Japan Travel |OT| We have to go back

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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,537
Looks like the Hakone Tozan Railway is messed up as well:

They only got it running between Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto now and the rest of the line will take a long time to fix.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,400
It's a bit surreal seeing the damage and at the same time being excited for my trip. I found a couple of live houses near our hotel in Dotonbori so we'll be checking out some bands.
 

Alice

Member
Nov 2, 2017
5,327
Sorry for changing the topic with a more general question, but I guess you guys would know best:

My Japan trip is getting closer and closer, and the one thing I keep pondering right now, due to how strong the Yen is compared to the Euro... where to buy?

I've 3.5k Euros set aside for this trip, and I'm not sure, if I should just go buy Yen here before I fly, or buy Yen in Japan. Logic dictates that buying Yen in Japan should be more pricey, due to fees and all. What's everyone's experience with this?
 

Argyle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
348
My Japan trip is getting closer and closer, and the one thing I keep pondering right now, due to how strong the Yen is compared to the Euro... where to buy?

I've 3.5k Euros set aside for this trip, and I'm not sure, if I should just go buy Yen here before I fly, or buy Yen in Japan. Logic dictates that buying Yen in Japan should be more pricey, due to fees and all. What's everyone's experience with this?
I don't exchange cash anymore, I just get money out of my checking account from an ATM. Whether this works out better for you kinda depends on if your bank charges extra fees for foreign transactions, though... The rate you get exchanging cash is usually pretty bad in my experience, so the only reason I'd bring cash is just to make sure you have enough to cover your first night if your bank card doesn't work for some reason.
 

Alice

Member
Nov 2, 2017
5,327
I don't exchange cash anymore, I just get money out of my checking account from an ATM. Whether this works out better for you kinda depends on if your bank charges extra fees for foreign transactions, though... The rate you get exchanging cash is usually pretty bad in my experience, so the only reason I'd bring cash is just to make sure you have enough to cover your first night if your bank card doesn't work for some reason.
Last time I went, there was a 500 yen fee. Not sure about ATM exchange rates. Is there anywhere I can check what ATM exchange rates currently are?
 

mantis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,144
For me it was always cheaper to get the Yen from an ATM in Japan than exchanging them at my bank.
 

kami_sama

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,772
Last time I brought maybe 50000 yen, but there was no problem getting more from ATMs at convenience stores.
For me only the convenience store ones worked for me. Every other ATM gave me errors.
But as they are pretty ubiquitous, it's not really an issue.
That's nuts to look at, was just there 2 weeks ago and it was sunny & serene!
Same thing, I was almost exactly 2 years ago (I think the 9th) and it was great.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
948
I plan on just doing an ATM withdrawal, as my bank (TD Bank) supposedly doesn't charge conversion fees, they'll probably just nail me with different ATM fees which is fine if I'm only going to withdraw a few times at most.
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,537
I plan on just doing an ATM withdrawal, as my bank (TD Bank) supposedly doesn't charge conversion fees, they'll probably just nail me with different ATM fees which is fine if I'm only going to withdraw a few times at most.
If you using one of their credit cards it seems they have a 3-5% cash advance fee depending on the card... $3 in ATM fees on their debit cards, or free depending on your account type.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
948
If you using one of their credit cards it seems they have a 3-5% cash advance fee depending on the card... $3 in ATM fees on their debit cards, or free depending on your account type.
Just using my debit card over there for cash withdrawals and nothing else. Any purchase that I can use a credit card for will be going on one of my travel cards with no international fees.
 
Oct 25, 2017
754
Sorry for changing the topic with a more general question, but I guess you guys would know best:

My Japan trip is getting closer and closer, and the one thing I keep pondering right now, due to how strong the Yen is compared to the Euro... where to buy?

I've 3.5k Euros set aside for this trip, and I'm not sure, if I should just go buy Yen here before I fly, or buy Yen in Japan. Logic dictates that buying Yen in Japan should be more pricey, due to fees and all. What's everyone's experience with this?
Since you're talking about Euros, then definitely get a Revolut pre-paid card. From my experience they always have the best exchange rate, and their free plan allows withdrawal from ATMs up to €200 with no fees.
Basically I use it to pay for everything in foreign currency that can be paid by card (Ex: hotel, supermarket/combini ) and recharge the card directly from the Revolut app as needed. For everything else I buy Yen from my local bank beforehand as the exchange rate for Euros while in Japan is usually worse.
 

Alice

Member
Nov 2, 2017
5,327
Since you're talking about Euros, then definitely get a Revolut pre-paid card. From my experience they always have the best exchange rate, and their free plan allows withdrawal from ATMs up to €200 with no fees.
Basically I use it to pay for everything in foreign currency that can be paid by card (Ex: hotel, supermarket/combini ) and recharge it directly from the Revolut app as needed. For everything else I buy Yen from my local bank before hand as the exchange rate for Euros while in Japan is usually worse.
Woah, sweet, thanks for the tip!
 
Oct 25, 2017
754
Woah, sweet, thanks for the tip!
No problem. Just keep in mind that Japan is still very much a cash based society so you'll definitely need some Yen with you. That being said it's slowly changing and there are a lot of places where you can pay by card. So in those places where you can use your card definitely use Revolut.
Note the markup if you use the card in the weekend though:
Right. I tend to forget to mention this because it's still way lower than what I would pay in fees using my local bank cards. In this case it really depends of one's circumstances.
 

Alice

Member
Nov 2, 2017
5,327
No problem. Just keep in mind that Japan is still very much a cash based society so you'll definitely need some Yen with you. That being said it's slowly changing and there are a lot of places where you can pay by card. So in those places where you can use your card definitely use Revolut.

Right. I tend to forget to mention this because it's still way lower than what I would pay in fees using my local bank cards. In this case it really depends of one's circumstances.
Oh, I've been to Japan plenty of times, the caveat this time is, that I have to use a Hotel, and that's why the withdraw limit of 500 Euros is bugging me since I wanted to pay cash upfront.

As long as I can pay by card when I spend a fortune in Tokyu Hands, everything will be fine. But afaik they'll take my Visa just fine.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,459
new jersey
Hi everyone! I posted here quite a while back asking for advice on my first solo trip to Japan. I went on my trip in August and had the time of my life! It was so much fun meeting my Japanese friends, going to yakiniku, drinking, sharing art, etc.. So much fun! So much fun that I went back last week for another Doujinshi event, but this time I helped my friend sell his book alongside him. Really felt like I contributed to something. I really love Japan, planning to go back in March for spring break.
 

TrafficCoen

The Fallen
Feb 22, 2019
522
Hi all, I'm heading to Japan for two weeks with two of my best friends next month. We're all 23, will have a good amount of Yen and are going around Japan in the order of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima then back to Tokyo. We're all fairly nerdy guys, and staying predominantly in air bnbs but what I really want to ask is for any really interesting, less touristy/more native activities you'd think we'd enjoy
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,400
Hi all, I'm heading to Japan for two weeks with two of my best friends next month. We're all 23, will have a good amount of Yen and are going around Japan in the order of Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima then back to Tokyo. We're all fairly nerdy guys, and staying predominantly in air bnbs but what I really want to ask is for any really interesting, less touristy/more native activities you'd think we'd enjoy
Go to a local music event. Get surprised looks as you are the only foreigners there.

Spend an entire day in Taito HEY in Akihabara or (if it's as awesome as they say) Mikado Game Center in Shinjuku.

Eat at izakayas rather than posh restaurants or (the horror) McD.
 

firehawk12

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,863
I have a friend stuck in Japan an extra week because of the typhoon and all the flights were bumped. I think he's just trying to find things to do in Tokyo now to try to make the best of it.
 

TrafficCoen

The Fallen
Feb 22, 2019
522
Go to a local music event. Get surprised looks as you are the only foreigners there.

Spend an entire day in Taito HEY in Akihabara or (if it's as awesome as they say) Mikado Game Center in Shinjuku.

Eat at izakayas rather than posh restaurants or (the horror) McD.
I'd give my friends the frostiest looks if the were like "Let's head to Burger King" in Japan of all places
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
948
I have a friend stuck in Japan an extra week because of the typhoon and all the flights were bumped. I think he's just trying to find things to do in Tokyo now to try to make the best of it.
Oof... I'm supposed to fly into Tokyo (Narita) this Friday, I hope there isn't too much of an issue on that end as I haven't heard anything from the airline yet.
 

Mendrox

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,065
Sorry for changing the topic with a more general question, but I guess you guys would know best:

My Japan trip is getting closer and closer, and the one thing I keep pondering right now, due to how strong the Yen is compared to the Euro... where to buy?

I've 3.5k Euros set aside for this trip, and I'm not sure, if I should just go buy Yen here before I fly, or buy Yen in Japan. Logic dictates that buying Yen in Japan should be more pricey, due to fees and all. What's everyone's experience with this?
Just get money from a 7/11 ATM with your credit card.

Edit: holyshit is the yen strong compared to euros currently. Last time I was there I had a rate of 135yen/euro

I have a friend stuck in Japan an extra week because of the typhoon and all the flights were bumped. I think he's just trying to find things to do in Tokyo now to try to make the best of it.
holyshit, a whole week? o_O
 
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MikeHattsu

MikeHattsu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,537

The number of South Korean visitors to Japan plunged nearly 60 percent in September from a year earlier, following a 48.0 percent tumble in August, amid frayed ties over wartime history and trade policy, government data showed Wednesday.

The Japanese government aims to attract 40 million tourists from overseas next year, when the country hosts the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. But the goal has been overshadowed by the deteriorating Tokyo-Seoul relations, which have prompted some airlines to suspend services connecting the two countries.

The estimated number of South Korean tourists fell 58.1 percent to 201,200 in the reporting month, the Japan Tourism Agency said. However, the overall number of foreign visitors rose 5.2 percent to 2,272,900, led by a 25.5 percent increase in Chinese tourists to 819,100.

By country and region, Taiwan came second in the China-topped list with 376,200, up 14.3 percent, followed by South Korea and then Hong Kong with 155,900, up 23.6 percent.
 

Benjamin

Member
Nov 11, 2017
70
I leave Japan tomorrow from Narita.

I have some yen leftover and was wondering if Narita (after security) isa ripoff like most airports or is it ok value? I'm talking souvenirs. Otherwise I'll spend at Tokyo station.
 

TheAggroCraig

Member
Nov 6, 2017
948
Yeah I feel like the rule of thumb is to not buy stuff at the airport unless it's an "oh fuck I forgot to buy stuff" moment.
 

Pedrito

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,239
Left yesterday and I was quite shocked to see how bad Narita was compared to the rest of the country and asian airports in general (terminal 2 at least). Really rundown and barely any shops/restaurants passed security. They're doing renovations but even the "after" pictures don't look too appealing.
 

Ottaro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
984
Left yesterday and I was quite shocked to see how bad Narita was compared to the rest of the country and asian airports in general (terminal 2 at least). Really rundown and barely any shops/restaurants passed security. They're doing renovations but even the "after" pictures don't look too appealing.
This is the most frustrating thing. There are I think 2 restaurants and a cafe, and that’s it.
Getting through security has always been incredibly fast, but the stress of knowing I still have to get through it prevents me from hanging around the shops and restaurants before security for very long. Doesn’t leave me with very many food options, and I prefer eating right before getting on a long flight to avoid the in-flight meals.