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6 Frequently Asked Questions about Japanese Yen



First day in Japan

General (Exchange Rate)


How much Yen should I bring?


How much Yen can I bring to Japan?

Tips in Japan

Bills in Japan

Coins in Japan

Tax in Japan

Receipt in Japan

Airport Tax

Money Sense



For Money Savers

Eating
Traveling
Lodging

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First Day in Japan

Wherever you arrive in Japan, you are required to prepare Japanese money at least 5000 Yen. You would be comfortable in your mind if you have more than 10,000 - 20,000 Yen. JR train and Taxi were unable to accept any credit cards in the  past.
Acceptance of credit cards becomes much better now.

If you don't have any Japanese money you may feel you almost can't get out the arrived airport.

The airport has banks (at least one) to exchange the foreign currencies to Japanese Yen. But it may be tough for an Airport Stranger to find out such facility at unfamiliar airport taking your heavy luggage.

It is much easier for you to prepare Japanese Yen in your country at your local bank or departing airport using your language!!!!!

 
If you forget to get Japanese Yen, following facility is available at airport.
Narita International Airport
Haneda Airport (International Terminal)
Kansai International Airport
Chubu (Nagoya) International Airport
Fukuoka Airport (Fukuoka, Fukuoka)
New Chitose Airport (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
 Kagoshima Airport

General

Yen is used in Japan.
The actual exchange rate from each currency to Yen is worse than this chart because of handling charges.

Foreign Currency Unit

Yen Value

1 US Dollar US$ 105.40 Yen
1 Canada Dollar Can$ 80.96 Yen
1 Euro Eur 126.41 Yen
1 UK Stg 130.06 Yen
1 Swiss Sfr 109.35 Yen
1 Denmark Dkr 15.23 Yen
1 Norway Nkr 11.72 Yen
1 Sweden SKr 11.28 Yen
1 Australia A$ 77.69 Yen
1 New Zealand NZ$ 70.02 Yen
1 Singapore S$ 75.14 Yen
1 Hong Kong HK$ 11.47 Yen
1 Thai THB 2.81 Yen
1 Korea KRW 8.14 Yen

T.T.B. base  ( reference rate when you buy Japanese Yen. )

Actual buying rates vary at dealers and are worse than this rate.

As of September  8th, 2017

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What is the exchange rate and how much it affects my travel?

When traveling abroad, the most concerning matter may be the exchange rate.

Cash Buy rate and Cash Sell rate are used to exchange your money to Japanese Yen.

Cash Buy is used to convert your money into Japanese yen.

Cash Sell is the rate which is used to exchange Japanese Yen to the money of your country.

For example, one day's exchange rate (US dollar at Trvelex) is

CASH Buy 106.10 Yen / dollar

a picture of the exchange rate at Travelex shop. The marked number is applicable for buying Japanese Yen.


CASH Sell 118.28 Yen / dollar

a picture of the exchange rate at Travelex shop. The marked number is applicable for selling Japanese Yen.

When you want to change $500, your US $ 500 becomes 53050 yen.

If you do not use this money at all and change them to US Dollar there, money you will get will be $ 448.51 using the rate of above picture.


a picture, the loss of the exchange rate. The loss becomes 4 % in this case. If you want to be a smart traveler, it is better to use cash as less as possible

Your loss becomes 10 % without buying anything in US dollar case!


As one of the tactics, it is best to replace it with Japanese yen as you will use, to spend all of them during the trip, and not to leave the Japanese yen at the time of returning home. Even bank can't change the change, so you should use up small change or make them as a souvenir.

Here are some information of FAQ about Yen on this site.

Any difference in currencies?

Your one of concerns is the strength of the currency. it really depends on the relationship between Japan and your country. Please see the differences between currencies chart.
This is the example of US dollar, Canadian Dollars, EURO and GB Pound.
Yellow bar is original currency (500 unit) and green bar is the balanced unit after exchanging.

This is the chart shows the differences between US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, EURO and GB Pound.

This chart is based on the exchange rate of Travelex one day.
It is just a reference data which gives you an idea about your currency to Japanese Yen.

Exchange rates vary at dealers. It is important to choose a good dealer.

In the case of Great Britain Pound: I found the Web site of UK Post Office. They give a good deal to the customers. I learned that UK people have voted UK Post Office as the "best Best Foreign Exchange / Travel Money Retailer" at the British Travel Awards.
If you live in UK, it would be a good idea to use UK Post office.

Read more at http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travel-money/japanese-yen#TOIIG71VHASTQCMp.99



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How to exchange your currency to Japanese Yen in Japan?

Airport


You can get Yen at any international airports in Japan.

There are offices of Banks.

You can exchange back your Yen to your currency at airports banks..

Currency shops

There are various currency exchange shops.

Daikokuya and other shops welcome you.
Daikokuya office hour:  10:00 - 19:00

Please check the office hour in advance.


Travelex is famous  exchange store in the world.
There are  around 50 offices of Travelex in Japan.

picture of Travelex where you can get Japanese Yen also sell it.

Banks

Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ  (MUFG) is No. 1 bank about dealing foreign money.

It might be good place to exchange your money there.
But their business hour is limited.
  9 am - 3 pm

Other Japanese banks are also doing the foreign exchange service.



How to sell Japanese Yen before you leave Japan?

After the best trip in Japan, you may think "Where can I change the remaining Yen?"
You can sell it at the international airport. For example, banks, foreign currency shops and post offices

You can keep your Yen while you are in Japan all the end of your trip.
Only thing is to keep time for exchanging it at the departing airport.

Bills can be changed but coins.



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How much yen should I bring to Japan?

How much yen do I need a day?

These are the real questions everyone wants to know before any action.
It is really tough to find the right budget in general. Are you on business or pleasure? Trip on business may needs much money.
Here are several information of food/item/service and it will help you to understand how much yen you need in Japan.

Money Sense

Here is a price table of various items. (excluding Consumption TAX))
You can get some idea about the prices in Japan.
These prices is just reference and there is no limit of price on the most expensive item.

Various Price Description Yen
Transportation  

Train Fare

Tokyo - Kyoto
One way by Shinkansen*
13,910

Train Fare

Narita Express
Narita - Tokyo One way*
3,020

Train Fare

Keisei Skyliner
Narita - Nippori - Tokyo One way*
2,630
Train Fare Chubu Airport
Airport - Nagoya station*
1,230
JR Train
Fare
Minimum (Ticket) 140
JR Train
Fare
Minimum
(IC ard, Suica,Pasmo )
133
Subway
Fare
Tokyo Metro
Minimum
*
170
Bus Fare Airport Limousine Tokyo one way 3,100
Taxi  Minimum (Tokyo)  410
Taxi Minimum* 730
Taxi From Narita Airport to Tokyo
including highway
Advanced reservation required
19,000 - 26,000
 Foods

Food

Hamburger McDonald*

100

Food Filet-O-Fish McDonald* 310

Food

Lunch

600-1,200

Food Lunch Sushi 1,000-2,000
Food Yoshinoya Beef Bawl 380
Food Ramen 600-1000
Food Denny's daily special lunch 780
Food Price of Bento(lunch box) 500-1000
Food Dinner?? 1000 - 10,000
Food Dinner Sushi 3000 - 10.000
Drink 
Cola Vending machine 100 - 150
Cola At convenience store 130 - 140
Mineral Water At convenience store 100 - 140
Coffee McDonalds 100
Coffee Convenience Store(7-Eleven) 100 - 120
Coffee  Starbucks (short) 280
Beer Canned Beer 350ml 250 - 300
 Cigarette
Tobacco 1 package 20 units (Sevenstar) 460 - 500
 Accommodation

Hotel

Imperial Hotel Single Bed / Single person Single Bed / Single person 24,000
Hotel Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Single room
10,000
Hotel APA Hotel  5,000-10,000 
Hotel  Nine Hours Shinjuku(Capsule hotel) 4,900 -  

What can I buy with 100 Yen?



McDonald hamburger (Quarter pounder) is 100 Yen.
Also coffee at McDonald is 100 Yen almost same as Premium Roast Coffee small..
You can imagine other items with this reference.
So 100 Yen is very similar to 1 US Dollar.


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Withdraw Japanese Yen at convenience store?

 picture of seven eleven bank

You can withdraw your money in Japanese Yen at Seven Eleven convenience stores.

Seven Eleven and Seven Bank

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:00 - 24:00

- Location 17,500 stores.

Handling fee  (110 Japanese Yen including tax)is charged for UnionPay card.

Seven bank is one of the banks which have started the bank business from retailer business.They have over 20,000 ATMs  at 17,500  Seven Eleven stores.

You can withdraw Japanese Yen using these ATMs. 

Variety of Credit cards (including bank card) : 

VISA, Plus, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, AMERICA EXPRESS, JCB, UnionPay, Discover, Dinners Club

Service hour is almost 24 hours.

It would be really helpful and reliable in some case.

You can withdraw maximum 100,000 Yen at the store.  Some cards can pay 200,000 Japanese Yen.

The service charge might be applied by your credit card company.

The key is whether your credit card is ready for the international use. Do you remember 4 digit secret numbers(PIN, Personal Identification Number)?

If you don't have the PIN number on your credit card, it is good to set the number before your trip.

Check your credit company first of all whether your card is ready for an usage in foreign countries..


Seven Eleven is also a good place for Free Wifi spot.

Why don't you enjoy sipping a cup of coffee with 100 Yen at Seven Eleven shop using free Wifi.

For more detail information for free Wifi at Seven Eleven


Withdraw Japanese Yen at a post office?

You can withdraw your money in Japanese Yen at Post offices and Family Marts (convenience stores).

Post office

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:05 - 23:55
(Sunday: 0:05 - 21:00)

- Location 24,000 stores & 27,300 ATMs. 

a picture of ATM at Post office.  You can withdraw your money in Yen at ATM of Japan Post office.  

Family Mart

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:05 - 23:55

- Location 500 stores & 27,300 ATMs.

Handling fee  (110 Japanese Yen including tax)is charged for UnionPay card.

 a picture of ATM at Family mart. You can withdraw Japanese Yen at Family Mart. It is very convenient when you buy drink, snack and something at store. The machine is operated by Japan Post Office.

Withdraw Japanese Yen at supermarket?

a picture of ATM at Ministop. You can withdraw Japanese Yen at AEON supermarket . It is very convenient when you buy drink, snack and something at a store. The machine is operated by AEON bank.

You can withdraw your money in Japanese Yen at AEON supermarket and Ministop (convenience stores).

Mini-stop

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:00 - 24:00
(Sunday: 0:05 - 21:00)

- Location 2,300 stores & 3,000 ATMs.

AEON supermarket

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:00 - 24:00

- Location 625 stores & 700 ATMs.

Handling fee  (75 Japanese Yen including tax)is charged for UnionPay card.


How much Yen can I bring to Japan?


If you want to bring one million Japanese Yen or more than it to Japan with you, you need to declare at custom office.
This regulation is applied to the total amount of cash (total amount of any currencies), traveler's check, gold and etc.

Less than this amount you don't need any process.

If you have an idea to buy an expensive stuff in Japan, it is better to think to use your credit card.
It is better to check the credit limit and raise the maximum limit before departure.


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Tipping in Japan

You don't need any tipping for any services.


No tipping for a doorman.
No tipping for a bell captain.
No tipping for a porter.
No tipping for a waiter and a waitress in a restaurant.
No tipping for a taxi.
No tipping for anybody

You are free of warring Tipping in Japan.

Some of the finest restaurant/hotel require service fee
but in this case the service fee is already included in your bill.

Hotel bell person never accept your offer of tipping.

In special occasion, you may give some money for the best hospitality for taxi driver or Ryokan maid.

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Bills and Coins in Japan


Money unit in Japan is "Yen" and there is no substantial unit fro daily life.

Bills

1000 Yen
picture of 1000Yen Bill1,000 Yen

5,000 Yen
picture of 50000Yen Bill5,000 Yen
Right side and left side on top of bill, you can see "5000"

10,000 Yen
picture of 10000Yen Bill10,000 Yen
Right side and left side on top of bill, you can see "10000"




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Coins

picture of coins in Japan There are 6 types of coins in Japan.

500 Yen The Largest coin in silver color
100 Yen: Silver color
50 Yen: Silver color with a hole
10 Yen: Copper color
5 Yen:  Yellow color with a hole
The coin with a hole is really rare in the world. It is good souvenir for you.
The coin doesn't have any numerical number on it.

1 Yen Aluminum color.

All vending machines accept coins except 1yen and 5 yen.


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Tax

Consumption Tax (Sale Tax) is 8 %.
Many expressions of price are allowed.
A price shows real price without tax and sales tax with small text besides.
So you need to pay 8 % more than the price tag.

Some shops include this tax in their list price.
It is be really complicated for visitors.




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Airport Tax

It is called as PSFC (Passenger Service Facilities Charge).


For International  Airport Passenger
You don't need to worry about the
Airport tax now. It is included in your ticket price.

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Receipt

Some of receipts are printed in Japanese.
So you had better to write the memo on it as soon as you receive it.

A picture of Receipt sample in Japanese: The paid amount is written on Japanese. You need to convert Heisei to Anno Domini year. You can't read the Kanji on this receipt later.

This is an example of Japanese type receipt.

As soon as you receive it, you had better to write the item of this receipt.
Otherwise you will have big problem to find out which receipt is
personal and business.
You can read the numeric numbers so it can help but time consuming.
Some nicer Japanese restaurants will give you old fashion receipt.
In this case, all information will be written in Japanese "Kanji"
even numeric number and date.
You had better to write down the total amount on it.
Or keep your Credit Card receipt.

Another Tips is "date".
Above receipt shows the date as 9/5/23.
You can't find it is issued on May 23 in XXXX.
We use Anno Domini year and Japanese one both in Japan.
If you find the strange date on your receipt, you need to correct the date to your style and write it down.


Conversion Chart

Heisei Era (Japanese way)

Anno Domini year

26

2014

27

2015

28
2016
Heisei 29
(This year)
2017 

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For money savers

Following are the tips for lower budget travelers.

Eating

Convenience stores are the best place to buy breakfast and lunch to save money.
There are many stores within 5 minutes walk when you are in big cities.
If you can't find it, ask young people "Where is Convenience?".
"Convini" in Japanese is the shorten word and much popular than "Convenience Store".

Muffin, Sandwich, Pastry, Onigiri, Juice, Milk, Coffee, Tea, Snack, Fruits, Cup noodle, etc.
They supply hot water for your cup noodle.
Also a microwave oven is available to use for customers.

picture of Seven-Eleven

Seven Eleven

picture of Lawson

Lawson

picture of MiniStop

Mini Stop

picture of CircleK

Circle K

picture of Sunkus SUNKUS

picture of ThreeF

Three F

picture of FamilyMart

Family mart

Traveling

For long distance travel, Shinkansen is fast and convenient but expensive.

1. Use local train, not express

2. Use red-eye bus for long distance travel

3. Use JR Pass

4. Shinkansen / Super Express



For short distance,

1. Walking

0 Yen

picture of Shoes

2. Use subway efficiently

160 - 200 Yen

3. Use bus

170 - 230 Yen

4. Use local train

140 - ??? Yen


JR Seishun Jyuhachi Kippu (Seishun 18 Kippu)

This tickets are valid for JR local trains only and only one day.
5 tickets costs you 11850Yen.
5 people can use one day or one can use 5 days.
You can use all local trains from a.m. 00 o'clock to midnight.
There are overnight trains operating by JR and they are very useful for you to use.
Consult with the JR timetable, you can go to Kyushu from Tokyo with 2370 Yen.
The selling period is limited;

Selling date Valid date
2017 02/20 - 03/31 2017 03/01 -04/10
2017 07/01 - 08/31 2017 07/20 - 09/10
2017 12/01 - 12/31 2017 12/10 - 2018 01/10

It is another option to purchase JR Rail Pass.



Lodging

1. Youth hostels

http://www.jyh.or.jp/

From around 3000 Yen (no meal)
From around 4500 Yen (Dinner & Breakfast)

2. Inexpensive Japanese inn

There is no bed. You can experience the Japanese Futon mattress.
The employees may not speak English but will welcome you with warm heartfelt hospitality.
You can enjoy the different world from hotel life.
Here are some inns;

Hotel Judo
http://www.juyoh.co.jp/

From 3200 Yen

Sawanoya Ryokan
http://www.tctv.ne.jp/members/sawanoya/

From 4700 Yen


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