Money and duty free for Japan
Currency and Money
Japanese Yen (JPY; symbol ¥). Notes are in denominations of ¥10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of ¥500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and other major credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and towns. A pin number may be required to process the transaction. The Japan Post Bank, Seven-Eleven convenience stores and international banks accept foreign credit cards.
Japan Post Bank ATMs at main branches of the Post Office accept foreign cards Mon-Fri 0005-2355, and 0005-2100 on Sundays and holidays. ATMs at Seven-Eleven stores also accept foreign cards and are accessible 24 hours. International banks accept foreign credit or debit cards, and these are hard to find outside of major cities. Bank ATMs are generally open Mon-Fri 0700-2300, Sat-Sun 0900-1900, though some only operate during normal banking hours and on Saturday mornings. Citibank machines are the most likely to have ATMs, and also to accept foreign credit cards (and are usually open 24 hours).
Japan has a strong cash culture, and it is usual to see people carrying large amounts of cash with them because of the low crime rate. It is only recently that credit cards have begun to become more popular. However, travellers may still encounter difficulties with foreign credit cards.
These can be exchanged at most major banks, larger hotels and some duty-free shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Japanese Yen or US Dollars.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding ¥1,000,000 or equivalent must be declared.
All money must be exchanged at an authorised bank or money changer.
Japan duty free
The following goods may be imported into Japan by travellers 20 years of age and older without incurring customs duty:
• 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500g of tobacco or 500g of a combination of these.
• 3 bottles (approximately 750ml each) of alcohol.
• 60ml of perfume.
• Other goods up to the value of ¥200,000.
Prohibited items include narcotics, firearms and ammunition, explosives, counterfeit money, obscene material, and articles which infringe upon intellectual copyright.
Restricted items include animals, plants, medicines and cosmetics, hunting guns, air guns and swords.
You should be aware that in Japan cold and flu medication containing stimulants are illegal. You are not permitted to take commonly available nasal decongestant medication such as Sudafed and Vicks inhalers into Japan.
Narcotics and stimulants, child pornography and goods that violate design copyrights, trademarks, patents, breeding and intellectual copyrights.