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Japan Guide - Money

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So you are now in Japan!

Welcome to the land of the rising sun, or smoggy sun if you are in Tokyo, Osaka, or any other of the major megalopolis. Well now that you are here you will be looking for a job, a place to stay, or maybe you donft know what you are doing, and just want to read this guide anyway.

If you were looking for information on Savings & Investing in Japan then look here: Savings & Investing in Japan

Well here we go see those travelersf checks in your hand. You thought you were so smart getting travelerfs checks before you came to Japan. Oh how wrong you were. Travelersf checks are about as good as monopoly money in Japan, maybe even worse. I made the mistake of bringing them when I first came to Japan. The hassle of finding a place to cash them in, or use them drove me mad. The places you can actually use them I couldnft find anywhere. So I went to the bank to change them. Hmm where is the bank...hHmmm Itfs closed, and this one too. Hey they are all closed!h Well if you come to Japan during the holiday seasons. You will find that all major banks are closed! Even the ATMs in Japan close at night in all banks.

Carrying Money in Japan Ad Space

So how do Japanese take out money well...they just carry it around like pimps, and drug dealers. In a big wad in their wallet. Japanese will buy cars with cash. They pay for whole weddings in cash. Everything is cash, cash, cash. In my country if I was carrying more then $20 I would be looking behind my shoulder ducking into the shadows on the way to the mall. Japan is different! I asked my friends in Japan how much they usually carry on them and between the 5 of them the average was 30,000yen. Thatfs about $300 USD cash at all times. So youfre going to need a bank account to store your riches. Unless you like carrying your life savings in your back pocket!


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Japanese Coins

1 yen Top

1 yen coin - Super light weight. made of aluminum. You may even think itfs fake. Almost useless except for those who like to give exact change at the convenience store holding up all the rest of the people shaking in need for speed.

Specs
Actual diameter: 2.00 cm
Composition: Aluminum
Picture: Young Tree

1 yen bottom

5 yen top

5 yen coin - A little better than the 1 yen coin. made of brass. Itfs pretty cool looking with the hole in the middle of it! No itfs not a doughnut. Please do not eat it.

Specs
Actual diameter: 2.20 cm
Composition: Brass
Picture: Ear of Rice, Gear, Water, Young Leaves

5 yen bottom

10 yen top

10 yen coin - This coin is big, ugly, and heavy. Made of bronze. This coin will take up a lot of space in your tiny change purse and if you have a decant amount of coins to purchase something, say 10 coins well, the weight of it will make you want to spend it even faster! Use caution with 10 yen coins.

Specs
Actual diameter: 2.35 cm
Composition: Bronze
Picture: Evergreen Tree and Uji Byodo-in Hoo-do Temple (a famous temple in Kyoto)

10 yen bottom

50 yen top

50 yen coin - Now we are getting somewhere. This coin like the ten yen coin has a whole in it too! No, I already said it is not a doughnut! With its silvery color itfs a step up from the bronze 5 yen coin. If they only had a gold one we could have a shopping Olympics!

Specs
Actual diameter: 2.10 cm
Composition: Cupro-nickel
Picture: Chrysanthemum

50 yen bottom

100 yen top

100 yen coin - Here we go now this is a good coin. Fair sized, and weight, with good purchasing power. You canft go wrong with the 100yen coin!

Specs
Actual diameter: 2.26 cm
Composition: Cupro-nickel
Picture: Cherry Blossoms

100 yen bottom
500 old top

500 yen coin - Ok this coin is huge in coin standards, and heavycbut with a value of 500yen well itfs my favorite coin. Bring on the weight! The more of these suckers you collect, the more you know youfre making headway in the money department. Drop one of these suckers down and you can buy 3 beers at the corner store, or a pint at the local pub. Not bad for a single coin!

Old Coin
Actual diameter: 2.65 cm
Composition: Cupro-nickel
Picture: Paulownia, Bamboo, Orange
(minting halted in 1999)

New coin
Actual diameter: 2.65 cm
Composition: Nickel Brass
Picture: Paulownia, Bamboo, Orange
(issued 01 August 2000)

500 old bottom
500 yen new top 500 yen new bottom
 

Japanese Bills

1000 yen bill - The 1000yen bill is the most common bill in Japan. Its color is blue, and will fill you wallet.

1000 yen bill

2000 yen bill (Still not common)- This still causes a ruckus at the tiller. Women getting all giggly. gooh, look at the funny bill! ooh, aw!h Hurry up keep moving. The next bill is better.

2000 yen bill

5000 yen bill - Now this has got some power behind it. Put this down. And you will be the proud owner of an array of items to fit your most wanted desires.

5000 yen bill

10,000 yen bill -

The king of bills. The top notch. #1...The 10,000 yen bill. This is a statement the more of these you can pack into your wallet the cooler you are in Japan. Just check out some of the host/hostess clubs in the back of Shinjuku. Where a wad of these will allow you to chat with someone for 60 minutescooh, aww!

10000 yen bill
Japanese banks give almost 0% intrest, look here for better ways to hold your money while living in Japan.
 
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