Paper Money or YEN in Japan is very popular. I say this as it will become very apparent to you after you have been in Japan for more than a few hours. Everything is done with paper money. This will shock you at first as you did not expect this in Japan of all places. The technology country it is and YEN is still king. The Japanese do not use Credit Cards like we do…they use YEN. So get used to using it and make sure you have a plan for the change. You will need a place to keep it so that it’s not a mess. A small pocket or dedicated pouch will make you feel more prepared.
If you run out of YEN while in Japan there are places you can exchange it. Banks will exchange it but they are trying to make money. If you look around you will find places to exchange money that will give you a better rate than the banks.
Where can I exchange money?
Doko de ryougae deki masu ka?
Where is an exchange counter?
Ryougae-jo wa doko desu ka?
Also know which credit card or bank account will not charge you to death for shopping or getting money out of them while overseas. Capitol One has a card that will lessen the impact of getting money while in Japan and cuts down on all the fees while in another country. I would call your bank and your credit card companies to find out what fees are involved and only use the cards you need to while in Japan.
Depending on your spending you can eat on about 2,500 – 4,000 a day ($25 – $40). There are times when you can hit the 7/11 and save a bit. So think about using about 5,000 YEN a day on average for stuff like eating and other things. While in Japan for two weeks I spend about $600 USD to pay for pretty much everything except hotel costs. So you can go there and do things cheap but plan ahead and take money to exchange. Do not exchange money in the US at the airport. You can get a $100 or so to carry over but exchanging it in Japan will give you a better exchange rate.
If you need YEN while you are out. Like I said, hit the 7/11 or and convince store and they will have an ATM. 7/11 has the lowest fees and is easy to find. You can get YEN right out of your bank account at a good rate.
I needed these while I was in Japan so I figured I would share them here.