ATMs in Tokyo

I was very impressed with Susan Benton’s article “Traveling Solo in Tokyo” (Jan. ’07, pg. 46). Her tips and anecdotes were well-geared toward first-time visitors to Tokyo. In particular, I liked her suggestion of exploring Kichijoji, since suburbs like this often provide a view of the real Japan.

Kichijoji is also the site of Inokashira Park, a large park with walking paths that wind around a lake — very popular for viewing cherry blossoms. Also, it is the site of the Ghibli Museum, dedicated to the anime of Hayao Miyazaki, creator of Japan’s most famous anime films (“Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” etc.).

One thing I would like to comment on is the paragraph about American bank cards under “Money matters.” Benton states, “The CitiBank across the street from Shinjuku Station, as well as other select ATMs throughout Tokyo, take American bank cards, but that’s it.”

Another option that many travelers are not aware of is ATMs at Japan’s post offices. These ATMs, called “Yucho,” can be found all over Japan, even in rural areas, and they all accept foreign credit cards and ATM cards (Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, JCB and China Unionpay). Details can be found at

In addition, in June of this year, Seven Bank, a bank run by the food store chain 7-11 in Japan, will begin accepting foreign-issued credit cards and ATM cards, including Visa (Visa International), MasterCard (MasterCard Worldwide), American Express, JCB, China Unionpay, PLUS and Cirrus. Their news release is in Japanese only, unfortunately (

7-11s are ubiquitous in Japan.

CHRISTOPHER BISHOP, Assistant Director, Japan National Tourist Organization, 515 South Figueroa St., Ste. 1470, Los Angeles, CA 90071