The Jon

Buying Stuff in Japan With Cash

Wow, look at all that money I have! It’s a little more than $2000 USD, and I was using it to buy my new laptop and take Yukari out for dinner! But anyways, you may have heard how Japan is a cash based society… and that is true. Well, click Read More to hear more about it and my new computer. Or if you just want to see some pictures, check out buying a computer in Akihabara and going out with Yukari’s friend!Even though there are credit cards and checking accounts in Japan, for the most part Japan is still a cashed based society. What this means is that most people carry around $400 USD or more with them at any given time. You may be thinking that mugging may be a big problem in Japan, but for the most part the crime rate is low. I hear more incidents of theives trying to steal ATM machines (and they are successful a few times…) than mugging people on the street. This may be for a few reasons:

– Guns are illegal in Japan – ATMs have hundreds of thousands of dollars in them – Japan is regarded as having one of the lowest crime rates in the world

Guns Are Illegal in JapanYes, that is right. If you are in possession of a gun without the permit (which is not normally given) you will be arrested. Of course guns still exist, but are VERY rare. I can’t recall hearing anything in the news in the past 3 years about a gun related incident.

ATMs Have Lots of MoneyAs a cashed based society, people need to be able to withdraw large amounts of money from an ATM at any given moment. When I bought my laptop, I took out over $2,000 USD at once to pay for it. I think my daily limit is around $5,000 or $10,000 from the ATM. So the ATM must have that much money inside, and be able to continue operating after $10,000 is taken out. Since they have so much money in it, the criminals aim to steal this. They usually are dumb and get caught easily though. To help prevent this crime, most banks close the ATMs at night time and before holidays. This is changing slightly now, but you still need to make sure you have enough cash on you before the weekend starts. Otherwise you end up paying extra fees at the ATMs that are open.

Japan Has a Low Crime RateWe’ve all heard this for sure. So, I will just say this: While it does have a low crime rate, I wouldn’t reccommend for women to walk around at night in alleys or places with low lighting. Walking around in Tokyo’s busy areas are safer I think. But it is MUCH MUCH safer than walking around any major city in America at night. For some detailed stats, take a look at Google Answers.

Well, enough about that. Time to talk about new computer! It’s a Panasonic Let’s Note CF-Y5. Here’s a nice link with some pictures: Let’s Note CF-Y5. Here are the specs: Intel Core Duo 1.5GHz (yes, a dual core laptop!), 1GB of RAM, 60GB HD, DVD-+R(W)/RAM Drive, 14.1 inch Wide Screen SXGA+ Monitor (1400x1050 resolution), built in LAN and WAN, weighs around 1.49kg and the battery can last around 9 hours. 5 to 6 hours with the WAN on and listening to music.

And now, how I got it.Thanks to kakaku.com, I was able to find the cheapest store in Akihabara and bought the computer with a 1GB memory update. Later, I went to a computer store in Akihabara to buy a carrying case and saw my new computer. The price was $600 more for the computer. And the RAM was $100 more than I paid. So, I was quite pleased with the deal!

The computer is now running Gentoo Linux on it, with a Dual Boot for windows. Don’t really use Windows much though, but have it around “just in case.” Well.. this is getting long, so I will end it here. Hope you enjoyed hearing about Japan and my computer :P

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