Tokyo Travel & getting cash

I am planning a trip to Tokyo, Japan. From. What I hear Japan, most places don’t take credit cards, cash only and the best thing to do is get cash directly from ATMs vs. waiting in line to convert U.S. currency. My problem is I don’t have a debit card and my atm card is from a small credit Union in my town - it won’t work internationally. I have credit cards, but the fees to get cash advances from an international ATM is crazy high. Any suggestions beside bring a boatload of cash?
Thanks in advance.

We have followed Clark’s recommendation and opened a Schwab account and use the Schwab debit card for overseas travel. The ATM needs to have a Visa logo. Schwab reimburses your account for the international ATM fees. We have travelled to dozens of countries and understand that Japan is the same.
Also, with international travel always choose the “decline conversion” option when using an ATM card. The exchange rate at the ATM will be less favorable than the U.S. banks exchange rate.


You might want to go ahead and get your Yen now. The exchange rate is the most favorable it has been in about the last 40 years.

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Good point!