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How do I pay cashless in Japan?


In recent years, Japan has been making strides towards becoming a cashless society. With the rise of technology and convenience, paying cashless is becoming more and more popular. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, it’s important to know how to pay without cash. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to pay cashless in Japan.

Use a credit card

Credit cards are widely accepted in Japan, especially in urban areas. You can use most international credit cards at major retailers, restaurants, and hotels. However, some smaller shops and businesses may not accept credit cards or may have a minimum purchase amount for card payments.

Japanese Snack Box

Get a prepaid card

Prepaid cards like Suica or Pasmo are a popular way to pay for transportation and other small purchases. These cards can be loaded with money at vending machines, train stations, and convenience stores. They can also be used at some retailers and restaurants.

Use your smartphone

Many Japanese smartphone companies have developed mobile payment apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Line Pay. These apps use near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow users to pay with their phone at participating retailers and restaurants.

Try out QR codes

Some retailers use QR codes for payments. Simply scan the code with your smartphone camera and enter the amount you wish to pay. The payment will be deducted from your linked bank account or credit card.

Look for IC card readers

IC card readers are becoming increasingly common in Japan. These machines can read smart cards like Suica or Pasmo, as well as some credit cards with IC chips. Just wave your card over the reader to make a payment.

Pay with a debit card

Debit cards are not as widely accepted in Japan as credit cards, but they can still be used at some ATMs and major retailers. However, it’s important to note that many Japanese banks require a Japanese address and phone number to open a bank account.

Use an online payment service

Japan has several online payment services like PayPal and Alipay that can be used for online purchases. These services are linked to your bank account or credit card and can be used to pay at participating retailers and restaurants.

Ask for help

If you’re having trouble making a cashless payment, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many retailers have staff who can assist you with using their payment system, and some may even have English instructions available.

Be prepared with cash

While cashless payments are becoming more common in Japan, it’s still important to carry some cash with you just in case. Some smaller businesses may only accept cash, and there may be situations where you need to make a payment but don’t have access to cashless options.

Consider cultural norms

In Japan, it’s customary to present payment with both hands and to bow as a sign of respect. It’s also important to note that tipping is not customary in Japan, so there’s no need to add extra money to your payment.

Keep track of your spending

With so many different cashless payment options available, it’s important to keep track of your spending. Make sure to check your bank statements regularly and keep track of receipts to avoid overspending or fraudulent charges.


Paying cashless in Japan is becoming easier and more convenient than ever before. From credit cards to mobile payment apps, there are many options available for travelers. Just remember to carry some cash with you and be respectful of cultural norms when making payments. Happy spending!

What cashless payment methods does Japan use?

According to a survey conducted between August and September 2022, credit cards were the most widely used cashless payment method in Japan. About 67.5% of the participants reported using credit cards in their daily lives, while only 9.3% solely relied on cash. This study was conducted on February 13, 2023.

How to be cashless in Japan?

Prepaid cards, such as Suica or Pasmo, are a widely used and favored form of cashless payment in Japan, including IC (Integrated Circuit) cards.

What is the best cashless payment in Japan?

As of August 2022, PayPay, a cashless payment service in Japan, has over 50 million registered users and is the most popular QR code-based payment app. With over 3.7 million locations accepting the app for transactions, it is widely used to make purchases.

Does Japan accept cashless payment?

There is a growing trend of cashless payments in Japan, with many stores and restaurants now accepting electronic transactions. This has become a common method of payment for shopping and public transportation.

What is the easiest way to pay in Japan?

Cash remains a popular payment option, but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the use of digital and contactless payment methods. Larger stores and restaurants typically accept major credit cards, but it’s important to note that some rural areas, such as shrines, may only accept cash.

What payment apps work in Japan?

As of 2022, Rakuten Pay, developed by Rakuten Group, was the most popular payment application in Japan with over 4.3 million downloads. The second most downloaded app was d Barai by NTT Docomo with around 3.7 million downloads. Both apps use QR code technology for payments. This information was reported on February 7, 2023.

Consider security measures

While cashless payments offer convenience, it’s important to consider security measures. Make sure to keep your credit card or mobile payment app secure by setting a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when making payments, as it can leave your personal information vulnerable to hackers.

Check for foreign transaction fees

Before using your credit card or online payment service in Japan, make sure to check for foreign transaction fees. Some banks and credit card companies may charge additional fees for transactions made in a foreign currency. It’s important to factor these fees into your budget when planning your trip.

Understand the exchange rate

If using a credit card or online payment service, it’s important to understand the exchange rate between your home currency and the Japanese yen. Check with your bank or payment provider to see what exchange rate they use and whether there are any additional fees.

Be mindful of spending limits

Prepaid cards and some mobile payment apps may have daily spending limits. Make sure to check these limits before making a large purchase or relying solely on these payment methods during your trip.

Consider language barriers

While many retailers and businesses in urban areas may have English instructions or staff who speak English, it’s important to consider language barriers when making cashless payments. It may be helpful to learn some basic Japanese phrases or bring a translation app with you to assist with communication.

Ask for a receipt

When making cashless payments, it’s important to ask for a receipt as proof of purchase. This can be useful for keeping track of expenses during your trip and can also be necessary for returns or exchanges.

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