Exchanging money

Exchange rates and commissions being so bad in Tokyo, how about exchanging directly amongst ourselves at internet rate without costs at any side? For example I am interested to get Euro that I would buy for Yen.

How much do you need to exchange? For larger amounts there’s some reasonable options, e.g. within about 1% of the interbank rate and low fees (we’ve written about this on TC ).

For small amounts I’ve occasionally exchanged cash with friends, but generally I’ll just use an ATM when overseas as it’s easy.

When i exchange more than 5000 usd i use ninja bank. Just google those two words and add tokyo. They also had a postal service but never tried. I do not trust posting money. If amount is small Shinjuku you can find yellow kiosks.(still do not know how they are named)

The shop where I wind up exchanging $ for ¥ is Daikokuya. It always provides a higher exchange rate for whatever currency you hold. Travelex is the lowest.
If you arrive @ Narita (or Haneda), exchange only what you need to get to your domicile that night, + the train fare to it. The next morning, get to the closest Daikokuya shop.

@pudgym I wrote that article. I think Daikokuya is one of the best places to exchange cash, but the best option is still to exchange cash before you leave your home country or stick to credit card transactions and ATM withdrawals - the exchange rate for either is better than you get for selling cash.

Can you advise if Japanese ATMs accept American Debit cards? microchipped Visa/Mastercard credit cards? It seems 7-11 ATMs or Daikokuya would provide good options if we are visiting other countries prior to Japan and don’t wish to carry cash. Thank you.

Most ATMs will not accept your cards. However, as you’ve already discovered, 7-11 ATMs should be fine as long as your cards use one of the international systems like Plus or Cirrus (the logos are probably on the back of your cards). I say should, because there can sometimes be problems with compatibility even if the system says it can accept your cards. Other options for getting cash are the post office, Lawson (I think their E.net ATMs accept foreign cards) or Prestia. Prestia operate the former Citibank network so if all else fails, I’m pretty sure Prestia will work.
Also, if you’re flying into Tokyo, their are 7-11 (more correctly 7 Bank) ATMs throughout Haneda and Narita airports.

Well if anyone is interested into exchanging their EUR or USD into YEN. Let me know and we do it directly at daily rate (no comm, no bad rate)


Extremely helpful, Greg. Thank u so much!