Help requested! Credit card or cash in Japan?


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trd2970

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Jun 8, 2005
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Will be leaving for a trip to Japan this evening and would like to find out how I can pay for my stuff (e.g. hotel, restaurants, shops, taxi) in Japan...need cold hard cash or credit card? In particular, I'll be buying some cameras (prob. in the Akihabara or some other shops listed in kakaku.com), do they accept cash only or is credit card ok?

I'm thinking of changing more cash, but worried about losing!
 

eikin

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Apr 27, 2004
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#3
credit card is accepted at major stores, but cash is the preferred mode of payment. since you'll be charged for credit card payment anyway, i would think it'll be better for you to draw cash when you need instead of carry large amount on you. it'll be cheaper to draw cash via debit card also if i remember correctly.
 

Big Kahuna

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Dec 15, 2004
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#4
Most hotel, restaurant and fashion outlet accept credit card with no problem.....unfortunately I experienced some electronic outlet (Bic, Yodabashi & Sakuraya) prefered cash over CC.....they will give less discount if you pay by CC.....so bring lots of cash if you want to max out the rebate when buying gears :dunno:
 

Tetrode

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#5
Japan is generally a cash society. They prefer it over CCs - something to do with their 5% GST. They can doctor their accounts a bit easier.

Japan is so safe that it really isn't a problem carrying cash on you. Just use a discreet travellers pouch (available from Changi airport duty free).

Be aware that some of their NETS machines do not like foreign cards, apparently their card mag strips are thinner than the ones we have in Sg. So sometimes they don't work. I had problems when I was buying stuff from MAP camera. No problems with Yodabashi, Sakuraya and BIC though.
 

#6
Bring your SG passport to Akihibara or Yodabashi, they should be able to exempt you from tax, ie: lower price.

I paid for items at Yodabashi with my card and just flashed my passport for them to copy my particulars to get instant tax rebate.

For cabs, I paid by cash. Note that cabs aren't cheap, take when necessary.

For food, restaurants etc, I pay by cash.
 

hongsien

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#7
Bring your SG passport to Akihibara or Yodabashi, they should be able to exempt you from tax, ie: lower price.

I paid for items at Yodabashi with my card and just flashed my passport for them to copy my particulars to get instant tax rebate.

For cabs, I paid by cash. Note that cabs aren't cheap, take when necessary.

For food, restaurants etc, I pay by cash.
Wah! Few years ago they couldn't do the tax free thing for me :-(

Some shops don't offer tax rebate (like Fujiya)

Also, you can use the ATM but onle a few banks, I had no problems with Citibank, it accepts other banks ATM cards too I think......not sure anymore.

HS
 

#8
Wah! Few years ago they couldn't do the tax free thing for me :-(

Some shops don't offer tax rebate (like Fujiya)

Also, you can use the ATM but onle a few banks, I had no problems with Citibank, it accepts other banks ATM cards too I think......not sure anymore.

HS
Weird? I was there last Dec, I asked about tax, they asked for my passport, and I just passed my passport to them and they rebated me accordingly.
 

Tetrode

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Will be leaving for a trip to Japan this evening and would like to find out how I can pay for my stuff (e.g. hotel, restaurants, shops, taxi) in Japan...need cold hard cash or credit card? In particular, I'll be buying some cameras (prob. in the Akihabara or some other shops listed in kakaku.com), do they accept cash only or is credit card ok?

I'm thinking of changing more cash, but worried about losing!
There aren't many camera stores in Akihabara, the main shopping areas for new camera gear is in Shinjuku. There is also Fujiya camera in nearby Nakano (just one or two train stns away) - Nakano is also a chinese enclave with many little alley ways with lots of ramen stores and cheap eats. Fujiya also has a big used section. Other than that, the used camera stores are concentrated in the Ginza district.

You can print out the maps to the stores from here:

http://www.photojpn.org/dir/listings.php?cmd=viewlistB&cid=36
 

hongsien

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Weird? I was there last Dec, I asked about tax, they asked for my passport, and I just passed my passport to them and they rebated me accordingly.
You mean Fujiya???? Looks like it is time go there again, with the low Yen and so on :)

HS
 

Tetrode

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#11
Yodabashi doesn't do tax free but their arch rival Sakuraya does. Since their signage is almost identical, it is possible to confuse the two.
 

#12
You mean Fujiya???? Looks like it is time go there again, with the low Yen and so on :)

HS
Ooops, my bad, I meant Yodabashi, I went on my last day of tour before flying back to SG. Would love to be back there again, but then, been to JP in 2005 and 2006, this year will be targetting elsewhere for a break. :)
 

hongsien

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#13
Ooops, my bad, I meant Yodabashi, I went on my last day of tour before flying back to SG.
A few years back, even Yodobashi didn't offer me a rebate :-(, now things has changed apparently.......but they are not cheapest, on-line buying in Japan is cheaper. But I still love Yodobashi, also their music in the store can drive some crazy, but I miss it when I am back in SIN city.

For food go to those small alleys, or underneath Shinjuku station: cheap food available in those fast food stalls......some have a machine where you select first and put coins in

HS
 

#14
A few years back, even Yodobashi didn't offer me a rebate :-(, now things has changed apparently.......but they are not cheapest, on-line buying in Japan is cheaper. But I still love Yodobashi, also their music in the store can drive some crazy, but I miss it when I am back in SIN city.

For food go to those small alleys, or underneath Shinjuku station: cheap food available in those fast food stalls......some have a machine where you select first and put coins in

HS
I just love their variety, the Nintendos were clearing like mad when I got to Yodabashi, it was super long queue.

It has almost everything including Epson photo image portables, Tamrons, etc, but you're right it's not exactly the cheapest, the 10.5 FE would cost $200 more that of SG!

But the SB-400 would be slightly cheaper than SG. You just need to keep a look out for items you want. They have some rare accessories which is hard to find off the shelf in SG too. Certain items that you can't find on shelves of SG, might and will possibly be on their shelves when you reach.

From eyecups to replacement camera straps, etc.

As for food it depends, basically food is a part of their pride I feel, so far haven't been disappointed with walk-ins to stalls or shophouses to have my meals.
 

gtsoh

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Jan 28, 2004
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Was in Japan 3 weeks ago. Bought Lx2 in Yodobashi for abt S$575 after conversion. Discount was given (you must ask for it) and it is tax free. They will give you a form which you hand to custom on the way out of Japan. Yes, I paid with credit card.
 

#16
Usually i will bring cash.. and if you need more.. just use their ATM which is in most if not all their post offices and are 24hrs... citibank cards are be used for their japanese banks ATMs... all other ATM cards can only be used in the post office... cash is indeed preferred... for shopping... for the rest like hotels n stuffs... can use credit card...
 

trd2970

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Jun 8, 2005
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#17
thanks guys for the response :)

really glad that so many brudders came to my rescue..i just got home after changing S$4k in cash..hehe..shld be enough to last for 2 weeks and the panasonic L1 i hope :p

have a great weekend aheaD!
 

jsbn

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Jul 24, 2002
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#18
Will be leaving for a trip to Japan this evening and would like to find out how I can pay for my stuff (e.g. hotel, restaurants, shops, taxi) in Japan...need cold hard cash or credit card? In particular, I'll be buying some cameras (prob. in the Akihabara or some other shops listed in kakaku.com), do they accept cash only or is credit card ok?

I'm thinking of changing more cash, but worried about losing!
Japan is a safe country. Don't get paranoid, but it doesn't mean get careless!

Prepare cash where u can probably leverage a better deal in places that allow bargaining. Credit card would also get u the deal, but at a slightly lower rate.
 

eikin

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Apr 27, 2004
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#19
just to give you an idea for your budgeting, food wise, for a meal, 300 yen to 500 yen is considered cheap (that's like S$4-S$7) 500 yen to 1000 yen is considered normal (that's like S$7-S$14) :sweat:
 

trd2970

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Jun 8, 2005
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#20
here now in tokyo...checked out the sakuraya and bic camera shops in shibuya and shinjuku...got pretty good prices for the tamron 17-50 at around S$500. Nikon 18-200 VR all sold out. However, prices for the DSLR bodies don't seem really attractive.

Anyone bought Omega or Rolex watches from sakuraya, bic etc? Seem to be quite cheap...Omega Seamaster can be bought for S$1.5K and Rolex Submariner at about S$6.5K (but these are parallel import)
 

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