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Currency information

Code JPY
Symbol ¥
Coins
Unholed - ¥1, ¥10, ¥100, ¥500; Holed - ¥5, ¥50
Banknotes
¥1000, ¥2000, ¥5000 and ¥10,000

Expert tip

If you wish to leave a tip for a waiter or housekeeper, place it in an envelope and leave it at your table or in your hotel room. Handing a tip straight to a person is considered rude and may lead to your tip being rejected.

ATM access

5/5 stars – there are ATMs everywhere.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Japan – in fact, your tip can often be refused.

It is recommended that you do not tip your waiter or taxi driver as it may be considered rude. Instead, just be polite and thank them sincerely – this is a much more appreciated gesture in Japan. It is acceptable, but not mandatory, to tip your tour guide a few dollars if you feel the need, but again, being polite and giving thanks is more expected and appreciated.

Bargaining scale

1/5 stars – bargaining is impolite.

Although other parts of Asia are known for it, bargaining and haggling are not common in Japan. However, it is acceptable to negotiate prices at flea markets and the occasional electronics store.

Card access

Many ATMs do not accept debit, credit, and ATM cards that are issued outside of Japan. To use these cards, you will need to access one of the many ATMs located in post offices and convenience stores around the country. Always pay in the local currency to avoid bank conversion fees. These may not be obvious, but they mean purchases cost more than you expect, and that can really eat into your travel money. Consider using a prepaid currency card to ensure you aren’t wasting your money on hidden fees.

Be sure to notify your bank of your travel plans and dates in order to ensure your card activity overseas doesn’t raise any red flags.

Cost of a coffee

A regular cappuccino will cost you ¥396.35.

Transport

Public transport in Japan is known for its punctuality, which is why it draws such large crowds of people! With an extensive network of railways, the best way to travel Japan is by train. Foreign tourists have the option to purchase a cost effective Japan Rail Pass for one, two or three weeks of travel. You have the option of an ordinary or green car pass - the latter offering access to first class cars with more spacious seating for a higher cost.

Pickpocket security rating

3/5 stars – theft is possible.

Although Japan is not known for having high crime rates or for being dangerous, it is still important to have your wits about you, particularly in crowded areas or on public transport. Keeping your belongings close to your body and being aware of your surroundings can minimise your chances of being robbed.

Scammers and ripoffs

For the most part, Japan is a safe country to visit, but it is important to remain cautious when visiting any foreign country. As a tourist, do be aware of being short-changed or overcharged by taxi drivers, waiters, and shopkeepers. This can be avoided by familiarising yourself with the country’s currency and remembering the value of each different coin and note.

Do not engage with beggars, as they may be distracting you while their counterpart identifies where you keep your wallet in order to pickpocket you later.

Departure tax

Any airport or departure taxes are included in the price of your air ticket.

Visa costs

Citizens of New Zealand who are visiting Japan as tourists do not require a visa to stay for up to 90 days. This is due to Japan's Visa Waiver Program.

You do require a passport that remains valid during your visit and upon departure, and you may be required to provide evidence of sufficient funds, a return ticket or confirmed accommodation bookings to gain entry.

If you need more information regarding visas and other travel document requirements for your trip, please ask your travel consultant, or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Japan.

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