Banks & Money in Japan
Japan Banks and Money
Banks in Japan
Japanese towns and cities have no shortage of banks, but the opening hours are restrictive, with teller services opening at 9am and closing at 3pm, Monday to Friday. (Japanese banks do not close at lunchtime.) However, ATMs remain open for much longer hours, and cash machines inside convenience stores accept multiple banks' cash cards.
Most ATMs are NOT 24-hour in Japan, generally closing at 7pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends and public holidays.
Citibank Japan has 24 hour ATMs in Tokyo, Osaka,
Kyoto, Kobe, Saitama,
Nagoya and Yokohama and
other large cities, where you can use a Citibank card issued in your country to access your money.
Withdrawals are free from your own bank's ATM during working hours, but are charged for outside working hours (105 yen).
Most banks have tie-ups with other banks allowing transactions to be made a each others' ATMs, but for a higher fee. Withdrawals made from a bank different from that of the bank card are charged for during working hours (105 yen), and cost more outside working hours (210 yen). High street bank card transactions can often be made using convenience store and post office (i.e. Yūcho Bank) ATMs - again, for a higher fee. Convenience store ATMs can also be used for Japan-issued credit cards.
However, Shinsei Bank does not charge for ATM transactions either at its own ATMs or Seven Eleven convenience store ATMs.
ATM machines at a Japanese bank
Travelers Checks in Japan
Japan is still largely a cash-based society and it may be convenient to carry more cash than you would normally at home. Travelers' checks can be exchanged at most major banks with the Authorized Foreign Exchange Bank' sign but are rarely, if ever, accepted in restaurants or shops.
Bureau de Change in Japan
Airports have several Bureaux de Change staffed by English speakers.
Current Japanese yen exchange rate information
Consumption Tax in Japan
Consumption Tax, or Value Added Tax, (shōhizei) is presently 5% in Japan. This can be reclaimed on departure from Japan when purchasing items from special duty-free shops. You will need your passport for this purpose. Please keep receipts from your purchases and take your passport with you if shopping for duty-free items in areas such as the electronics centers of Akihabara in Tokyo and Den-Den Town in Osaka.
Tipping in Japan
Tipping is not usual in Japan. It is NOT customary to leave a tip in restaurants,
bars, cafes, hotels or when traveling by taxi.
Citibank has a number of branches in Japan's larger cities including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto
Post Offices in Japan
Following the G8 summit in Okinawa, Japan, Citibank teamed up with the Post Office to operate ATMs accepting foreign-issued credit and debit cards (Visa, Plus (), Mastercard, Cirrus, American Express and Diners Club) in 25,000 post-offices across Japan. Look out for the International ATM Service' sign and opt for the English "Visitor's Withdrawal" menu and instructions. You need your PIN and can withdraw between 1000 and 990,000 yen depending on your credit limit. This service is an excellent way to top up with cash on your travels in Japan.
Most post offices are open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Central post-offices open
longer and at weekends (Mon-Fri 9am-7pm; Sat 9am-5pm Sun 9am-12.30pm). (Central post offices' postal services, incidentally, are usually 24-hour.) However, the Tokyo International Post Office adjacent to Tokyo Station is open 24 hours
daily for all types of transactions.
Bank cards & credit cards in Japan
Generally speaking, Japan is a cash society. Department stores, large shops, and hotels usually accept credit cards, and the more up-scale the establishment, the more likely it is that payment by credit card will be accepted. Conversely, most stores and restaurants in Japan do not accept credit cards. Payment is accepted in cash only.
Many Japanese convenience stores have cash machines which accept Japanese credit cards and sometimes overseas issued Citibank cards.
You can withdraw cash with MasterCard
and passport at branches of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Citibank. In Japan,
MasterCard is affiliated with DC Card. Offices near Tokyo station (Tel:
03-3211-8541) and Shibuya station (Tel: 03-5489-6021) Open 9.00-5.00pm
You can withdraw cash with your Visa card and passport at branches of
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC).
'Cirrus' or 'Plus'
Theoretically with a 'Plus' symbol () card you can withdraw cash at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
branches and some convenience stores (both 24 hours)
American Express has an office at Shin-Okubo, JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo. Tel. 03-3220-6100.
Cash transfers in Japan
Money can be wired c/o Azabu Branch of the Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Bank in Tokyo. A passport and contact telephone number in Japan are needed to use this service. (3,000
Lost Credit Cards in Japan (24-hour)
Mastercard: 00531-11-3886 (toll free), or 03-3256-6271, or 03-3639-4811.
Police: 110 (See more Important Telephone Numbers in Japan)