Is anyone here familiar with Japan, specifically Tokyo?
I've heard a few things about certain cards (debt/credit) not being accepted in many of the cash machines. Before i heard this i always thought i was pretty safe with Visa. Can anyone clear this up for me please?
Spent 5 weeks in Japan last Sept/Oct and used my Visa card for cash withdrawals without any problem (in Okinawa, Kyushu, Shikoku, Kyoto and Japanese Alps).
Used the Japan post office ATM's for most, or even all, of the time and had no problems whatsoever.
Can't imagine you having too much hassle in Tokyo.
I found it pretty hard finding suitable ATMs to use. From memory, cirrus, maestro, etc.. just wouldn't work. Visa & Mastercard would work, but only with certain banks. Most just accepted Japanese cards. I think the post office ones were the main ones that would work as Anthony mentioned. But it's been a few years and my memory could be slightly off. Either way, I was definitely frustrated and did have a few moments where I really had to go out of my way to find a suitable ATM.
I'd recommend getting some Japanese currency before you get there too - I seem to remember not finding anywhere in the airport that would work :? But that might have been before I worked out that I could withdraw on my Mastercard.
Some more info about this in the Japan travel guide.
Yup, the trick is that you have to use either international bank's ATMs (eg Citibank) of which there are a small but increasing number in the big cities, or Post Office ones, which are the only Japanese network to accept foreign cards. HOWEVER - note that most ATM's in Japan are often only open at the same time as the bank/post office, meaning it can be hard to get cash out in evenings/weekends/holidays except at a few Int'l ATMs in the big cities. So PLAN AHEAD!
I was in Tokyo in November through to mid January this year and had no problems whatsoever using ATMs. I had both a Visa card and a normal Cirrus bank card and both worked as per normal.
If you go into any convience store they all have ATMs - some ATMs are for Japanese bank cards only but they have signs on the front of the shops stating what cards can be used, so you get used to where you can / cant use. My rule of thumb was always 7 Eleven
Here is my tips on cash withdrawal from your home country... ...