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Money of Japan and Credit Card

Money of Japan

10,000 yen and 5,000 yen Japanese currency is "yen".
Yen is smaller unit than "dollar" or "euro" and so on. If you use dollar or euro in your country, roughly you have only to think that yen is "cent".

Recent currency exchange rates

In Japan, there are 10,000 yen, 5,000 yen, 2,000 yen and 1,000 yen bills as paper money.
And there are 500 yen, 100 yen, 50 yen, 10 yen, 5 yen and 1 yen as coin.

50 yen and 5 yen coins have a hole in the center. I hear that these are rare in the world.

2,000 yen and 1,000 yen The kind of Japanese money has always been only the unit of 1 or 5.
In celebration of the 21th century, 2,000 yen bill as the first "2" unit bill appeared in 2000.
But we have a very difficult chance finding 2,000 yen bill.
It is said that the "2" unit doesn't adapt to Japanese life.

Additionally, the figures on the bills are the following.

  • 10,000 yen : Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901), a scholar, an educator, a thinker.
  • 5,000 yen : Ichiyo Higuchi (1872-1896), a woman novelist.
  • 2,000 yen : Shureimon gate in Shuri Castle in Okinawa Prefecture.
  • 1,000 yen : Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928), a worldwide bacteriologist.

Currency exchange

Japanese coinsIf you want to exchange money in Japan, you had better do it at airport, at big bank or at big post office in the city.

There are few commercial exchange shop in Japan.
Because there is usually no need for Japanese people, such shop is not good business in Japan.

And probably you may not exchange at most hotels and ryokans except high-level ones where many foreigners stay.

As above, you should know that the places to exchange are limited in Japan.
You had better exchange money when you get a chance.
In addition, it is important to make effective use of credit cards.

Using Credit Card in Japan

In recent years, the credit card ownership rate in Japan is around 80 percent.
So it has been common for Japanese people to do shopping with credit card.
But there are not enough shops which can accept credit card.

You can use the credit card at the department stores, better stores, better resturants, better hotels, big souvenir stores in sightseeing area and so on.

And you can get the tickets of JR and airlines.
Also, some convenient stores take credit cards.
In any case, check the display of the sign of credit cards in the front of a store.
Or, to ask the salesclerk is the quickest way.
(Say in Japanese, "Card wa tsukae masu ka?")

"VISA" member stores are the first rank of share in Japan, followed by "MasterCard", "AMEX", "JCB" and "Diners".

Consumption tax

When you buy products in Japan, the price includes "Consumption tax".
It is currently 8% of primary price.
This tax is based on consumption in Japan, so if you take the products bought in Japan to your country, you can get an exemption of the tax.

If you have bought the products at duty-free shop, the price don't include the tax.
In this case, you need not mind.

If you have bought the products at big department store, big souvenir shop in the famous sightseeing area or big electronics retail store, you may make a turnback procedure of the tax in the store.

Please ask a clerk, "I would like to apply for duty-free".
If the shop can handling, you can get the turnback after necessary procedures.
But generally there are some condition to apply.
Probably total purchased amount in the store is required more than 10,000 yen.

Food, beverages, tobacco, drugs and cosmetics, and consumable items such as films and batteries are exceptions.
(I quoted this caption from the website of the big department store "Mitsukoshi")

Of course, you must not open the package within object products until completion of your embarkation procedure.

Prices in Japan (yen)

Domestic Frights (Usual Fare, Adult, One way) Long-distance bus
Haneda - Itami (Osaka) 24,600 Tokyo - Nagoya 5,100
Haneda - Shin-Chitose (Sapporo) 35,600 Tokyo - Kyoto (overnight) 8,180
Haneda - Fukuoka 38,900 Tokyo - Kanazawa 7,840
Haneda - Naha 42,900 Kyoto - Disneyland 5,500
Shinkansen (Usual Fare, Adult, Reserved) Subway
Tokyo - Kyoto 13,520 Tokyo Metro 160 - 300
Tokyo - Hiroshima 18,550 Osaka Subway 200 - 310
Tokyo - Sendai 10,590 Admission fee (Adult)
Tokyo - Nagano 7,970 Tokyo Disneyland 5,500
JR Line (Local train) Temples in Kyoto 300 - 600
Tokyo - Shibuya 190 Itsukushima Shrine 300
Tokyo - Yokohama 450 Common temples, shrines Free
Tokyo - Maihama (Disneyland) 210 Himeji Castle 500
Kyoto - Osaka 690 Tokyo Tower 1,420
Various Prices
Hotel, Ryokan 10,000 - 30,000 Hamburger 100 - 300
Minshuku (with dinner, breakfast) 6,000 - 8,000 Gyudon 300 - 500
City Hotel 4,000 - 10,000 Canned drink 100 - 150
Public bath 350 - 450 Canned beer 200 - 300
Kaiseki dinner in restaurant 3,000 - 10,000 English newspaper 120 - 180
Western dinner in restaurant 3,000 - 10,000 Chewing gum 50 -150
Lunch menu in restaurant 1,000 - 4,000 Minimum fare of taxi 650 - 750
Dishes in "Family-restaurant" 800 - 2,000 Ekiben (Lunch box) 800 - 1,200
Dishes in noodle restaurant 500 - 1,000 Coin washer 300 - 1,000

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