Every few meters along a shopping street near towering Tokyo Skytree, signs with the words "PayPay used here" can be seen promoting the availability of an electronic payment option, an option that remains a relatively uncommon offering in cash-obsessed Japan.

Despite its reputation as one of the homes of forward-thinking technology, the country remains reluctant to move in a cashless direction — tradition, demographics and a wariness of change all add up to people reaching for notes and coins in the check-out line.

But in a bid to accommodate foreign visitors from countries that have moved away from cash in favor of credit cards or payment apps, Sumida Ward, home to Tokyo's tallest tower and one of the city's most popular tourism destinations, has begun working with PayPay Corp.