10

Much to my surprise, I was able to pay for a taxi ride to Narita Airport using a Visa card.

While I'd always want to pay cash, is using a credit card always an option for paying for taxi rides in Japan (or did I just get really lucky)? even in the smaller cities?

  • For one second I read taxes... – Bakuriu Jun 4 '15 at 7:56
9

No, it's not "always" an option. Most taxis do take credit cards, and specifically in Tokyo virtually all do; but some don't, so you can't rely on this. Minimum fares of up to ¥5000 may also apply.

One interesting alternative is transport smart cards: most visitors to Japan will have a Pasmo/Suica/etc, which are also increasingly accepted by taxis (look for a little decal on the window as you get in). They're very fast to use too (tap!) and have no surcharges, minimum fares or other hassle.

  • Also look for the decals regarding the credit cards! Btw. Tokyo is increasingly accepting foreign cards specially as a preparation for the Olympics. So you can expect the availability of CC-enabled taxis to increase. – uncovery Jun 4 '15 at 3:35
  • I definitely recommend getting a Pasmo card (or similar) if you are using public transport a lot. Much easier than buying a ticket every time! – emmalgale Jun 4 '15 at 11:10
  • Perhaps the IC cards are well accepted in Kanto, but down in Kansai it's definitely not the case. Cash is still king for taxis. – jmac Jun 10 '15 at 0:51
  • @emmalgale And the fare is also slightly cheaper per trip – GoodDeeds Jul 21 '18 at 6:22
  • Last time I took a taxi in Matsuyama and they accept only cash, period. And, the taxis weren't even equipped with GPS navigation systems, I had to provide directions to the driver in a city I just arrived in... – xuq01 Apr 27 at 2:11
3

No, not all taxis will take credit cards, similar to other countries. Once you leave the major metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo or Kyoto), some will be cash only. A friendly reminder, is be wary about using a credit card when visiting another country as the card company may add extra fees for transactions in different currencies.

Another thing I've noticed is that in major metropolitan areas taxis that primarily run to airports do take credit cards.

  • 1
    Do you have a reference for your claim about the fees? I have used many cards in many countries, and not a single time there was a fee for a purchase. Every card I've seen has fees for cash advances, but not for purchases. – Martin Argerami Jun 4 '15 at 13:25
  • US Bank has fees for international charges. – CBredlow Jun 4 '15 at 19:23

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