Even though credit cards are becoming more and more common, Japan is still largely a cash-based society, especially at small shops and restaurants or for small expenditures, cards are not widely accepted. For instance, you can use cards for super express fares like Shinkansen (JR), however, may not use them to pay for most of short distance train/subway fares. Even when you take the first train from Narita airport to Kashiwa, you will need to pay in cash.
If your cash gets short, you can use your credit cards to withdraw cash nationwide at ATMs in post offices and 7-eleven stores. They provide an English user menu as well. ATMs at 7-Eleven stores are available 24 hours per day around the year.
In order to use international ATMs to withdraw cash by using your credit cards, ensure the following at home before leaving for Japan:
- Make sure that your credit or debit card can be used in Japan.
- Inquire what fees and daily and/or monthly limits are associated with international withdrawals.
- Remember your card's secret 4-digit PIN.
- Notify your bank that you are going to use your card overseas, since many banks will block a card which is suddenly used abroad, suspecting fraud.