I travelled to Japan 7 years ago and only brought euros in cash back then and exchanged everything to yen in a bank. What is the situation now? Are European-issued cards more accessible in Japan? Is it true that 7-Eleven ATMs work with foreign cards? Thanks!
In Japan, you can withdraw with foreign cards in every 7-eleven and postoffice
without fees. (keep in mind, that your bank may charge fees for withdrawing abroad) In Familymart you can withdraw for a small fee (I don't recall exactly, but it is around 240 YEN)
For a more detailed list of working cards, visit the website Sevenbank.
After my recent visit, i have noticed, that 7Bank and the Postbank now charge small fees up to 280 YEN
As fkraiem noted in the comments, this charge is only for certain types of cards issued abroad, so you may be lucky.
Not much has changed. You can withdraw money from ATMs using foreign debit/credit primarily at post offices (Yucho) and 7-Elevens, but none of the mainstream banks.
I would advise avoiding exchanging money at banks: hours are limited, the process is slow and bureaucratic, and the exchange rates are terrible.
Many banks in Japan accept foreign cards now, although it might be hit and miss sometimes. I've had no problem with bank ATMs at Narita and Haneda airports, as well as with ATMs at larger banks.
My last trip, August 2017, I withdrew cash twice, at Narita airport (a bank ATM, can't remember which, although I think it was Mizuho), and in Ginza, at the Tokyo Mitsubishi bank near the Mitsukoshi department store. In all my Japan trips in the last ten years, I haven't used so far a convenience store ATM, only bank ATMs, without problem.