Japanese Yen--How best to buy it .

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Apr 21, 2013
We leave for Japan on Tuesday. I like to have some cash with me and usually do 50/50 cash/card when I travel. I ordered Yen from fx4you.com last Friday, (thanks for the tip up thread about this website), it was ready to pick up from my local PO on Tuesday - easy, great rate and no fees.

We're on the countdown now, my kids are sick of me saying "this time in 5 days..." etc. 25 years of travelling and I still get just as excited as I did on my first OS trip. I am really looking forward to my first visit to Japan.


Junior Member
Dec 1, 2003
I travel to Japan at least once a year, and I'm a cheapskate. I agree with most people here. Citibank plus and 28 degrees card is the best and lowest cost option for travel in general including Japan.

I generally take no cash with me. There are banks of multiple 7/11 ATM's at both Tokyo airports. The exchange rates using Citibank Plus cards can't be beat.

In major cities, it's hard to walk more than a few blocks without tripping over a 7/11. The 7/11 atms now almost all have english as an option making withdrawal a breeze.

I haven't seen it mentioned here, but there's is an iPhone app to help you find the 7/11 ATMs also:


The App gives you both maps and augmented reality directions in english.

As this thread has gone off topic a little, for subway & general train navigation a couple of useful sites to work out cost and routes are:

http://www.hyperdia.com/ & Welcome to Jorudan Co.,Ltd.

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Established Member
Jun 15, 2011
Arrhhhh ...That makes me fell better... quite simple to follow!! Thanks for the info Comoman.
The main issue with the Japanese rail maps is that they minimize, or don't show at all, the lines not owned by that network (eg, a map made by JR won't show a line owned by Tobu or Keihin as clearly as JR lines. They'll mention the transfer stations on the train and at station signage, but not always on the map).
You'll be better off using a transport map in a tourist guide from one of the tourist information centers then the maps provided by the rail operators.
Also, the trains prices are based on distance (and at different rates depending on which company you use. A 3km trip on one company might be 200 yen and on another might be 250 yen). If you travel A-C on one operator, you pay the distance for A-C. However, if you connect at B to a line operated by a different operator (such as from a Toei subway line to a Metro subway line), then you pay A to B + B to C.
Get a Suica or Passmo and keep it topped up so you don't have to think about all different pricing.
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