Japan is definitely not a cashless society. In a country where ATMs close on public holidays, banks issue cards that cannot be used internationally, nor international cards be used on most domestic ATMS, cash is not just the safest option, it is the only option.
A couple of Sundays ago, my fiance and I were in Ginza looking for an engagement ring , when I realised I had left my purse in a Du Tour cafe in Ginza (yes that one on the corner of the main crossroad). Worst part was I had about ¥115,000 (AUD$1500) in it.
Funny thing was, we had been looking at rings all morning, decided to take a quick coffee break while we thought about it, and then were literally in Tiffany's, in the upstairs room, giving the chosen ring one last try when it dawned on me. Quicker than you could say "Marry me!" I was out the door and bolting up the street back towards the cafe. My fiance later said the poor shop assistant had no idea what I was doing (my Japanese always cracks under pressure) and thought I didn't like the ring and wasn't sure that my fiance should purchase it.
Yet that horror quickly faded and I actually stopped running because I knew I would get the purse back intact, with every single yen accounted for.
I was not disappointed. We had probably left the cafe 15 minutes before, but someone had already handed it to the koban (police box) next door. See below.
Sitting inside was my purse, contents on the table with the cops itemizing every single thing in there - including my receipts! I did have to fill out 6 forms to get my purse back, but I was so relieved.
5 minutes later Ben met me at the crossing and with ring in hand, re-proposed to me on the corner. Hehe.
Labels: Ginza, That's Japan Baby, The Boy, Tokyo, Wedding Wowsers