|Above, Gamera souvenirs for sale at a movie premiere. While ATM and credit cards are|
used more frequently, Japan is still primarily a "cash-only" nation. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
When I first visited Japan in 2001, it was generally a "cash-only" country whose businesses did not accept credit cards (with very few exceptions) and very few ATM machines accepted foreign debit cards (and those were mostly found in Japanese post offices).
14 years later, it is somewhat the same, but usage of credit cards is becoming more frequent and more ATM machines are accepting foreign debit cards. After seven visits to Japan, I have used my debit card once and that was at Narita International Airport to make a purchase in a duty-free shop after I had already exchanged my yen for dollars last year.
Japan Info has posted an article outlining the usage of ATM and credit cards around Japan. If one is planning a trip to Japan, they should read this article and plan accordingly.
They begin with:
Japan sure is one of the best countries to visit in the entire world. It seems that Japan’s entire archipelago is filled with a tourist attraction one must visit. It has beautiful sceneries, colorful landscapes and rich architecture that draw tourists from different places. For that reason, if you want to visit Japan you must at least know an inkling about using your ATM and Credit cards around Japan.To read the full article, go here.