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Practical Information

Currency / Exchange


Yen(¥) is the currency used in Hokkaido and throughout Japan. There are four kinds of bills; 1,000yen, 2,000yen, 5,000yen, and 10,000yen. The 2,000yen bill is quite rare and might not be accepted in some vending machines. All the coins; 1yen, 5yen, 10yen, 50yen, 100yen and 500yen coins are evenly accepted. In general, ticket machines at the train or subway stations accept the 10,000yen bills, while drink vending machines don't take them. Please note that either 1yen or 5 yen coins cannot be used for any type of vending machines.

Japanese Bills

Japanese Coins


Upon your arrival to Japan, if you want some local money, you should go to the exchange counter at New Chitose Airport. It is better to exchange your money at your transit International airport; Narita International, Kansai International, or Haneda Airport because other airports in Hokkaido don't have exchange counters. It is also recommended to exchange your money at the airport or the bank before you leave. Unlike many popular tourist destinations, exchange counters are rarely seen in Japanese cities and only a few hotels offer exchange services. Major banks provide exchange services from 9am to 3pm on weekdays, however they close on Sundays and public holidays.

  • Banks providing foreign exchange services in Sapporo
    [ Telephone: +81-11-261-1311 ]
    Odori Nishi3, Chuo-ku Sapporo
    Open: Mon-Fri 9:00 ~ 15:00 *closed on weekends and public holidays
  • Hokkaido Bank, Foreign Exchange Plaza
    [ Telephone: +81-11-231-1167 ]
    Odori Nishi4, Chuo-ku Sapporo
    Open: Mon-Fri 10:00 ~ 19:00/Saturday 10:00 ~ 17:00 *closed on Sundays and public holidays
  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubish UFJ
    [ Telephone: +81-11-221-1174 ]
    Odori Nishi3, Chuo-ku Sapporo
    Open: Mon-Fri 9:00 ~ 15:00 *closed on weekends and public holidays


While traveling around Hokkaido, cash can be more convenient than credit cards. Although credit cards are widely accepted in cities, small retailers or accommodations may not accept them. The same is for restaurants or souvenir shops in rural areas. It is highly recommended to carry some cash with you,so you won't miss a chance to shop at any store you want to shop from.

Credit Cards

While traveling, credit cards can be quite useful for shopping and cash advance and they can be used for ID. While credit cards including VISA,AMEX,and Dinars Club International are usually accepted by many stores, some small retails do not, so please check with the shop staff before you pay. Some shops require a minimum spend, or don't accept installment payments. The exchange rate applied may be the rate on the day you make the expense,so keeping an eye on exchange rates is important.


When you are running out of cash, just go to an ATM. Some ATMs allow you to withdraw money in the local currency of Japan with cards issued outside of Japan.

ATM machines where you can withdraw cash in Japanese yen.
    [ Tel: +81-11-221-7610 ]
    Address: Kita 2-jo Nishi 4-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
    Open: Monday-Friday 9:00 ~ 15:00
  • Japan Post Bank
    - Sapporo Branch
    Kita 2-jo Nishi 4-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
    Open: 9:00~19:00 *weekends and holidays open 9:00 ~ 17:00

    - Sapporo Higashi Branch
    Kita 25-jo Higashi 16-chome, Higashi-ku Sapporo
    Open: 8:45~21:00 *weekends and holidays open 9:00 ~ 17:00

    - Hakodate Branch
    Mihara 2-chome, Hakodate
    Open: 8:45~19:00 *weekends and holidays open 9:00 ~ 17:00

    - Obihiro Branch
    Minami 8-chome Nishi 3-jo, Obihiro
    Open: 8:45~19:00 *weekends and holidays open 9:00 ~ 17:00

    - Kushiro Branch
    13-2-1 Saiwai-cho, Kushiro
    Open:8:45~19:00 *weekends and holidays open from 9:00~ 17:00

    * "You can withdraw cash with your credit card or bank card from the ATMs with the sign"Need Cash? International ATM Service." Following cards are accepted: VISA, VISAELECTRON, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, China Unionpay
  • Seven Bank
    You can withdraw Japanese yen from a ATM at one of the 7-11 stores.
    The cards with the following marks are accepted: VISA, PLUS , MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro, American Express, JCB, China Unionpay
    Please note that some cards listed above may not be accepted. For more information, please visit,
    Attention: Fees or limitations may apply depending on your bank or type of your account.

Commodity Prices

There is no wide price gap for commodities in Japan although rent and wages varies depending on regions. The following is the list of food, drink and fares in Hokkaido. Major electronics retail stores offer discounts to compete against each other, so useful advice here is go to several stores and check prices before you make a purchase.


In Japan, a 8 % of sales tax applies to most of goods and services such as products selling at shops, restaurant foods, beauty salons and massage services. The prices on restaurant menu are usually tax-inclusive, however, the prices on most clothing, electronic appliances or souvenirs are not. Look for one of these words "induded" (tax-included) and "taxexcluded" (tax excluded), if you want to know if the price includes tax or not. You may be charged local tax if you stay at a hotel or a Onsen ryokan in Hokkaido and Onsen tax (hot-spring tax) will also be charged if they have Onsen facilities.


Individual tipping is not common in Japan, not even to waitresses, taxi drivers, or bellboys. Rather, in lieu of tipping, a 10 to 15 percent service charge is added to bills at higher-priced hotels and restaurants. No service charge is added to bills at business hotels, pensions, minshuku, youth hostels, and other inexpensive lodgings.

"Tipping" Japan National Tourism Organization

Power Supply

The voltage and the frequency of the power supply in Japan is 100, 50/60 Hz and 2-prong electrical outlets are used. When using electronic products in a hotel, make sure to use the ones fit the description. A power convertor is required to use a PC and charge a digital camera. It is best to prepare one before departing your home,however moderately large hotels might have some available for travelers.

"Electricity" Japan National Tourism Organization

Postal Service

Japanese postal services are well developed. At the post office, you can buy stamps, ship international parcels, and use international card-capable ATMs and other services. Amongst the international parcels, the EMS service is the fastest. Boxes and bags for luggage can be purchased at post offices. You can also buy stamps at convenience stores and post letters in a mailbox set up inside the store. However, in some cases the clerks don't know the price of sending a postcard abroad. We therefore recommend that you find it out in advance.

Internet connection

In Japan, the spread of Wi-Fi is gradually progressing, however, it is often provided as a paid service by domestic cellphone companies. Therefore if you want to seek places to use Internet free of charge, please check the free spot map. The number of hotels where Wi-Fi is available in the lobby free of charge is increasing; however, there are still many cases where one has to use LAN cable that is in the room or that can be rented. If your budget permits, it is better to rent a mobile hot spot device in airports or other places. You can access the Internet in any area covered by the mobile device. In the city, you may able to use an Internet cafe, which is relatively inexpensive and offers a clean and comfortable space. Almost all Internet cafes offer beverages free of charge.

Free Spot Map
Skype WiFi


Though the number of payphones has decreased in recent years due to the widespread use of mobile phones, public phones on the street or in buildings are still available. It is possible to make international calls from most of the payphones in big cities. When using a phone in your hotel room, make sure to check with the front desk before using. Rates for calls made from payphones depend on distance. While you are in Japan, a telephone card can be quite handy in case you don't have or run out of coins.

"Telephone" Japan National Tourism Organization


Taxi is a convenient way to get to whenever you want to go in cities. Like many other countries, you just need to raise your hand to call a taxi. The Chinese characters,"taxiafter10pm" at the front window with a red light on means the tax is empty. After 10pm, the word "taxigreenlight" with a green light on indicates that rates are raised. Most of drivers are nice, but only speak Japanese, so showing a map or written address of your destination can be helpful. The backdoor opens and closes automatically, so no need to open it by yourself. If you want to put your luggage in the trunk, let the driver know. Many drivers help passengers loading/unloading their luggage, but tip is not necessary.

Convenience Stores

Japanese convenience stores sell a wide range of products. Most of them open late night or 24 hours a day, so it gets really convenient when you just want something to eat, drink or need other goods. Courier delivery services are also available at convenience stores.

Drinking Water

Japan's tap water, particularly in Hokkaido, is known for its quality. You can drink it almost everywhere in Japan without worrying about getting sick. Fresh spring water in Hokkaido is quite popular and many people filling their bottles on the mountains are often seen on weekends. Although Japan has good-tasting water, bottled-water has become popular in recent years, too.

Religious and cultural support

Hokkaido has been welcoming visitors of diverse nationalities from various countries and regions. We wish our visitors who have different religious and cultural practices to have a comfortable stay. Currently, we continuously strive to specify the ingredients on a buffet menu, to prepare meals at visitor's requests, to conform to local halal, to set up prayer rooms, etc.

For Muslim travelers

JNTO Singapore Office

Sightseeing facilities

RERA (Outlet mall in Chitose, A Prayer Room is available.)
Rusutsu resort(Conformity to Local Halal)