Converting the Australian Dollar (AUD) to the Japanese Yen (JPY) takes a bit to get use to.
To help with the conversion rates I refer to this quick guide. Although it’s dependent on the rate at the time it gives a good enough idea to roughly navigate the cost of items and money we are holding during our trip.
We ordered some JPY through Travelex a couple of weeks prior to leaving as we wanted to get a feel for the money but also as Japan is still very much a cash-driven economy, with a lot of places still only accepting cash, it’s a good idea to start the journey with some cash.
Taking a Travel Card along with a Credit Card is also a good idea, work out what is best with fees and when one is not accepted by a retailer you can try the other.
Travel Card (Visa): Free if you order the card online (allow yourself time for delivery). Cash withdrawal fee JPY 220 (the ATM in Japan may also add their fee). Currency conversion on purchases and withdrawals: The rate applicable is the Mastercard or Visa exchange rate at the time of the conversion plus 5.25%.
To avoid the 5.25% fee I will need to load JPY to the card.
Credit Card (Mastercard): Cash withdrawal fee is AUD 5.00 plus 3% of transaction value (the ATM in Japan may also add their fee). Purchases made 3% of transaction value.
Qantas Travel Card: If you have frequent flyers you already have the card you just need to activate it (check the back of your frequent flyers card for the Mastercard logo).
Westpac Travel Card: If you wanted to hold a Visa Card, Westpac offers this in their travel card.
Citibank Plus: Fee-free account; no international fees for ATMs or otherwise.
ATMs that take foreign cards are mostly inside post offices and 7/11 stores.