Money In Japan

Money In Japan

The currency of Japan is the yen.  There are several symbols for yen: ¥ and 円.

You will see both symbols.

¥2,000 and/or 2,000円

The yen comes in the following denominations:

  • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen
  • Bills: 1,000  5,000 and 10,000 yen

Credit Card Usage

Credit cards are used in Japan. Major department stores, shopping centers, drugstores and clothing shops accept many ranges of credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, JCB, American Express, Discover).

You can look for the credit card signs outside the stores.

Most domestic and international chain restaurants also accept credit cards.

There are lots of smaller, family-run restaurants and businesses that will only accept cash. You can look for any credit card signs or any card reader machines at the cash register.

Electronic Money

Various forms of electronic money are accepted in Japan.  Apple Pay can be used at some places; check for the sign outside the door or near the cash register.


ATMs for foreign bank cards can be found at 7 Eleven, Family Mart and Lawson convenience stores. Some banks may have some ATMs that have the CIRRUS/PLUS logos; however, bank ATMs are not 24 hours, so your best bet is a convenience store.

Currency Exchange

When it comes to changing money, there are several options.

  • Change your money (or some of it) in your home country.
  • Change your money at the airport (Haneda or Narita).
  • Change your money at a currency exchange place.

Remember that you will need to have your passport with you to change money in Japan.

There are lots of exchange places in Shinjuku, near Omoide Yokocho.

Sales Tax

The current sales tax is as follows:

Foods and drinks purchased and brought home (supermarket, take out, etc.) is 8%.

Foods and drinks to eat in (restaurants, cafes, etc.) is 10%.

Non-food goods/items are 10%.

Interesting Facts

The 5 yen coin is considered good luck. Go-en (ご縁) roughly translate to destiny, good fortune in finding, meeting, receiving something. Go-en (五円) is the word for 5 yen. It is popular to use for praters at shrines and temples.

Japanese bills do not have politicians on them.  Instead, they use famous writers, industrialists, philanthropists. and other figures from history.

The 1,000 yen bill features Mt. Fuji and Lake Motosu, a popular lake at the foot of Mt. Fuji.






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