Need some first-hand advice for those of you that have cruised in Asia. We will be starting a repositioning cruise in Osaka Japan next month with additional stops in Hokkaido and Hiroshima. Would it be a good idea to buy yen before we leave home to have local money for tips, small purchases, etc? I realize that major stores will probably accept credit cards but we are unsure about the small expenses. We will arrive in Osaka one day before the cruise to stay overnight in a hotel.
Just got back from Japan. Despite how ultra modern the society is they are still very much a cash society. Smaller shops generally do not accept credit cards. ATMs generally do not accept foreign cards, however Citibank does. ATMs are not usually open 24 hours. My practice is to change about $50 to $100 to take care of expenses on arrival. Most larger hotel desks offer competetive exchange rates, which is not always the rule worldwide. Be sure to have your passport when changing travelers checks or cash, you will not be allowed to without. As in most of the world change bureaus on the street give the worst exchange rate while ATMs (in Japan when you can find them) give the best.
Hi,cruised South East Asia in 1998 and we could change our money on the ship which worked well as we were in a different cuontry every other day .Have not done Japan but loved SEA, the people were the most gracious and friendly I have met anywhere
Hi Ruth, I sailed on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam to SEA .Did a pre-cruise in Hong Kong ,went to Xian and saw the Terracotta Warriors,(northern China is amazing),then sailed south to Viet Nam,(beautiful and friendly),next to Thailand,(gorgous and cheap),on to Brunei(expensive but interesting),then to Sabah,Maylasia,(picturesque and charming),next port was Port Kelang,Mayalasia,(great architecture and shopping), and last but not least Singapore (fantastically clean and great fun) . In all of SEA I felt very safe at all times, night and day. Can't wait to go back.Want to return to Singapore,Thailand, Viet Nam,Hong Kong and north to Biejing.I am just waiting for Holland America to return to SEA and loking for a cruisemate.