Japan has long been considered a cash-based society, where many travelers struggle as it’s not always clear where they can withdraw money and some ATMs outside of big cities even have restricted access after certain hours.
When I first arrived in Japan nearly ten years ago, it was difficult to find anywhere that would accept a credit card as payment. Recently, however, more and more shops and restaurants have begun to accept credit cards, including American Express. I use my American Express as my main card, and have recently found that there are much fewer places where I need to pay with cash. This change does not only benefit residents of Japan – travelers from outside of Japan with credit cards will find that they are able to use them at more places than ever before.
Convenience stores are a perfect one-stop shop for travelers in Japan, offering a large selection of drinks, prepared meals and snacks as well as goods like stationery, umbrellas and even clothes. I can’t tell you how often I pop into a convenience store for a meal that I can eat on the go but I don’t always have enough cash with me. However, now all major convenience stores in Japan welcome American Express, meaning that I can simply pay with my card and I’m on my way.
Credit cards are also accepted at a large number of department stores and restaurants. Looking for a quality souvenir to take back with you as a memento of your time in Japan? Are you going out to dinner with friends to enjoy a fantastic Japanese meal together? Use your credit card to pay and you won’t have to worry about carrying any cash.
Perhaps most of all, I love to use my American Express Card whenever I take a taxi in Japan. It’s often hard to estimate how much the final fare will be and I never want to be caught without enough to cover the ride. Now, with American Express widely accepted by many taxi companies, I can relax all the way to my destination knowing that I have a convenient way to pay.
Not sure where you can use your card? Simply look for the American Express logo that is sure to be displayed either in the front of the store or near the register. There are also eye-catching designs featuring well-known Japanese icons (like Tokyo Tower and Mt Fuji) that highlight the best-known places in each city or region. Stickers also feature the word, “welcome” in a variety of languages – a fitting message, since our wide coverage means that your American Express Card will be warmly welcomed by merchants across Japan, helping you to enjoy your travels stress-free. Why not see how many kinds of stickers with the American Express logo you can find during your visit?
Enjoy and enrich your travel experiences in Japan with your favorite credit card company, American Express.