Be sure to carry some cash with you in preparation for a power failure.
All payments can be made with a credit card, a debit card, or electronic money to be settled through a smartphone. If you think so and come to Japan without cash, you may be in trouble at the time of disasters. I will tell you about a pitfall of “cashless tourism” and countermeasures therefor.
If a power failure occurs, you cannot even have a meal!?
In 2018, In Japan, power failures occurred for some days over wide areas in the Kansai Region and Hokkaido due to the typhoons and the earthquakes.
Fortunately, some stores reopened soon in the areas which were not so badly and directly damaged. Some restaurants reopened by using undamaged water and gas supply facilities and stocked foodstuffs. However, as power supply was stopped, the electronic payment system could not be used. People couldn’t help but make payment only in cash.
Therefore, a lot of tourists without cash were in trouble. Without cash and available credit cards, the people couldn’t have meals. Allegedly, a certain person had an awful time just to have a meal and buy water. He caught a taxi which accepted a credit card payment, headed to the area where power supply was available, and finally could make it.
You can make do with 2,000 yen a day.
Although cashless sightseeing is convenient, only “cash” would be useful in emergency. It is good to prepare cash as an insurance, to some extent.
You don’t need so large an amount of money. With 2,000 yen a day, you can manage to travel and have meals. Even in cases of family trips, 5,000 ~ 8,000 yen in cash would allow you to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Let’s consult with the front desk of your hotel.
However, there may be unfortunate cases where you do not have any cash, or have only a small amount. In such cases, it may be good to consult with the front desk of the hotel you stay.
First of all, some hotels have “round-trip taxi tickets” for sightseeing in the surrounding area, with which you can settle taxi fare at the time of checkout (credit-card payment including accommodation fee). As the “taxi ticket” is made of paper, it is not affected by power failure. Luckily if the communication networks and transportation systems have been restored, a taxi may be arranged by the front desk (In Japanese laws, as accommodation facilities are obliged to have in place inhouse power generation equipment for emergency, it is possible to make a quick call.)
Also for meals, if there are “meal tickets” and “gift certificates” which can be used at many restaurants and souvenir shops, you should buy them and make a payment at the time of checkout. Depending on sightseeing areas, tourist associations issue the meal tickets and the gift certificates which can be used at local restaurants. So, you may obtain them at the front desk of the hotel. With these tickets and certificates, you can have meals and buy foods at stores in operation even without cash.