to withdraw advanced on you credit card

I have a debit card from my bank, with a Visa on it. Worked fine in Japan at all the post office ATMs, as well as a few others.

Cheers
Mats
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mt99
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:55 pm

Thanks for all of your help.

Seems to me that i should bring some back up cash. just in case  Smile

I dont know if its the economy or what.. but i am getting really really good hotel rates in Tokyo.  Smile
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pacificjourney
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:41 pm

A tip for using credit cards in Japan is make sure your signature EXACTLY matches that on your card otherwise they'll refuse it.

As already said, Postal Savings Bank ATM's take foregn credit cards and have multiple language instructions.

Things have changed though and you can really use your card almost everywhere - even McDonalds I'm told !
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Cadet57
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:07 am



Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 10):
A tip for using credit cards in Japan is make sure your signature EXACTLY matches that on your card otherwise they'll refuse it.

Great. I'll probly be thrown in jail for credit card theft.

Signed,

Someone with awful handwriting  biggrin 
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hercppmx
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:18 am



Quoting KirkSeattle (Reply 3):
I'd recommend looking at the back of your card and see what networks are displayed. On my VISA Debit Card from Wells Fargo, it has the PLUS logo, STAR logo and INTERLINK logo. Even if you have a regular ATM Card (with no VISA or MasterCard logo) there should be some logo's on the back. CIRRUS is another common one.

I've had no problems getting cash around Europe, Canada and South America.

I'd also recommend calling your bank to let them know what countries you are travelling to so when they see the withdrawals so far from your home, they won't shut your card off for fraud.   

I just got back about a month ago from living in okinawa for 2 years. like KirkSeattle said match those little extra logos on the back of your cards to ones on the machines and they should work. I found that about 1/2 of the atm's there had an english option with instructions.

Also Calling your bank to let them know your going to be there is a great idea bank of america shut off my cards over suspected fraud.

I never had a problem with using my VISA cards there, American express was used in less places but still some accepted it.
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smolt
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:37 pm

Put aside my concern that the Japanese immigrant official accept sea lion's passport from the Bouvet Island...

If ever you are of airliner's netter belonging, and will spend at least one night at Narita after your arrival or before departure at/from Japan, best recommendation hotel to stay is Marroad International Hotel Narita. This hotel is located just beside of the Runway 16R. When runway 16R is in use, you'll have many 747s and 777s to see touch down and take off roll only short below the room. The hotel itself is conscious of this merit and offering a plan in which to guarantee an ideal room to watch planes. Price is 10000yen.
<-->>
Annoying is that in this season Japan Tourist Bureau (JTB) offers a very cheap plan to stay in this hotel for about 6000yen or 7000yen and if you are lucky the same kind of room may be assigned.
I have spent a day for several times in this hotel and I can warranty its quality. You can enjoy whole day taking spa, swimming in pool, having lunch at the restaurant in highest story watching planes landing (if RW16R) and walking around.

Other than this hotel, I recommend you should purchase a room through JTB in advance. Japanese hotels tend to require higher charge when you reserve a room directly.
JTB has a power to restraint prices.
 
mt99
Topic Author
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:50 pm



Quoting Smolt (Reply 13):
Other than this hotel, I recommend you should purchase a room through JTB in advance. Japanese hotels tend to require higher charge when you reserve a room directly.
JTB has a power to restraint prices.

Thanks for the advice, but i have found 3.5- 4 star hotels in Akasaka for $100 per night thru Hotels.com. Even if the 3.5 or 4 stars end up being really 2 stars, for the price sounds like an awesome deal.

Quoting Smolt (Reply 13):
If ever you are of airliner's netter belonging,

If you are too, you will probably understand that our passion for spotting is sometimes misunderstood by our friends and relatives.. so making my friend stay at the airport for spotting is probably not going to happen  Sad

He is currently surprised i am trying very hard to get my AA flight changed to JAL flight instead. (one of the aadvantages to get the ticket using Miles). But come on!.. 777 vs 747 flight?

Free ticket (well $42), $100 hotels.. seems like Japan will be the cheapest vacation i have taken in years. Knock on wood..
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gocaps16
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:19 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 10):
A tip for using credit cards in Japan is make sure your signature EXACTLY matches that on your card otherwise they'll refuse it.

I never sign the back of my credit cards, because they don't check your John Hancock anyway. I always write "check ID" instead *if* they do look at it, they always ask for my I.D.

Quoting Mt99 (Reply 9):
I dont know if its the economy or what.. but i am getting really really good hotel rates in Tokyo.

Off-season. You can find great hotels around Tokyo for $150 or under a night. I reserved a hotel in Shinagawa last fall for 12,000 yens a night. For the class, that's actually pretty cheap.

[Edited 2009-02-18 13:22:53]
 
JRadier
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:51 pm



Quoting Mt99 (Reply 9):
I dont know if its the economy or what.. but i am getting really really good hotel rates in Tokyo. Smile

And if you want nothing fancy, just a clean room, try Toyoko-Inn. Good value for money imho.
 
gocaps16
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:24 am



Quoting JRadier (Reply 16):
And if you want nothing fancy, just a clean room, try Toyoko-Inn. Good value for money imho.

Or better yet. Pick up a japanese women/guy and s/he'll take ya to a love hotel probably cheaper then the Toyoko Inn.
 
flyboysp
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:25 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 11):
Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 10):
A tip for using credit cards in Japan is make sure your signature EXACTLY matches that on your card otherwise they'll refuse it.

Great. I'll probly be thrown in jail for credit card theft.

Signed,

Someone with awful handwriting

It does not necessarily have to be messy handwriting.
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AMS
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:54 am



Quoting Gocaps16 (Reply 17):
Or better yet. Pick up a Japanese women/guy and s/he'll take ya to a love hotel probably cheaper then the Toyoko Inn.

There is no need to ask. When you see a funny type of building with several flashlights on it you know it is a love hotel, although he might need a Japanese translator during check in. (the check in clerk cannot see you! and most likely does not speak english)

Check out

www.japan-guide.com


AMS
 
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Aaron747
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:35 am



Quoting AMS (Reply 19):
When you see a funny type of building with several flashlights on it you know it is a love hotel, although he might need a Japanese translator during check in. (the check in clerk cannot see you! and most likely does not speak english)

Nonsense - the best love hotels have an LCD display with touch-button options for selecting the available rooms. If it's a real love hotel you never have to see or speak to a live person upon check-in.
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AMS
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RE: ATMs In Japan - And Other Tips

Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:19 pm



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 20):
Nonsense - the best love hotels have an LCD display with touch-button options for selecting the available rooms. If it's a real love hotel you never have to see or speak to a live person upon check-in.

It depends on the Love hotel. Surely several love hotels have LCD display screens, however there are also many love Hotels where you still have to physically speak and pay to a person ( the clerk cannot see your face as it is devided by a curtain)

I have lived for 10 years in Japan and have visited many love Hotels!

Best Regards,

AMS

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