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weepinbell
February 11th, 2015, 04:25
How did you guys do it? I'll have a good chunk saved up that I wanna bring over. Travelers check? Bank transfer after I open up an account there? Just bring a huge wad of cash? I don't know how any of this stuff works haha. I've heard Visa debit/credit cards from home work most of the time to start with the transition, right?

Zolrak 22
February 11th, 2015, 04:37
From what I've heard, visas work but not everywhere as there's places that don't deal with credit cards.

I've been somewhat curious about this as well. I just figured I'd deal with it when the time comes.

acpc2203
February 11th, 2015, 05:04
I'd bring a substantial amount of cash, although you can take money out of your home bank account at international atms (easy to find in Tokyo and big cities).

Gizmotech
February 11th, 2015, 07:03
What's a good chunk?

Zolrak 22
February 11th, 2015, 07:18
What's a good chunk?
http://m.quickmeme.com/img/76/762195e1666497074ede151e0cbeb39738a411d967572cbbe24b90cf8db6011f.jpg

?

nostos
February 11th, 2015, 07:35
I just brought it all in cash.
Possibly not the best idea, but Japan is pretty safe and I didn't feel like dealing with ATMs and crap (plus my bank account back home doesn't let me use the debit card internationally).

word
February 11th, 2015, 10:32
I just brought my debit card. I hadta call 'em to let 'em know I was gonna be in Japan for a while. The exchange rate is favorable right now and if you have a decent bank (USAA--I cannot recommend them highly enough; you don't have to be military), they don't charge any kind of fee to pull money out in a different currency. I can use it any place that accepts credit cards (definitely not everywhere in Japan).

That all said, bringing cash is probably fine, too, as long as it's not enough to get customs feeling antsy, and as long as you aren't the sort of person who is prone to losing large amounts of cash.

acpc2203
February 11th, 2015, 11:12
I brought ~1000 dollars worth of yen (10 man), but I didn't have to pay key money or anything (was an exchange student so had cheap dorming). I'd bring more if you have a super rural placement. But yeah it's pretty easy to get money from home unless you are really in the boonies.

Penguee
February 11th, 2015, 11:51
Taking money out of a Yubin ATM (the post office) is also a nice option. They don't charge you a fee but your bank may. I usually carry around about $300 on me, (never been robbed or anything, dropped my wallet in Tokyo once and all the money came back to me) and you could always then take out more as needed.

BifCarbet
February 11th, 2015, 15:44
7-11 ATMs will accept your debit card. They're in basically every city.

uthinkimlost?
February 11th, 2015, 16:02
7-11 ATMs will accept your debit card. They're in basically every CITY.

that's the important bit.

PO ATMs are more widespread, but terrible hours.

FiveFootFurther
February 11th, 2015, 18:07
Does anyone know what the withdrawal fees on the 7-11 ATMs are?

word
February 11th, 2015, 19:48
108en.

johnny
February 11th, 2015, 21:26
I brought about 1 Man. The rest of the money I kept in my Canadian account if I needed it. I didn't end up needing it at all.

word
February 11th, 2015, 21:30
I brought about 1 Man. The rest of the money I kept in my Canadian account if I needed it. I didn't end up needing it at all.

I would venture to guess that your experience is rather atypical amongst JETs.

Ini
February 11th, 2015, 21:59
????? 1man? I spent a good chunk of change just at Tokyo orientation. Bring a wallet full of cash and a credit card.

johnny
February 11th, 2015, 22:01
I come from a working class family. I needed to economize.

Ini
February 11th, 2015, 22:02
How ghastly.

johnny
February 11th, 2015, 22:04
I would venture to guess that your experience is rather atypical amongst JETs.

Shit, I'm brain dead. I meant 10 man.

I spent 1 man over the first two nights on drinks.

word
February 11th, 2015, 22:06
Oh LOL that makes a bit moar sense. Still, I'd say you're lucky amongst incoming JETs. I brought over 25man and spend most of it pretty quickly. I'm not the most thrifty dude to come down the pike, but I'm not bankin', either. If I'd only brought over a thousand bucks, I'd probably have been hurtin'.

weepinbell
February 11th, 2015, 23:48
Thanks, this is helpful. I don't like carrying money on me just because I'm really paranoid I'll lose it lol, so I'd probably just rely on debit and take like 10man cash before getting set up and then withdrawing internationally as I'd need it? Anyone from the US have Chase and did this?

Also I'm curious, did most of you guys have to pay key money and/or advance on rent and if you did was it straight up cash?

word
February 12th, 2015, 00:22
ESID.

No key money here. Pretty much everything in Japan is cash, though; key money certainly is.

Chase bank would probably work but sucks in comparison to USAA--you should switch to USAA (anyone who plans on doing anything internationally should). I suspect you could use their debit cards in most 7/11 ATMs, tho.

BifCarbet
February 12th, 2015, 00:49
I had to pay some big expenses before my first paycheck. Car insurance, various expenses related to setting up my residence, almost a month of groceries, blah blah blah.
You will almost surely need a couple thousand bucks to get you to that first paycheck.

It doesn't matter what US bank you use. If you have a debit card, you can get your cash. You might have to call your bank to let them know you're in Japan, but you can do that. You can use Citi ATMs in big cities, post office ATMS, 7 Bank at the 7-11 ATMs, and probably other convenience stores now too. There are Citi and 7-11 ATMs right there at the customs exit at Narita Airport. If you arrive with zero Japanese cash, you can still survive.

word
February 12th, 2015, 00:53
It doesn't matter what US bank you use.Well, yanno. So long as you're made of money and you don't give a flying f*ck about fees or exchange rates... yeah; I agree completely. It doesn't matter what US bank you use.

Edit: Also, make sure you can live a few days without food. However many days it takes for your bank to authorize international use of your debit card, anyway.

BifCarbet
February 12th, 2015, 00:59
I've never had a problem with that, so I didn't know that happens. That would suck. Let them know in advance.
I guess I can't imagine moving to a whole different part of the world and having your survival or well-being be contingent on ATM fees.
Anyway, there is a way to get your money directly, for those who are worried.

word
February 12th, 2015, 01:05
I've never had a problem with that, so I didn't know that happens. That would suck. Let them know in advance.Hmm, you obviously don't have a great deal of experience with international travel.


I guess I can't imagine moving to a whole different part of the world and having your survival or well-being be contingent on ATM fees.I didn't claim otherwise, and it's pathetically disingenuous of you to imply as much. I merely meant to make it clear that reliance on certain banks may involve expenses that might easily be avoided.


Anyway, there is a way to get your money directly, for those who are worried.I don't disagree with this. Hell, there's always BitCoin.

LOL

weepinbell
February 12th, 2015, 01:11
Cool. Makes me feel better as someone who doesn't prefer carrying cash... I guess if I ended up in this boonies I might have to reevaluate that lifestyle though. :p I'll look into USAA if I found out Chase has like crazy fees or something because yeah that's definitely something I'd be a little worried about. Thanks.

Also, Japanese banks? How difficult are they to set up? I'm assuming JET would do a direct deposit type of deal, but maybe I'd be wrong to assume that haha.

word
February 12th, 2015, 01:15
I'll look into USAA if I found out Chase has like crazy fees or something because yeah that's definitely something I'd be a little worried about. Thanks.It's not necessarily the fees that you ought to worry about. Western Union makes a killing and a half off of dweebs who don't know any better, rolling into US airports looking to exchange a few hundred bucks. Their exchange rates amount to nothing less than outright robbery.


Also, Japanese banks? How difficult are they to set up? I'm assuming JET would do a direct deposit type of deal, but maybe I'd be wrong to assume that haha.Easy, relatively speaking. Your supervisor will almost certainly help you. Every JET I've evar known has had direct deposit into a Japan-based bank account that their supervisor has helped them set up.

BifCarbet
February 12th, 2015, 04:32
Hmm, you obviously don't have a great deal of experience with international travel.

pathetically disingenuous

Well, yanno. So long as you're made of money and you don't give a flying f*ck about fees or exchange rates... yeah; I agree completely. It doesn't matter what US bank you use.

Edit: Also, make sure you can live a few days without food. However many days it takes for your bank to authorize international use of your debit card, anyway.

Take it easy. I wasn't talking to you.

I was saying something I thought was relevant. I switched from one bank to another because the second promised me I could use their ATMs with no charge when I was in college in Tokyo, and I was charged two fees every time. There's no point in switching from one bank to another, and yes, you can use ATMs in Japan. We are, after all, talking about the first month, when a new ALT won't have a Japanese account waiting for them.

I was providing information, and a little bit of commentary. Sorry if it seemed rude. It wasn't meant to be. Take a chill pill.

NOTE: I'll show you my old passport, if you'd like.

nostos
February 12th, 2015, 06:24
To add my own experience...

I did have to pay key money - nearly 2k of it.
My salary is direct deposited (as is anything else - I get child benefits and when I'm reimbursed for travel expenses), and most of my bills are automatically withdrawn as well. The bills that aren't are just because I'd have to take time off to go to the bank and set it up (the bank is only open while I'm at work).
My supervisor helped me set up my bank account with the prefectural bank. I doubt you'd have to do it alone. I think the biggest thing for that was that they wanted kanji on the form, so my supervisor wrote it out in pencil and I just traced. Other than that, it wasn't a difficult process at all, just lengthy.

johnny
February 12th, 2015, 07:14
The amount of money you need depends on you and your situation. I guess I just didn't have a lot of big expenses.

The fact is that you're really not going to know how much money you absolutely need until you get your placement. I would prepare to have access to as much as $4,500 USD though.

Even I had access to an additional $2K in my Canadian account. I just ended up using most of that to pay off student debt.

Zolrak 22
February 12th, 2015, 07:15
When you say 2k, you mean $2,000? That's a ***** lot.

(Meant the key money by the way)

johnny
February 12th, 2015, 07:19
I had access to about $3,000 in total. I was told from many sources to have at least $5,000 just in case, but given what my pred told me, I thought I had more than enough.

I didn't have to pay key money, get a car or furnish my apartment though.

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 08:08
With the way ALTs live, if you need $5000 for startup costs you're being screwed by someone.

Ini
February 12th, 2015, 08:17
bring 20man in cash. that'll be enough for your start up costs and daily life until your first paycheck. Bring a credit/debit card (anything with the visa symbol on it will do) in case of emergencies/you need a big chunk of cash to buy a car/pay keymoney/bribe police after an incident with a hooker and a champagne bottle. If you do need extra money dont be a fool about it and only get 100 dollars out and then repeat this multiple times. ATM service charges might bite you in the ass so just get a load out in one go to be safe. If you decide to bring travellers cheques because you are worried about being beaten and robbed in the airport bathrooms before you land in the safe haven of Japan then get them cashed in at the hotel during tokyo orientation because chances are your little inaka bank wont have any idea what to do with them.

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 08:28
chances are your little inaka bank wont have any idea what to do with them.

werd

johnny
February 12th, 2015, 08:33
With the way ALTs live, if you need $5000 for startup costs you're being screwed by someone.

Is it any different if you're on of the Jets placed in Tokyo?

I remember reading here on ITIL that some of them were told to bring an astounding amount of money to secure apartment.

What would it cost with all fees to acquire and furnish an apartment in Tokyo?

Zolrak 22
February 12th, 2015, 08:35
If by astounding you mean something like $10-15k. Then I'll be okay with living in an empty apartment, thank you.

webstaa
February 12th, 2015, 08:36
I'd recommend two things:

(1) Check with your local bank - see if they do foreign currency orders. A lot of Credit Unions don't do them, but some major banks will do them pretty much at cost for members. You can save a lot of money using a bank in your home country to change money instead of a Travelex/Airport exchange place. AAA also does them, but beware - they give you the 2000 yen notes (the equivalent of $20, but be prepared to be treated like you're spending $2 bills.) AAA also only does sets of $100, and their turnaround time (for me) was about a week and a half. I got my yen the day before I flew out. I also went to my credit union and called by credit card company and had them allow international transactions from Japan. (Visa doesn't normally block Japan, but some countries - like Canada - a blocked by default.) If you can, have your bank/credit card company forward any card changes or statements to your Japanese address as well. Travelers Checks are an artifact of the past and are way more trouble than they're worth. (If you bring cash, don't change all of it. You might find yourself wanting $200 or so in reserve for if/when you travel back to home, in case your plastic stops working...)

(2) Check with your predecessor and see how much they had to pay for insurance etc when they arrived. My first day expenses were about 4-5 man. That included starting up a bank account (need a first deposit...) car registration/insurance (for a year,) parking spot for a year (through the landlord,) a first grocery shop, a Suica recharge (forgot my Suica had like 53 yen left on it when I left.) I brought close to 10 man. By my first paycheck (August 2Xth) I had 1 man left. I never used my US credit or debit cards to take money out either. I wasn't particularly stingy either (virtue of the inaka.) Some people will need a lot more, some a lot less. There were a couple ALTs in my prefecture who were living on rice alone by the middle of August, while others were talking about buying new cars. Budget the best you can.

(Tokyo JETs had to get their own apartment, so they'll need 2x-10x more for startup costs. Price of living in the big city.)

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 08:44
Is it any different if you're on of the Jets placed in Tokyo?

I remember reading here on ITIL that some of them were told to bring an astounding amount of money to secure apartment.

What would it cost with all fees to acquire and furnish an apartment in Tokyo?

It was pretty well established that they were being screwed, iirc.

ambrosse
February 12th, 2015, 08:47
Is it any different if you're on of the Jets placed in Tokyo?

I remember reading here on ITIL that some of them were told to bring an astounding amount of money to secure apartment.

What would it cost with all fees to acquire and furnish an apartment in Tokyo?

My dad's work buddy's daughter got put in one of the new Tokyo placements. Those folks had to secure their own apartments, furnish everything....
Luckily her parents have an apartment in Tokyo, so she's able to stay there for her duration on JET, but seriously.

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 08:52
My dad's work buddy's daughter got put in one of the new Tokyo placements. Those folks had to secure their own apartments, furnish everything....
Luckily her parents have an apartment in Tokyo, so she's able to stay there for her duration on JET, but seriously.

Suddenly I can't wait for all of the "is my pred trying to screw me?" posts.

"He wants 20 man for his Naruto furniture and bedding. Is this what it really costs?"

ambrosse
February 12th, 2015, 08:56
Suddenly I can't wait for all of the "is my pred trying to screw me?" posts.

"He wants 20 man for his Naruto furniture and bedding. Is this what it really costs?"

If someone tried to get me to pay anything for anime furniture...I would first laugh, and then refuse to pay anything for the monstrosities.

Zolrak 22
February 12th, 2015, 08:59
If someone tried to get me to pay anything for anime furniture...I would first laugh, and then refuse to pay anything for the monstrosities.
I'd ask them for money.

ambrosse
February 12th, 2015, 09:01
I'd ask them for money.

Way to go Zol! Reparations!

vaterross
February 12th, 2015, 09:48
So the standard amongst JETS is to try and sell the newbie their old shit for hundreds of dollars?! I've seen a couple of other mentions of this.

In Korea (sorry, it's all I got to compare with :102: ) it is typical to leave the replacement the basics/things owned by the school and whatever bigger ticket items they couldn't sell. Decent human beings leave money for the last month's bills and saints give the apartment a thorough cleaning.

Penguee
February 12th, 2015, 10:15
Everyone who is American shouldn't worry too much about bringing a lot of money with them. (Obviously don't bring dollars unless you want to pay to convert it here then, I guess.)
If you're really that worried about carrying around a lot of money then wear it on one of those stupid neck belts and keep it on your person. (But you'll look like an idiot. No one is going to rob you except maybe other Americans.)
A better option would be traveler's cheques (although yes, convert them in Tokyo) or a bank transfer once you get here. You can use your credit or debit card, and just pull money out of an ATM. I recommend for daily living expenses pulling out 3 man en (less than $300) at a time. (7-11 and Post Office ATMs have English menus so you'll be okay. Also, visa is more often accepted over MasterCard.
No one is going to rob you unless you go drinking in Kabukicho or something. Some salary men carry a thousand on their person at all times.

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 10:19
Post Office ATMs have English menus so you'll be okay.

Some. Not all.



No one is going to rob you unless you go drinking in Kabukicho or something. Some salary men carry a thousand on their person at all times.

The first night at Keio all the JETs were warned to stay away from Kabukicho. After the ceremony, you could see the herd stampeding straight there.

itsabird
February 12th, 2015, 10:27
Miami coordinator recommended between 2000-2500 USD. I brought 1920 (exchange rates etc made it less than 2000). It got me through the first few months of living (granted theres not much to do here so I didn't have anything to spend it on except overpriced imported foods). Didn't even touch my work income until the 3rd month. But depending on your placement, I'd say 2000 is safe enough. I brought it in cash. Converted it in America. Kept it in my backpack that I carried around until I get to Keio plaza. Depending on the people you stay with, I doubt anyone will look through your stuff if it's in the corner and fully zipped up. Then again you never know. So make sure you keep it in the lower parts of the bag lol.

Penguee
February 12th, 2015, 10:36
Some. Not all.


I've never seen a post office ATM without an English menu. Aren't they standardized?

Zolrak 22
February 12th, 2015, 10:36
So make sure you keep it in the lower parts of the bag lol.

Or use locks. Sure baggage locks are tiny and barely functional, but it's about sending a message.

It's what I did before I could trust my roommates. Not that they probably noticed, as they rarely had a chance to get close to my bags.

Penguee
February 12th, 2015, 10:38
It's what I did before I could trust my roommates. Not that they probably noticed, as they rarely had a chance to get close to my bags.

Before you close lined them and took everything of theirs, right? Terrifying!

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 10:40
I've never seen a post office ATM without an English menu. Aren't they standardized?

I have no idea. Been over a year and ahalf since I was in one, but it had no language options that I saw. (neither menu option nor physical button)

I also live in Inakatown, JP.

webstaa
February 12th, 2015, 10:48
It was pretty well established that they were being screwed, iirc.

For those that missed that adventure, they're being sent to a government contracted realtor to find apartments. And quite a few of them have found that they've ended up paying more key money and rent than other tenants in the same style apartment in the same building. They also have to purchase their own furnishings, although that's not entirely unexpected, unless you got a furnished apartment that suddenly was empty... As well as other new position issues (like COs not filling out US tax exemption paperwork so the US JETs have to pay local inhabitants tax, etc.) Others had worse issues, but those were more like Black BoE/COs than anything else (issues like commuting stipends not being paid out, arbitrary commuting rules - i.e. no trains, only buses etc.)

EDIT: Yuubin ATMs usually have an English button, but some of the older ones only will let you do a withdrawl in English. Not a problem unless you end up using JPost as a bank. (Fuck that, get 7 Bank instead... Although COs usually end up using local/prefectural or ag/JA banks.)

greyjoy
February 12th, 2015, 10:56
I brought 25 man notes with me that I exchanged in the us at a foreign currency exchange booth in the mall. I had trouble getting any banks to give me exchange rates so I couldn't really shop around, but I got a reasonable exchange anyway.
No key money, and although I'm fairly miserly, August was a busy month full of welcome parties and sayonara parties and festivals. My startup cash still lasted me through to my second paycheck, but only just. No car here though.

itsabird
February 12th, 2015, 11:24
I have no idea. Been over a year and ahalf since I was in one, but it had no language options that I saw. (neither menu option nor physical button)

I also live in Inakatown, JP.
ATM on my island doesn't have English if I remember correctly.

Penguee
February 12th, 2015, 12:03
I have no idea. Been over a year and ahalf since I was in one, but it had no language options that I saw. (neither menu option nor physical button)

I also live in Inakatown, JP.

Hmm. Okay. Even the inaka ones that I saw had them, but it could be different where you are.

Worst comes to worst, OP, go to a 7-11, then. Fairly certain they all have English options?

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 12:24
Hmm. Okay. Even the inaka ones that I saw had them, but it could be different where you are.

Worst comes to worst, OP, go to a 7-11, then. Fairly certain they all have English options?

What's a 7-11?

You hip urbanites and your lingo.

nostos
February 12th, 2015, 17:43
When you say 2k, you mean $2,000? That's a ***** lot.

(Meant the key money by the way)

Yeah - it was basically 3 months' rent.
However, my pred did warn me about the key money beforehand, so at least it wasn't a surprise. My supervisor wasn't super anxious to take the money either, so I probably could have paid in parts or after the first paycheck, but it was literally more than my first paycheck anyway (which is only because they took out too much taxes; now I get paid more per month).

uthinkimlost?
February 12th, 2015, 17:59
That's actually an important point: Newbies, your first check will be smaller than normal.

johnny
February 12th, 2015, 21:13
For those that missed that adventure, they're being sent to a government contracted realtor to find apartments. And quite a few of them have found that they've ended up paying more key money and rent than other tenants in the same style apartment in the same building. They also have to purchase their own furnishings, although that's not entirely unexpected, unless you got a furnished apartment that suddenly was empty... As well as other new position issues (like COs not filling out US tax exemption paperwork so the US JETs have to pay local inhabitants tax, etc.) Others had worse issues, but those were more like Black BoE/COs than anything else (issues like commuting stipends not being paid out, arbitrary commuting rules - i.e. no trains, only buses etc.)

Some of them are not allowed to use trains to get to work? That is simply crazy.

ambrosse
February 12th, 2015, 23:01
Some of them are not allowed to use trains to get to work? That is simply crazy.

Didn't you know? Some ALTs fly to work or walk 24 miles one way each day.

BifCarbet
February 13th, 2015, 01:57
That stuff is so annoying. I had a conference one time that was 40 minutes away by car, and 3 hours and 30 minutes by train, walking, bus, walking. They told my I couldn't drive. I drove.

ambrosse
February 13th, 2015, 02:11
That stuff is so annoying. I had a conference one time that was 40 minutes away by car, and 3 hours and 30 minutes by train, walking, bus, walking. They told my I couldn't drive. I drove.

Were you able to drive to everything else except that conference?

webstaa
February 13th, 2015, 08:21
That's actually an important point: Newbies, your first check will be smaller than normal.

Mine was the opposite - It had July and August (like 3 days of July...) as well as the compensation for transportation to prefectural orientation. It probably depends on when your contract specifically starts. If it's the last days of July, it'll probably be normal or higher, if it's August, it'll be lower. It probably meshes with you last pay period when you leave as well.

BifCarbet
February 13th, 2015, 13:01
Were you able to drive to everything else except that conference?

They just didn't want me driving during work hours, and the conference started at 9 or so. I commuted by car, and drove all the time during non-work hours.

Amleth
May 25th, 2015, 02:53
So coming from Australia, any suggestions on how to get the best rates to convert my initial $2-3K?

johnny
May 26th, 2015, 07:44
I asked the other Jets departing from my city, and they helped me find the best currency exchange place in town. You might want to talk to your pred before exchanging too much money though. Learn how much you'll need first.

Lorenzo
May 28th, 2015, 11:00
I'm an incoming Tokyo JET, and I don't think I'll be able to get more together than about £1500 ($2300). It'll be an adventure.

Ananasboat
May 28th, 2015, 12:16
Well, let's hope the yen dips a bit more then, aye?

Zolrak 22
May 28th, 2015, 12:24
Well, let's hope the yen dips a bit more then, aye?
I love how lightly you suggest that, sweetheart. [emoji14]

johnny
May 28th, 2015, 12:51
Well, let's hope the yen dips a bit more then, aye?

No kidding.

blackxpetals
May 28th, 2015, 12:53
So coming from Australia, any suggestions on how to get the best rates to convert my initial $2-3K?

If you're from either sydney or Melbourne there's this place called kvb kunlun, who from my experience have better exchange rates than the banks. Otherwise get a Citibank card and put your money there and just withdraw when you get to Japan. I'm pretty sure they also have a better exchange rate than the banks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Lorenzo
May 28th, 2015, 12:59
Well, let's hope the yen dips a bit more then, aye?

You and me both.

Ananasboat
May 28th, 2015, 13:15
I'm not actually serious. I need it to go up, already being here and needing to pay off loans. :<

Frap
May 28th, 2015, 17:40
You and me both.

It's dropped quite a lot in a year. Last March, I was getting 1000 yen for around £6.20. Now I could get 1000 yen for £5.20!

Gizmotech
May 28th, 2015, 18:38
Either way, I'd hold out as the current trend might net you a few extra bucks if you wait till late June early July to convert. Always remember though that many banks need to order in the money from larger/head branches so give yourself a few days if you want to bring bills eh?

BifCarbet
May 29th, 2015, 02:12
I'm not sure if every bank does this, but with my bank there are foreign currency branches. You could call up your neighborhood bank and ask them if they are a foreign currency branch, and if they're not, they'll tell you if there's one nearby. A branch that specializes in foreign currency will have a stockpile, posted exchange rate info, and possibly even a separate teller for foreign transactions.

johnny
May 29th, 2015, 09:37
If you're in a bigger city, getting yen will not be a problem.

mrcharisma
May 29th, 2015, 09:47
It's dropped quite a lot in a year. Last March, I was getting 1000 yen for around £6.20. Now I could get 1000 yen for £5.20!

Would have cost you £8.50 odds back in the glory days of 2011. Gravy train is well past.

Dululu
May 29th, 2015, 10:26
To all those saying take travellers checks rather than cash...with no due respect whatsoever, WTF?

You have to change them in Tokyo, which is annoying, difficult and carries a charge.

You are doing this because why? You think there is a reasonable chance that your cash will be stolen between your house and the airport? (actual chance 0.00001%)

You think you will lose it at the airport or on the plane or during the bussed door-to-door airport transfer? (if this happens, you are an idiot and no amount of travellers checks will save you)

You think it will be stolen in Tokyo in the 2 days that you are there? (actual chance 0.0001%)

Take cash. Have an ATM card as backup. Have a credit card as backup.

uthinkimlost?
May 29th, 2015, 10:28
You think it will be stolen in Tokyo in the 2 days that you are there? (actual chance 0.0001%).

Well, you ARE sharing a room with two randos.

Keep your cash on you and don't go to Kabuki-cho and you'll be fine.

johnny
May 29th, 2015, 10:30
Well, you ARE sharing a room with two randos.

Keep your cash on you and don't go to Kabuki-cho and you'll be fine.

Yeah, pretty much this. I only brought 10 man though and I did just fine.

BifCarbet
May 29th, 2015, 10:34
Take an ATM card and stop worrying about anything.
EDIT: It's 2015. There's no reason to take your life savings in cash. In the crazy event that you lose your wallet or get it stolen, at least your ATM card is replaceable and you can pay back the people from whom you have to borrow money. Taking thousands of dollars in cash is 100% pointless.

100%

Dululu
May 29th, 2015, 10:39
You are sharing a room with 2 randos, certainly.

It takes a pretty ballsy new JET to steal it from your room safe when they are know full well they are gonna be one of the only 2 people that could have stolen it and therefore almost certain to be a) caught and b) sent home.

Or keep it with you if you don't agree with the above but for the love of all that is holy, don't start faffing around with Travellers Checks.

Dululu
May 29th, 2015, 10:40
or take an ATM card

uthinkimlost?
May 29th, 2015, 10:42
EDIT: It's 2015.

Not in Japan. It is H 27.

BifCarbet
May 29th, 2015, 10:43
Traveler's checks are those things from 1977, right?

Good catch, UTIL.

Dululu
May 29th, 2015, 10:44
Traveler's checks are those things from 1977, right?

Good catch, UTIL.

No, 1977 is how many yen you get back for $100 after the various fees and charges are applied.

BifCarbet
May 29th, 2015, 10:49
No, 1977 is how many yen you get back for $100 after the various fees and charges are applied.
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/16/9c/ea/169ceab8ce7e864b082bc8d74fba37cb.jpg

Dululu
May 29th, 2015, 10:50
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/16/9c/ea/169ceab8ce7e864b082bc8d74fba37cb.jpg

I have no idea what this means

singinglupines
May 30th, 2015, 06:17
Take an ATM card and stop worrying about anything.
EDIT: It's 2015. There's no reason to take your life savings in cash. In the crazy event that you lose your wallet or get it stolen, at least your ATM card is replaceable and you can pay back the people from whom you have to borrow money. Taking thousands of dollars in cash is 100% pointless.

100%

YES.
Despite Japan being behind the times, I've been assured that they actually have ATMS and they have ones that will take your foreign card. *gasp*

hypatia
June 1st, 2015, 07:23
You are sharing a room with 2 randos, certainly.

Well, not totally random. Unless things have changed from last year, you should be placed with two other people of the same sex from your consulate. In my case it was also just done alphabetically by last name as well. But yeah, your cash should be fine.

webstaa
June 1st, 2015, 08:14
Getting travelers checks changed is a PITA. If you're lucky, you'll find a place that can do them for you pretty easily - but everywhere I've been has taken 1h+ and 2-3 forms in Japanese to get them changed. Why? Because my family members seem stuck in the mid-1990s. Even when you tell them "No, don't bring them, I won't take the time to stop and get them changed for you," they still bring them. And now they take them right back to the US.

BifCarbet
June 1st, 2015, 09:07
Yep. ATM card.