Some Important Things to Know about Japanese Yen – Kavan Choksi

In Japanese, ‘Yen’ means a circle or a round object. The yen currency is now one of the strongest currencies in the world and the primary form of money in Japan. As of late, Yen is in third place as the most traded currency in the forex market after US dollars and the Euro.

More about Yen as a currency – Kavan Choksi

The first coins of the Yen were minted in the 1870s. Those coins featured images of trees, temples, flowers, rice, etc. Kavan Choksi points out that unlike most of the other coins in the world during that time, Japanese coins were stamped with the year of their emperor’s reign rather than the years as per the Georgian calendar. Bills of Yen now come in 10,000, 5,000,  2,000, 1,000, etc., and the coins are 500, 100,  50, 10, 5, and 1, etc. The banknotes of Japan were made first in 1872, which was two years after the coins were minted. Images on these banknotes were animals, flowers, chickens, etc. The Japanese banknotes have the reputation of being the most difficult bills to counterfeit.

Advice to Japanese travelers

More and more places such as hotels, shops, and restaurants have taken credit cards lately. If you are traveling to Japan, one should understand some basics of the Japanese Yen for properly spending money during purchasing and meeting other expenses. In Japan, the traveler’s checks can only be used at the large hotels and duty-free shops, but most of the local businesses may only accept Yen.

Even if you have a credit card, you should keep some local currency handy while traveling in Japan. For getting the best rates of exchange in your money at the airports, you may approach only the authorized foreign exchange banks. Remember to keep some cash while traveling to the rural areas and small cities in Japan. It is also preferred that you should keep cash in smaller denominations too. You may have to pay off the money in smaller denominations at the tourist directions, taxis,restaurants, shops, etc.

You may not also fully rely on the Japanese ATMs, which may not accept foreign cards. Remember that ATMs may also be closed during the weekends and at night. You may not be able to find an ATM that you can use at the 7-Eleven stores, post office, or the airports that may accommodate the foreign traveler cards. IC or integrated circuit cards can be used as prepaid transportation cards, which are also mostly accepted in Japan. You can keep this handy to be used at the vending machines and other places.

The average cost of Japanese Yen

The Yen’s value may fluctuate like any other currency. To get an idea about the average cost of Yen at daily expenses, we may see some examples here.

  • You may be able to buy a bowl of noodles for 500 or 1,000 Yen.
  • An average dinner may cost you about 3,000 Yen.

However, Kavan Choksi comments that these rates may change from time to time. So, it is ideal for checking for the foreign exchange rates if you are planning to convert your currency for your Japanese trip.