Local Currency in Japan

Dollars? Yen?

What is your local currency called and what is it worth?

At a glance!

People often think of Japan as an expensive country, but if you adjust to a Japanese lifestyle and do not depend too heavily on food and products from your home country, you may be surprised how inexpensive Japan can be.


1.00 USD = typically 112-120 JPY      Click here for the most updated rate!

Japanese 10,000 yen bank notes and coins are displayed March 3, 2006. The yen fell on Friday after J..

The currency in Japan is the yen (¥). Banknotes and coins are easily identifiable. There are ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100 and ¥500 coins; and ¥1000, ¥2000, ¥5000 and ¥10, 000 banknotes (the ¥2000 notes are very rarely seen). The ¥1 coin is an aluminium lightweight coin, the ¥5 and ¥50 coins have a punched hole in the middle (the former is coloured bronze and the latter silver). Note that some vending machines do not accept older ¥500 coins (a South Korean coin of much less value was often used in its place to rip off vending machines).

The Japanese pronounce yen as ‘en’, with no ‘y’ sound.

Accessing your money abroad:

We recommend using your banking card (ATM/debit) from your U.S. bank. Using ATM cards enables you to access your own personal bank account from any ATM machine around the world. The primary advantages of getting money from an ATM are 24-hour access and preferential exchange rates.

Find out more about  money and currency in Japan

Check with your bank to make sure you can use your card overseas, and to inform them that you will be living abroad. Give them your dates, and all the countries you anticipate traveling to. It is not uncommon to be cut off from your bank account after using your card abroad, even after giving them forewarning. If this happens, don’t panic! Banks do this to protect their clients, and we should be grateful! If this happens to you, you just need to contact your bank to ensure them that you are in possession of your card and that you need to have access to your account while you are abroad. If you have a shared account with a family member and their name is also on the account, sometimes it’s helpful to get word to them to call the bank for you, considering the time difference between countries.

In order to withdraw cash from an ATM using a debit or credit card, you must have a 4-digit pin. While you’re most likely very familiar with your debit PIN, you might not know a PIN for your credit card. Be sure to ask before you travel, banks will not release this information over the phone, via text, through an email or in any other way than to mail your PIN to the mailing address associated with your account.