USEFUL INFORMATION

This section contains information on using currency exchange, ATM, and credit card services, and on following procedure for sales tax exemption.

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 Currency Exchange

imageCurrency exchange can be carried out at most major banks (some of them have branches specializing in foreign exchange and their operating hours are longer), large hotels and some shops.

 ATMs

ATMATM To withdraw cash with your credit, debit or prepaid card, we recommend Seven Bank and Japan Post Bank ATMs. Seven Bank ATMs can be found at 7-Eleven convenience stores, at the airport and other popular travel destinations, totaling over 18,000 ATMs nationwide. What’s more, they operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Japan Post Bank ATMs can be found at all post oces in Japan.
ATMs at banks like Citibank, Shinsei Bank and HSBC accept international withdrawals, but these are scarce and they are usually located inside branches. It’s important to note that no banks in Japan, except for those noted above, accept international withdrawals. You might see a Visa logo on some Japanese bank ATMs, but look closely and you’ll nd a “For Japan Issued Cards Only” message, meaning foreign-issued cards are not applicable.

Location of ATMs

 Use of Credit Cards

Credit CardsIUnionPaynternational credit cards, such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard, can be used at large hotels, ryokan (Japanese inns) and shops in urban areas. However, credit cards sometimes are not accepted at shops in rural areas, so obtaining cash beforehand is recommended when you travel to the countryside.

China UnionPay cards can be used at more and more places such as department stores where many Chinese tourists visit, home appliance stores, drugstores, and hotels. This service display sticker indicates UnionPay cards are accepted.

Large-scale stores which accept China UnionPay cards

 Tax Free Measures and Procedures (Consumption Tax Exemption)

Tax Free Buying at "Downtown Taxfree Shops" exempts you from the 8% consumption tax applied to sales in Japan. You will have to submit a certificate of purchase at a dedicated booth past the immigration area of your airport of departure. Ask the sales clerk for the procedure and get great deals by shopping tax free.

Persons Eligible for Tax Exemption

  • Foreign nationals who have stayed in Japan for less than six months
  • Status of residence of the passport is "diplomatic" or "official"
    (Even though entry into Japan was six months or more ago, they are eligible.)

Articles Eligible for Tax Exemption

Articles eligible for tax exemption at the tax-free shops when purchased by non-residents are any consumables for daily use and for which the total amount of one transaction exceeds 10,000 yen, excluding food and beverage, tobacco, quasi drugs, cosmetics, films, and batteries.

Tax Exemption Procedure

  • (1) Please show your passport at a tax-refund counter at the shop where you have made a purchase. (It must be your own passport and a copy of the passport is not acceptable.)
  • (2) Please submit a purchase agreement to the shop indicating that you will bring the goods out of Japan when you leave.
  • (3) The shop attaches a card entitled "Record of Purchase of Consumption-Tax-Exempt Goods for Export" to your passport and it will be collected by the customs officer at the time of departure.

Examples of shops where you can receive the consumption tax exemption

 Internet (WiFi)

Free WiFi spot is mainly available at cafés, train stations, airports and major hotels. Especially, the Starbucks WiFi service is convenient as it enables you the internet access just by registering to the service at their website beforehand (Starbucks locations shown on the map). Furthermore, recently, free WiFi is also available at the main stations of "Tokyo Metro" and "JR EAST" (mainly JR Yamanote Line). However, advance preparations such as registration of e-mail address and download of application are necessary.

 Emergency Police

Police Tel 110 Police (For calls in English) Tel 03-3501-0110 Fire Emergency / Ambulance Tel 119 Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information Tel 03-5285-8181 (9:00-20:00)
The Japan Helpline (24 hours nationwide emergency assistance) Tel 0570-000-911

 Toilet

Ask to use the toilet at convenience stores or use at department stores. Occasionally, you may nd pay toilets by a main street, which are available at about 100 yen per use.

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