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)

Shoppers in Japan are charged an 8% consumption tax along with the price of the product. However, special measures are in place that exempt non-residents, such as travelers from abroad, from paying the consumption tax at department stores, home appliance stores, discount stores, and other retailers when certain procedures are followed.

Persons Eligible for Tax Exemption

  •  Foreign nationals within six months of entry into Japan
  •  Those with passports indicating status of residence as “diplomat” or “official” (eligibility extends beyond six months of entry into Japan)
  •  For eligibility details concerning non-resident Japanese nationals, visit the Japan Tourism Agency website below.
    http://tax-freeshop.jnto.go.jp/eng/shopping-guide.php( External link )

Articles Eligible for Tax Exemption

Purchases made on the same day at the same store totaling the amounts below.

  • 1.General items: Total purchase amount of 5,000 yen or more per person per day at the same store
  • 2.Consumable items*: Total purchase amount of between 5,000 yen and 500,000 yen per person per day
    at the same store
    * Consumable items: Foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics

Tax Exemption Procedure

  • 1.When making a purchase, present your passport (copies are not accepted)
  • 2.The retailer attaches to your passport a card titled “Record of Purchase of Consumption Tax Exempt for Export” (this will be collected by the customs officer at the time of your departure)
  • 3.Submit a purchase agreement indicating the goods will be taken out of Japan at the time of your departure
  • 4.Consumable items are eligible for tax exemption on condition that they will be taken out of Japan within 30 days of purchase and that they are packaged in a designated method

Stores Offering Tax Exemption Services 

 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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