Most Useful and Most Practical Travel Tips in Japan

Money in Japan while travelling

First Day in Japan: You’ve just arrive in Japan then….!

First Day in Japan
Wherever you arrive in Japan, you are required to prepare Japanese money at least 5000 Yen(suggestion). You would be comfortable in your mind if you have more than10,000 – 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 of the arrived airport. The airport has banks (at least one) to exchange foreign currencies for the Japanese Yen. But it may be tough for an Airport Stranger to find out such a facility at an unfamiliar airport taking your heavy luggage. It is much easier for you to prepare a Japanese Yen in your country at your local bank or departing airport using your language!!!!!
If you forget to get Japanese Yen, the following facility is available at each 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
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There is information about other international airports in Japan.

General

 

Yen is used in Japan.

It is still true that Japan is a cash society, generally speaking. You may have a hard time using a credit card and a debit card for paying a small amount of money. ie,. local train fare, first food and admission fee. Therefore you need to exchange your money for Yen. 

Here is the data of Cash Society. Almost 50% of the transaction is cash.

 

Exchange rate today (2022/05/24)

CountryUnitValueYen
US Dollar1US$124.87Yen
Canada Dollar1Can$91.31Yen
Euro1Eur132.48Yen
UK1Stg148.63Yen
Swiss1Sfr127.40Yen
Denmark1Dkr16.04Yen
Norway1Nkr10.98Yen
Sweden1SKr10.61Yen
Australia1A$80.78Yen
New Zealand1NZ$73.62Yen
Singapore1S$87.14Yen
Hong Kong1HK$13.86Yen
Thai1THB3.26Yen
Korea100 KRW8.62Yen

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

Cash buying base  ( reference rate when you buy Japanese Yen. )

Actual buying rates vary at dealers.

As of May  24th, 2022

How much is 10000 yen worth? value?

10000 yen is worth as follows. (It is based on the yen buying rate.)

It gives some answer about Japanese Yen.

  • Is Japanaese Yem 10,000 a lot of money?
  • How much is 10,000 Yen in US Dollars?
  • What can I buy with 10,000 Yen?
Country UnitValueUnit
US Dollar80.08US$
Canada Dollar109.52Can$
Euro75.48Eur
UK67.28Stg
Swiss78.49Sfr
Denmark623.44Dkr
Norway910.75Nkr
Sweden942.51SKr
Australia123.79A$
New Zealand135.83NZ$
Singapore114.76S$
Hong Kong721.50HK$
Thai3067.48THB
 Korea116009.28KRW

Please see the Money sense section for more information about the cost/price in Japan .

What is the exchange rate and how much it affects your trip?

When travelling 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 that is used to exchange the Japanese Yen for the money of your country.

For example, one day’s exchange rate (US dollar at Travelex) is

CASH Buy 106.10 Yen / dollar
So $100 becomes 10,610 Yen.

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 Dollars there, the money you will get will be $ 448.51 using the rate of the above picture.

Exchange Loss

It is a good idea to check the exchange loss.

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 banks can’t change the change, so you should use up small changes or make them as a souvenir.

Here is some information on 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 the currencies chart.
This is the example of the US dollar, Canadian Dollars, EURO and GB Pound.
The yellow bar is the original currency (500 units) you had and the green bar is the balanced unit after exchanging.

This is the chart shows the differences between US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, EURO and GB Pound. US Dallor: 10% loss. Canadian Dallor: 27%. Euro Dallor: 11%loss. UK Pound: 20% loss.

This chart is based on the exchange rate of Travelex one day.
It is just reference data that gives you an idea about your currency loss to the 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 the UK, it would be a good idea to use the UK Post office.

Read more at UK Post office

How to exchange your currency to Japanese Yen in Japan?

Airport

You can get Yen at any international airport in Japan.

There are offices of Banks.

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

Currency Shops

There are various currency exchange shops.

Daikokuya

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

Please check the office hour in advance.
This is Ginza shop.
They are also handling mail stamps, concert tickets, travel tickets, branded bags, watches, jewellery.
Typical re-sale shop.

Here is a sample exchange rate by Daikokuya.

Foreign CountryCurrency
U.SDollar
EUROEuro
BritishPound
AustralianDollar
Hong KongDollar
CanadianDollar
SingaporeanDollar
ThaiBaht
South KoreanWon
New TaiwanDollar
ChineseYuan
PhilippinePeso

Travelex

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

T

Ninja Money Exchange

03-5201-3970 or 080-4523-9037 Call ahead for your transaction amount and currency to make an appointment to visit the shop.

Adores Exchange Akihabara

Address: Akihabara ex 1F, 1-13-1, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0021
Nearest Station Akihabara Station Electric Town Exit (North Side)
03-6206-8174


Hello! Exchange Akasaka Mitsuke

Address: Echigoya Bldg 1F 3-15-1 Akasaka Minato-ku Tokyo JAPAN

Banks

Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank

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

Actually, Mitsubishi Bank has two channels.

You can exchange your money for Yen at any of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Bank.


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

They handle 16 currencies.

Their subsidies, Tokyo Mistubishi Credit Service by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, have a specialized shop, WORLD CURRENCY $HOP.

They can exchange 21 currencies.

http://www.tokyo-card.co.jp/exchange/

Now they started to exchange Philippine Peso and Vietnamese Dong from 2017/04/11.

The list of the currencies at WORLD CURRENCY $HOP by Tokyo Mistubishi Credit Service

Foreign CountryCurrency
U.SDollar
EUROEuro
BritishPound
SwissFranc
AustralianDollar
Hong KongDollar
CanadianDollar
SingaporeanDollar
New ZealandDollar
SwedishKrona
NorwegianKrone
DanishKrone
ThaiBaht
South KoreanWon
New TaiwanDollar
ChineseYuan
IndonesianRupiah
PacificFranc
MalaysianRinggit
VietnameseDong
PhilippinePeso

No traveller’s checks are accepted now.

Mizuho Bank

Foreign Money Exchange

Mizuho handles 18 Currencies.

Foreign CountryCurrency
U.SDollar
EUROEuro
BritishPound
SwissFranc
AustralianDollar
Hong KongDollar
CanadianDollar
SingaporeanDollar
New ZealandDollar
SwedishKrona
NorwegianKrone
DanishKrone
ThaiBaht
South KoreanWon
New TaiwanDollar
ChineseYuan
IndonesianRupiah
MalaysianRinggit

The branches, Ootemori(Ootemachi), Ginza, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Shinjyuku west have special better exchange rate than other branches.
Ootemori(Ootemachi): Monday – Friday  11 – 19 o’clock
Ginza:                 Monday-Saturday 11 – 19 o’clock  Sunday 10 – 18 o’clock Tokyo Plaza Ginza b2F
Ikebukuro:          Monday-Saturday 11 – 19 o’clock  Sunday 10 – 18 o’clock
Shibuya:            Monday-Saturday 11 – 19 o’clock  Sunday 10 – 18 o’clock
Shinjuku:         Monday-Saturday 11 – 19 o’clock  Sunday 10 – 18 o’clock
Shinjuku west:  Monday-Saturday 11 – 19 o’clock  Sunday 10 – 18 o’clock


Example of the special better rate at above currencies shops than other Mizuho Bank Branches.

Foreign CurrencyYen SellBuy 
U.SDollar 30cent30 cent 
EUROEuro 2 yen 2 yen
New ZealandDollar 1.50yen1.50yen 



International ATMs are also available at Mizuho Bank branches.

★No Travelers check at any foreign exchange shops unless it is issued by itself.

Other Japanese banks are also doing the foreign exchange service.

 

But the service is limited only at the Headquarters of the Bank and Major branches.


How to sell Japanese Yen before you leave Japan?

After the best and most pleasant trip in Japan, you may think “Where can I change the remaining Yen?”
You can sell it at the international airport. And more, 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.

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? A trip on business may need a lot of money.
Here is information about 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 PriceDescriptionYen
Transportation  
 Train Fare Tokyo – Kyoto
One way by Shinkansen*
Non-reserved seat
 13,320
Train FareTokyo – Kyoto
One way by Shinkansen*
Reserved seat
14,170

+200 for peek season

-200 for the offseason
 Train Fare Tokyo – Kyoto
One way by Shinkansen*
Green car (First class)
 19,040
Train FareNarita Express
Narita – Tokyo One way*
3,070
Train FareKeisei Skyliner
Narita – Nippori – Tokyo One way*
2,630
Train FareChubu Airport
Airport – Nagoya station*
1,430
JR Train
Fare
Minimum (Ticket)140
JR Train
Fare
Minimum
(IC card, Suica, Pasmo )
136
Subway
Fare
Tokyo Metro
Minimum
*
170
Subway
Fare
Tokyo Metro
Minimum
* (IC card, Suica, Pasmo )
168
Subway
Fare
Toei Subway180
Subway
Fare
Toei Subway (IC card, Suica, Pasmo )178
Bus FareAirport Limousine Tokyo one way3,200
Taxi Minimum (Tokyo) 420
TaxiMinimum*730
TaxiFrom Narita Airport to Tokyo
including highway
Advanced reservation required
19,000 – 26,000
 Foods
FoodHamburger McDonald*110
FoodFilet-O-Fish McDonald*340
FoodLunch600-1,200
FoodLunch Sushi1,000-2,000
FoodYoshinoya Beef Bowl352 + 8% or 10%tax
FoodRamen600-1000
FoodDenny’s daily special lunch693+8% or 10%tax
FoodPrice of Bento(lunch box)500-1000
FoodDinner??1000 – 10,000
FoodDinner Sushi3000 – 10.000
Drink 
ColaVending machine100 – 150
ColaAt convenience store130 – 140
Mineral WaterAt convenience store100 – 140
CoffeeMcDonald’s100
CoffeeStarbucks (short)280
Milk500ml (about a pint) 150
Milk200ml  (about half pint) at McDonald’s190
CoffeeConvenience Store(7-Eleven)100 – 120
Coffee Starbucks (short)290
+8% or 10%tax
BeerCanned Beer 350ml250 – 300
 Cigarette
Tobacco1 package 20 units (Sevenstar)600
Tobacco1 package 20 units (Marlboro)600
Tobacco1 package 20 units (Kent)520
 Accommodation
HotelImperial Hotel Single Bed / Single person Single Bed / Single person24,000
HotelShinagawa Prince Hotel
Single room
10,000
HotelAPA Hotel 5,000-10,000 
Hotel Nine Hours Shinjuku(Capsule hotel)4,900 –  

What can I buy with 100yen?

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




Famous 100 yen shops are available many places.

 Daisologo of daiso company 100 yen shop
Can Dologo of cando company 100 yen shop
 Wattslogo of daiso company 100 yen shop
 Serialogo of seria company 100 yen shop

Bills and Coins in Japan

Bills

1000yen note

5000 yen note

10000 yen note

Coins

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 a 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.

Consumption Tax

Consumption Tax (Sale Tax) is 10 %.
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 10 % more than the price tag.

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

Japan rased consumption tax to 10% on October 1st, 2019.

Airport Tax

It is called 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.

Receipt

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

This is an example of a Japanese type receipt.

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

Another Tip is “date”.
The above receipt shows the date as of 5/25/29.
You can’t find it is issued on May 25 in 2017.
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.

“令和” is pronounced Reiwa.

 

Happy Reiwa! A new era has started on May 1st, 2019. Reiwa era follows after Heisei era. The meaning of “Reiwa” is beautiful harmony. The era name is called the imperial era name. The emperor’s reign makes a new era name. Various computer systems are still using Japanese calendars. You may see these characters on a receipt.

Reiwa and Anno Domini conversion table

Conversion Chart
Reiwa Era (Japanese way)Anno Domini year
  Reiwa 4
(This year)
2022 
 Reiwa 32021 
Reiwa 22020
Reiwa 12019
Heisei 312019
302018
292017

Virtual Currencies (Bitcoin etc. All Cryptocurrencies)

Virtual currencies such as bitcoin are being used more and more in various countries. Certainly, it is convenient if you use bitcoin etc. overseas without exchanging foreign currency. Also, it is good not to calculate every time. I will explain the situation of bitcoin in Japan.

It is said that the Japanese have 40% of all bitcoins. This proportion is getting higher and higher. Japan is the number one owning bitcoin in the world.

Unfortunately, in Japan, this bitcoin is not used so much.

Currently, in Japan, bitcoin is subject to investment, and at present, it is not used for payment so much.

The places where bitcoin in Japan can be used for payment are still very limited.

With some electronics appliances and some chain restaurants, you can use bitcoin for payment.

Bic Camera

Yamada Denki

Yamada Denki (Electric), starts Bitcoin payment

Heichinro

A Chinese restaurant with about 10 restaurants nationwide.

Heichinro_logo
Heichinro_logo

SAMURAI Wifi rental shop

In pretty special fields, it can also be used for Wi-Fi rental “SAMURAI“, which provides a rental service for mobile Wi-Fi routers for foreigners.

Ninja_exchange_logo
Ninja_exchange_logo

Certainly, using virtual currency, such as bitcoin, in overseas countries has many merits.

But even if you are a bitcoin fan and you rely on bitcoin, it will be a big problematic issue if you come to Japan with bitcoin only as holding money.

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Related information

Saving Money in Japan