In Australia I have got used to paying with credit and debit cards, and not having much cash, but it can be different in many countries.
It not just the developing world, or when you are buying street food, where you need to have cash.
Japan is just one of many first world country that still prefers cash.
Think Before You order
When you order currency, or buy at a currency exchange, make sure you get plenty of small value notes.
There are not many small shops that will want to take this 200 Euro bank note for a 2 Euro bottle of water. (There are still 500 Euro notes around, but they are currently being withdrawn)
Value Not The Number
Not all notes with a high number on them are that valuable.
This 500,000 rial note would probably buy you a burger and chips with a drink in Iran.
Even a Vietnamese 500,000 dong note is only worth around AU$35 (US$25)
A good size of note is one around the value that would buy a Big Mac in that country.
You can check the amount@ the Big Mac Index