Shops All Closed Down
Ever try to go shopping in Japan on January 1st? Even though there are shops like Costco and other large supermarkets that are open, finding most other shops open on the first day of the new year is difficult. Most shops in Japan close on January 1st and many don’t even open back up until after the 5th.
Years ago, ATMs used to closed from before January 1st and wouldn’t be available for use until around the 4th or 5th. If you needed money, you had to get it out of the bank before then, otherwise you’d be without money for almost a whole week. Nowadays, ATMs are open 24 hours at convenient stores, and some are open at other locations. But banks are generally still closed during the New Year holiday period.
Another place that closes down on the 1st is gas stations. If you wish to get gas on January 1st, good luck. You can find some on major highways, but ones in local townships are generally closed for at least on day.
Anyone traveling to Japan during the New Year holiday period should remember this and make sure to have enough cash available because stores, even large ones, sometimes don’t take credit cards. If you don’t have cash, you’re stuck, especially at restaurants!