WHY IS JAPAN NOT A CASHLESS SOCIETY?

Welcome to the Accessible Japan community forums!

If you have a question about accessible travel in Japan, just pop it in one of the forums below and we'll find you an answer! If you don't know where your question should go, or have a suggestion for a new forum, plase put it in the General Discussion forum.

Also, if you have information that is not yet on the website, we would love it if you could add it here in the forum - it could help so many people looking for the same information! Thanks!


This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar virl7887 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #5639
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    It is a bit of a nagging question to me why Japan, notwithstanding its leaps and advances in science and technology remain to this date predominately cash based. Yes, it is part of  its quintessential charm, the harmonious blend of the old and the new captured perfectly in its culture and people. It is beautiful!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • #5640
    Avatar
    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    For a long time this has been true… but in the past year QR code payments (PayPay, Rakuten Pay, Line Pay) have become very popular.  Also, many places accept AliPay from China as well.  However, other foreigners must use cash or credit cards.

    The government is really pushing this before the Olympics and Paralympics, so it may be another situation where things change very slowly, and then change completely over night!

  • #5641
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    Japan certainly has its own unique way of doing its thing, and even outdoing its own self at times. Truly amazing,  this country, its culture and people.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • #5642
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    In practical terms, at the moment, to what degree of dependence on their credit/debit cards must foreign travelers be, especially if it is their first time?

    The more known and visited prefectures of Tokyo and Osaka, can one freely move around  almost “cash-less”?

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • #5643
    Avatar
    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    Unfortunately, no.  While there are a growing number of cashless options, they tend to be fragmented.  For example, PayPay can be used at many convenience stores and drug stores, but not on the train.  Also, most family run restaurants have fewer options.  

    Credit cards can be used often, but again, not certain.

    But most post office ATMs allow withdrawing from a foreign bank account. 

  • #5644
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    Thanks. What about the vending machines, which are dispersed all around, Are there already vending machines fitted/adapted for cards instead of cash?


    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • #5647
    Avatar
    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    Some can be used with IC cards (Suica, Pasmo, etc) but none with credit cards.  And it all depends on the machine – one may take only cash and Suica, another may take only cash and Pasmo… So, cash is the only constant.

  • #5648
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    Thanks Josh. Advice to all travelers particularly the newbies…keep your cash handy! I also will come my travel :)

    1 user thanked author for this post.

You must be logged in to reply.