4

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!

  • Never had a problem using my UK credit card at a 7-11. – Calchas Sep 26 '17 at 11:59
8

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.

Edit 18.12.2018:

After my recent visit, i have noticed, that 7Bank and the Postbank now charge small fees up to 280 YEN

Edit 20.12.2018:

As fkraiem noted in the comments, this charge is only for certain types of cards issued abroad, so you may be lucky.

  • Having finished my trip now, i can confirm i did withdraw from a random 7-eleven shop with no issues using an EU-issued Visa card. – Lucian Marin Nov 11 '17 at 20:05
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    As per note 4 here, the fee is only applied to "certain cards". I've never had it myself. – fkraiem Dec 20 '18 at 14:47
  • hmm, my german VISA card had the fee just weeks ago, but my other german VISA card didn't have it last year. I will correct my answer. – Daan van Hoek Dec 20 '18 at 14:50
4

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.

  • 2
    I withdrew money recently in Tokyo (August 2017) in a couple of bank ATMs -- one at Narita airport, one in Ginza, Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank. The situation is MUCH better than when I started visiting Tokyo, 23+ years ago. – user67108 Sep 26 '17 at 12:07
2

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.

  • Some banks whose ATMs normally don't take foreign cards may accept them at a few strategic places, that doesn't make it a useful strategy in general, when 7-Elevens and post offices are so ubiquitous. -1 – fkraiem Sep 26 '17 at 22:51

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