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If you’re traveling in Japan and need to get your hands on cash, you’ll probably be wondering whether or not you can use an ATM in Japan with a foreign card.
Not all Japanese ATMs will be compatible with foreign issued cards, and some may not offer service in English.
However, there are a few pretty extensive ATM networks you can rely on when in Japan, including cash dispensers in more than 20,000 post offices and 10,000 7-Eleven convenience stores across Japan.
This guide walks through all you need to know.
You’ll usually be able to find a local ATM you can use by using the ATM locator offered by your card network¹ ². You’ll often find international ATMs in the following locations:
Seven Bank³: Seven Bank owns more than 26,000 international ATMs at all 7-eleven stores, train-stations, airports, and some major stores. Its ATMs operate around the clock depending on which bank card you use
Japan Post⁴: Japan Post Bank has ATMs in post offices, train stations and supermarkets. ATM service hours may be limited, particularly on holidays, so do check the location details before you head out.
E-net⁵: E-net ATMs are in Family Mart stores and other convenient locations and can offer a service to international cards including MasterCard
Aeon Bank, Mizuho Bank, MUFG and Bank Time also serve MasterCard customers with international cards²
Not all ATMs in Japan can be used with international cards. If the ATM is able to offer services to international card holders it’ll normally be marked as international and will usually also offer service in a range of languages including English.
ATMs in some banks, including Aeon Bank and Mizuho Bank may be available to foreign card holders — but it’s not always possible.
|💡 Use your card network’s ATM locator tool as a good guide to the closest compatible ATM wherever you are|
Most — although not all — international ATMs will deduct minor service fees when you use a foreign issued card. Post Bank, for example, charges 220 JPY (around 3.50 USD*) when using an international card.
On top of this your bank may add an additional fee which depends on the card used.
Credit card withdrawals can be particularly costly, with cash advance fees as well as interest and foreign transaction charges. Inquire with your card issuer, or bank, for going rates.
To play it safe, before you leave for Japan make sure that your credit or debit card can be used abroad. Also, notify your bank that you're going to use your card overseas in case your bank freezes your account suspecting fraud.
The exchange rate you get will be determined by the card you use, and in some cases, the ATM operator.
Generally the exchange rates set by card issuers like Visa and MasterCard are extremely fair. However, some cards will also charge foreign transaction fees and other costs when you use an ATM, which is worth looking out for.
In most cases, using a debit card — particularly an international debit card from your bank or a specialist provider — to get cash once you arrive in Japan will mean you net a better rate compared to using a currency exchange service at home.
|Avoid falling victim to a bad exchange rate by always choosing the local currency when you pay or withdraw money overseas|
Most International ATMs accept all major international credit and debit cards. Japan Post ATMs for example can usually be used with Visa, Plus, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, China Unionpay, Discover and JCB cards.
However, it’s worth noting that even where international ATMs are available, the providers do warn that sometimes specific cards won’t be recognized. Having cards issued on a couple of networks is always a smart plan, just in case.
|Japan Post Bank|
In large cities, most ATMs in all 7-Eleven convenience stores and in major post offices run 24-hours.
These include machines in the Tokyo Central Office, Shinjuku Office, Shibuya Office and the central offices of Osaka, Kyoto.
Note, however, that ATMs in post offices have more limited hours — 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Monday to Saturday, and only until 9:00pm on Sundays and holidays.
Withdrawing your travel money with a card once you arrive in Japan will usually get you a more favorable exchange rate compared to changing cash in the US. Choose a Wise Account and card, and you could get an even better deal on spending and withdrawals in Japan.
Wise Accounts can hold 50+ currencies, including JPY, and always offer the mid-market exchange rate for spending and withdrawals.
That means you can top up your Wise Account in dollars, and switch to JPY as and when you need to — or have the Wise card auto convert to the currency you need with the lowest available fee for convenience.
It’s free to open a Wise Account online or in the Wise app, with no minimum balance and no monthly fee — take a look today to see how much you can save.
Not all ATMs in Japan will allow you to use an international card for withdrawals — however, there are some pretty reliable options in convenient locations like stores and post offices.
Use this guide to help you find international ATMs wherever in Japan you happen to be — and don’t forget to see how much you can save on currency conversion with the Wise Account and card, too.
* data correct at the time of writing
Sources checked on 12.06.2022
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