Comments on: Play money: Forgotten fate of foreign currency How to make, save and spend money in Japan. Wed, 18 Feb 2015 03:29:48 +0000 hourly 1 By: Miko Mon, 04 Jun 2012 13:05:35 +0000 Very interesting topic!

As a cash-is-king society, Japan is remarkably safe. I’ve had the experience of travelling across town on foot with several thousand dollar (equivalents) in my handbag to pay school fees. I didn’t feel very nervous about doing so, because I knew that my chances of being mugged were approximately zero to nil.

I’ve lost my wallet on two occasions in Japan, and both times it was returned to me safe and sound, with contents intact (probably because there was barely any money inside anyway, mind you).

Bag snatchings are reportedly a big problem in the Kansai region, where I live, and I know several people – all middle-aged housewives – who were victims. One of them even suffered an injury when she was (inadvertantly) dragged off her bicycle. However, they were all people living in swanky neighbourhoods. Nobody ever targets the humble public housing estate where I live! Why would they? We’ve nothing to lose anyway. I feel very safe here.

I rarely use my credit card. I’m convinced that one of the reasons that Japanese people are such prolific savers is simply because they deal so much in cash, which forces them to keep a sharp eye on all financial transactions, and to feel the “ouch” when they actually spend money.

I’ve learned a lot from observing the way that Japanese people deal with money on a day-to-day basis, especially housewives. This is one aspect of the Japanese lifestyle that I’ll be very sorry to see change.