Monday, August 30, 2010

A Note on Paying with Credit Cards in Japan

Don’t go to Japan expecting to be able to put things on your Visa. Even if the restaurant has a Visa sign on the door chances are they will not take it. Your cab driver will not take it either even if he has a Visa sticker on his car. They will not take it at the majority of restaurants either. You cannot use it at most train or subway machines. You cannot use it in stores either. We only were able to use it at the outlet mall, one tour company, once in a taxi, and for a couple of meals. This was it. Expect to use cash so just get out a lot to avoid frequent ATM charges. As the tourist book we have says paying with cash is an “almost sacred ritual” in Japan. Not even McDonald’s here will take Visa.  So take note Visa, time to revise your commercials- you are not accepted everywhere.
I'm lovin it but not with credit cards. April has the soft twist ice cream and the strangely named "food strap" in the Big Mac style. We still don't know what you're supposed to do with it. The commercials seem to indicate that you can hang them on your door knob (?) or collect all of them....

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