Taxes

They exist everywhere. Currently, a 3% consumption tax is added to most items, including meals in restaurants and hotel rooms. Travelers from outside Japan are entitled to a refund of this tax on items taken out of the country; however, only the larger department stores and tourist shops seem equipped to deal with refunds of the taxes (and sometimes only if $100 or more is spent at the location). Ask the clerk if the refund is available. When leaving Japan, specifically Narita, a ¥2,000 charge (approx. $20) is assessed. This amount can be paid at the airport (there are vending machines to accomodate travelers (pay the tax before proceeding to customs).