Q: No ATMs? A: Well, let’s be fair here. There are plenty of ATMs in Japan. Loads of them! However, most of them only accept domestic bank and credit cards.
The headline of this post is wrong. You will find many ATMs in Japan, but they a) will not accept foreign credit cards, or b) they will not display any info in English. This is a bigger problem than you might think, as the only thing you will understand is the 0-9 digits – and there are lots and lots of other buttons and functions.
It may seem like an out-of-place problem in a hyper-advanced nation where everything is computerized, but fact is that cash still reigns in most places. The more exclusive shops will of course accept any piece of plastic, but don’t try to swipe anything in a more modest restaurant or in a cab.
Post offices will come to your rescue – but ATMs are open during office hours only. The real help is spelled Citibank. They are open 24 hours. Consequently, one of the smartest pieces of info that the Japan traveler can get his hands on, is the list of Citibank’s Japanese branches. I know this sounds like a weird kind of product placement activity. I promise you, it isn’t.
So where are the Citibank ATMs located? Have I got a list for you!
UPDATE: This post is now five years old but very little has changed in regards to finding ATMs that work with international cards. However, one bank has announced that they have converted their ATMs to accept our plastic – namely the Shinsei Bank. Want to find out where they’re located?