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How fast/easy is it to change currency in Narita?


24 Oct 2003
Have to take catch a shinkansen within a couple hours after our plane arrives at Narita -- the last shinkensen of the day (for where we're going). So I'm wondering if I'll have enough time to change dollars to yen so that I can pay for the train tickets.

I've been told to not change currency until after arriving because you get a better rate. Any thoughts? Can I pay for the train tickets on a credit card?
I have heard "Just a rumor" but in many of the large citys you can pay with american $s and get a great rate from merchants for it.

Not sure if its true for most of the places or not though.

Pretty sure it wouldn't work for paying a train fee =( but when I go over I plan to carry yen and dollars just in case.
You can exchange currencies at any time (from 6am until the last flight leaves) at any of the currency exchange centers conveniently located inside the airport so don't feel as if you should be pressed for time once you arrive. And when you're abroad, keep in mind that U.S. dollars can be changed at city banks and any large post office (in the major metropolitan areas anyways) as well, although bank exchange rates will vary slightly. Traveler's checks can also be changed at some of the larger hotels and department stores as well depending on where you are. Not sure on your question re: purchasing train tickets via credit card although I wouldn't think it would be a problem since it is Tokyo after all.
wahhh! and i typed all of this :)

oh well, i'm pasting it, good i copied it before i hit submit
where is the shinkansen leaving from? not terminal 1 or 2 inside the airport?
imo, two hours should be enough?
as for a better rate, hmm
i haven't noticed a difference really, not that i'm big money...
i could stay in a capsule hotel for the rest of my life if i could get a good enough rate
but i change my money when i get off the plane in narita
and i don't bother to change it back -- i'll spend it the next time? and the rate is horrible (in america) imo

some things that might help speed it up *gets out old keepsake money exchange documents*
1. there are TWO versions, one is to change dollars into yen, the other is do the opposite (or whatever, i know they gave it back to me as a do over to fill out again)

2. memorize passport number, some forms use it -- if memorized, wont have to fumble/look for it

3. decide (in advance) how much cash is desired to be changed

4. VERY IMPORTANT: know the flight number of the plane just disembarked, also know the hotel of residence. if no hotel has been reserved yet (i never do :eek:) name a japanese hotel (THIS CANNOT -- afaik -- BE LEFT BLANK)

5. in most cases, it's bad manners to count money that's just been transacted... but in this case, some of the forms here say to do exactly that (probably some foreigner got all bowed up and said they cheated him or something?)

oh yeah, now that i went and got them out...
usd = $500
rate = 105.10 en
equiv en = 52,550

usd = $20
rate = 104.45 en
equiv en = 2,089 en

gl and hope i din't mislead anybody
while you can always change the money at the airport i recommened getting what you need for the train ride and maybe the hotel then finding somewhere else to change over your money. why? well simply because everything is more expensive in the terminal, even big macs, so why would money be any different. convinence tax can be costly.
my 2 yen...
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I wouldnt use the airport exchanges if you can, its a major ripoff. I found getting my money changed in my home country was alot cheaper (better rate) and the queues at the exchange in the airport were very long. You can get american money changed in banks anywhere, TC also in banks, im an aussie so i had to look further to get cash changed.

Stores do generally NOT accept foreign money, credit cards also can be a problem. Japan is a cash country, before leaving get a weeks worth of money changed. If you have a credit card it should work in most banks, but if not good old Citibank should be able to handle it. In some of the bigger/foreigner popular places (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Akihabara, Ikebukero) you can find places that will take straight american money or places that will exchange it. The conveince store round the corner at 3 in the morning wont, it helps to have money on hand.

Stuff is more expensive in the terminal, but not much more. Macca's is the same price, its actually the most frequented macdonalds in japan, all of the other places around it are very expensive, so they make a killing, plus, its macdonalds, who doesnt eat that!
i don't see the difference in rate, except for the money changer [when i got back in atlanta] being a gyp
i only tried one time (when he told me how much he was gonna give me back, i walked off and said seeya), it was enough
maybe its a better rate nowadays then, in that case
i have the other slip somewhere around here, but i had to change money at mizuno two days ($50) before that last one in narita, and it was still 104.10?

but the world don't move
to the beat of just one drum
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