Things really have progressed since the days of travellers cheques. Money is so much more accessible and overseas charges have decreased significantly. However the majority of banks in Japan will not accept your overseas bank card. Fear not though my travelling amigos, you will be able to withdraw cash at most 7-Eleven convenience stores. There are plenty of stores to be found across Japan’s cities.
Another thing to note is that it isn’t the norm to tip in Japan. Even if you try, your tip may be politely refused. You may cause confusion and there’s a chance your tip may be misconstrued as an insult. The safest thing to do is to assume that all prices in Japan include a service charge and simply bow (with a slight not of the head) and say thank you.