I will be travelling from Europe to Japan and considering what's the best way to get Japanese yen:

  • Bring EUR from home country and exchange in Japan - airport or other place?
  • Use ATM in Japan - how much does it charge?
  • Pay by credit card - availability to use such option? Additional fees?
  • 2
    Don't know about all of it, but skip changing money at the airport, they have the worse rates and might add extra fees (captive market)
    – Max
    May 1, 2018 at 10:37
  • 1
    The common internet suggestion is to charge as much as you can to your credit card, assuming you have a card with no foreign transaction fees. That's what I always do and have found the exchange rate to be better than your other two options.
    – cbw
    May 1, 2018 at 13:13
  • 4
    I believe the accepted answer in When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money? remains valid, which is to prefer fee-free electronic transactions to carrying and exchanging physical currency, as cbw suggests.
    – choster
    May 1, 2018 at 17:21

3 Answers 3


Best Methods of Exchanging Currency:

  • ATM is the best option. Especially if the bank covers ATM fees. If you are charged ATM fees, they will vary based off the ATM used. You can find an ATM in every 7/11 store.

  • If you want to use a credit card, check the card for foreign transaction fees. Travel cards tout 0% transaction fees. Regular cards can be 3% or more per transaction. For safety, take a few credit cards in the situation that one is not accepted.

  • Never do a cash advance with a credit card from an ATM machine. This is basically using your credit card as a debit card. This usually has a very high fee %. Some cards might start charging interest immediately on cash advances.

If you take cash:

  • Don't exchange at any airport. Terrible rates and extra fees. Airports have ATMs - use those instead!
  • There are currency exchange storefronts in major cities. The rates beat the airport, but usually are not as good as an ATM or credit card.
  • 1
    You are making far too generic claims about fees and charges, which differ heavily from bank to bank. My bank charge e.g. by default exactly the same fees for cash withdrawals from foreign ATMs with my credit or debit card and offers an option to reduce much of the fees for ATM withdrawals with credit cards, but not for ATM withdrawals with a debit card. May 1, 2018 at 21:45

Just want to expand on @Garry's answer, which is absolutely correct.

If you have a low/no fee credit card, that's my preferred option since you don't risk being saddled with unused currency which you have to convert back (incurring exchange fees again!) when you return home (plus my card gives me rewards.) But while Japan is increasingly friendly to credit cards, it's still very much a cash economy so make sure that you maintain some cash with you. As noted, an ATM is the best option for that.


Another option is Revolut.

From Using Revolut in Japan:

The main problem in Japan is that most of the cash machines don’t accept any western cards, and a lot of shops/hotels/businesses like to deal in cash. The ATMs in 7/11 shops or post offices are usually pretty reliable, but get out plenty of cash when you find one. Revolut has no transaction fee until you go over whatever the monthly limit is at the moment (£500?),but even with fees it was better rates than my traveling companions.

But according to ATMs in Japan:

None of the ATMs in Tokyo gave me money. My GF’s MasterCard worked in the international ones. Revolut MasterCard was refused everywhere not even getting to PIN screen. I even used the ATM locator. At least paying at restaurant worked with the card, but there are so many cash-only places.

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