Credit card circumstances in Japan
In Japan, shops and spots where Chinese UnionPay cards can be used are increasing, in addition to the five major brands of credit cards of VISA, Mastercard, JCB, Diners Club, and Amex. As for CUP cards, popularity has expanded mainly in urban areas since around 2010 against the background of the surge of Chinese tourists visiting Japan. In addition to airports and department stores, the number of places where you can use it is increasing recently, such as convenience stores and family restaurants.
Nonetheless, in Japan, the credit card settlement rate is very low compared with other countries, less than 20% of the total (as of 2016). Credit cards can be used without problems at convenience stores, major super chains, and department stores, but be aware that they cannot be used in many of the automated ticket machines of private shops and public transportation.
Regarding this point, there are a couple of points to note about credit card transactions in Japan. As an example of a common problem, there is a case that "After checking a sticker of a credit card company, eating lunch, and presenting a card at the time of payment, a store clerk said, ‘you cannot use a credit card during lunch time.’" The main reason is that the restaurant does not welcome the use of a credit card that requires a settlement fee because the profit margin is low at lunch time. Even if a sticker showing a credit card that can be handled is put up, it is not always "usable at all times," so it would be safe to present a credit card at the time of entering the restaurant and confirm "can I use it?" Attention is necessary especially in small-scale individual shops and regional cities.
At ATMs in Japan Post Bank and Seven Bank, you can even use your credit card issued abroad to withdraw Japanese yen, so it is a strong ally of foreign travelers. ATM screens and receipts correspond to English, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, etc. Especially ATMs of Seven Bank are installed in familiar places such as convenience stores "Seven - Eleven" nationwide, airports, stations, and commercial facilities and can be used 24 hours a day, 365 days in principle.
By the way, speaking of the international brand of credit card from Japan, it is a JCB card. There are many stores where you can use it in Japan, so it is good to remember.