Japan tourism trade turning more to credit cards
Japan Today -- Dec 01
Local restaurants, souvenir shops and even some temples and shrines are hoping to cater to foreign guests with an international custom yet to be adopted in Japan: letting customers pay their bills with credit cards instead of cash.

As the country braces for a further tourism boom in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, major credit card companies are providing local businesses with portable devices so foreign customers can pay at the table -- a practice customary in their home countries.

In mid-September, a customer from Sweden seated at the bar at Rigoletto, a restaurant serving southern European cuisine in Tokyo's busy Shibuya district, swiped his card at his table. He said the convenience reminded him of being back home.

The format, in which customers simply enter their PIN numbers for verification into portable devices after a waiter presents the bill on a tablet, was introduced at the restaurant in April.

"More cards are being used, and these terminals are convenient for foreign guests who are used to paying at their table," said a restaurant employee.

Card company Mitsubishi UFJ Nicos Co launched the system at affiliated stores nationwide in November last year. Simply by downloading the app, customers can exchange data wirelessly with the portable device.

A company official who works in systems development said there has been a high demand for a payment method "which can be used anywhere inside shops," particularly among restaurants.

The Japanese government is aiming to see the rate of cashless payments via credit cards and other means double in the next 10 years to about 40 percent within the country.

News source: Japan Today
Jan 17
Japan’s most beloved flowers are often associated with April, but they’ll be at their most beautiful in Tokyo before that, says forecast. (soranews24.com)
Jan 14
Japan Airlines has been excluded from a list of the world's 20 safest airlines. The carrier had been on the list for 3 years in a row from 2016. (NHK)
Jan 14
A winter phenomenon known as "diamond dust" has been observed in the town of Biei in the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. (NHK)
Jan 12
The number of foreign visitors to Japan topped 30 million for the first time ever in 2018. (NHK)
Jan 11
Setouchi region with the Inland Sea islands and coastal areas in western Japan have been ranked seventh in The New York Times' list of "52 Places to Go in 2019." (NHK)
Jan 08
Japan started collecting a ¥1,000 departure tax Monday from each traveler leaving the country in an effort to fund measures to attract more foreign visitors in the run-up to and beyond the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (Japan Times)
Jan 08
Japan is stepping up efforts to expand automatic train operations to cope with a possible shortage of drivers amid its declining population, with East Japan Railway Co. conducting its latest self-driving test on Tokyo's Yamanote loop line on Monday. (Kyodo)
Jan 07
Flight cancellations due to heavy snow in Hokkaido, northern Japan, left around 2,000 travelers stranded overnight at a key airport through Sunday, right at the end of the country's New Year holidays. (Kyodo)
Jan 06
Heavy snow has forced cancellation of flights to and from Hokkaido, keeping holidaymakers from leaving the northern main island amid the peak of the "U-turn rush." (NHK)
Jan 02
Japan will start collecting from next Monday a departure tax of ¥1,000 for each person leaving the country by aircraft or ship regardless of nationality. (Japan Times)