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Is it cheaper to exchange money in Japan?


Japan is a popular destination for tourists across the world. If you’re planning a trip to Japan, you’ll need to have some yen on hand to pay for transportation, food, accommodations, and activities. The question arises: Is it cheaper to exchange money in Japan?

Exchange Rates

The exchange rate is the rate at which one currency can be exchanged for another. Exchange rates vary depending on a number of factors, such as economic conditions, political stability, and foreign trade. When you exchange currency, you’ll receive yen in exchange for your home currency. The exchange rate of your home currency to yen can fluctuate depending on the current market conditions.

Japanese Snack Box

Exchange Options

There are several options for exchanging money in Japan. You can exchange cash at banks, post offices, and currency exchange offices. You can also use ATMs to withdraw yen from your home bank account. Credit cards are widely accepted in Japan, so you may not need to carry much cash.

Bank Exchange Rates

Banks offer competitive exchange rates, but they may charge fees for exchanging currency. The fees vary depending on the bank and the amount of money you’re exchanging. Some banks may require you to have an account with them before they’ll exchange currency.

Post Office Exchange Rates

Post offices offer similar exchange rates to banks, but they may have lower fees. However, post offices may have longer wait times than banks.

Currency Exchange Offices

Currency exchange offices typically offer higher exchange rates than banks or post offices, but they may charge higher fees. The fees can vary widely between different currency exchange offices.

ATM Withdrawal Fees

If you use an ATM to withdraw yen from your home bank account, you’ll likely be charged a fee by your home bank. You may also be charged a fee by the Japanese bank that operates the ATM.

Credit Card Fees

Using a credit card in Japan can be convenient, but some credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. These fees can add up quickly, especially if you’re using your credit card frequently.


Exchange rates can fluctuate rapidly, so timing is important when exchanging currency. Keep an eye on exchange rates before your trip and exchange money when the rate is favorable.

Amount of Money

The amount of money you’re exchanging can also affect the exchange rate and fees. Generally, the more money you exchange, the better the exchange rate will be. However, some banks and currency exchange offices may charge higher fees for larger transactions.


Exchanging money in foreign countries always carries some risk. Be cautious of scams and only exchange money at reputable locations. Keep your exchanged yen in a safe place while traveling.


In conclusion, it can be cheaper to exchange money in Japan depending on the options you choose and the current exchange rates. Banks and post offices offer competitive rates with lower fees, while currency exchange offices may offer higher rates with higher fees. Using ATMs and credit cards can be convenient but may come with additional fees. Timing and the amount of money you’re exchanging can also affect the overall cost. Be sure to research your options carefully and make an informed decision when exchanging currency in Japan.

Is it cheaper to exchange money in US or Japan?

In terms of exchanging currency from USD to yen, it is generally more advantageous to do so in Japan rather than in the US due to potential variations in exchange rates, with Japan being the home currency for yen.

Is it better to use cash or card in Japan?

While cash is still commonly used, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the popularity of digital and contactless payment methods. Larger stores and restaurants typically accept major credit cards, but it’s important to keep in mind that rural areas and shrines may only accept cash.

Is it better to bring cash to Japan?

Although credit cards are becoming more commonly accepted in Japan, cash is still the preferred method of payment. It is not always safe to assume that credit cards will be accepted in small, family-owned businesses such as restaurants, shops, and accommodations. It is best to carry enough Japanese cash as a backup.

Where is the best place to exchange currency in Japan?

Currency exchange stores can be found in major train stations, some shopping centers, and often at airports. World Currency Shop, a company under Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Daikokuya, and Travelex, has the most branches in Tokyo.

How much is $100 US in Japan?

Do you think you’re paying too much to your bank? Here are some conversion rates of US Dollar to Japanese Yen, where 100 USD is equal to 13077.5 JPY, 250 USD is equal to 32693.75 JPY, 500 USD is equal to 65387.5 JPY, and 1000 USD is equal to 130775 JPY.

How much cash should I bring to Japan?

By increasing your daily budget to ¥10,000 ($95), you can enjoy more expensive meals and visit all the tourist spots without any financial concerns. If you have a budget of ¥20,000 per day, you can indulge in luxurious experiences such as dining at high-end restaurants and traveling first class on Japan’s extensive rail network.


When deciding whether to exchange money in Japan or before you leave your home country, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, you should check with your bank to see if they have any partnerships with Japanese banks that offer lower fees for ATM withdrawals or currency exchanges. Secondly, keep in mind that some places in Japan may not accept foreign currency or credit cards, so it’s important to have yen on hand for those situations. Finally, be aware of the limits on the amount of cash you can carry into and out of Japan, as exceeding these limits can result in fines or legal trouble.

Alternatives to Cash

While having cash is important for many transactions in Japan, there are also alternatives to consider. For example, many places accept digital payments through mobile apps like Line Pay or PayPay. Additionally, you can buy prepaid transportation cards like Suica or Pasmo that can be used for trains and buses throughout Japan. These options can be more convenient and secure than carrying around large amounts of cash.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, whether you choose to exchange money in Japan or before you leave will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. It’s important to do your research and consider all the factors involved in order to make an informed decision. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that you have enough yen to enjoy all that Japan has to offer without overspending on fees and unfavorable exchange rates.

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