Currency and Money Exchange

The Japanese yen (japanese:円, symbol: ¥, code: JPY) is the official currency of Japan.


bank notes are available in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen.


Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen.

Foreign Exchange

You can buy yen at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money exchangers. At the international airports, currency exchange counters are usually open during normal office hours. The exchange rate fluctuates daily depending on the money market.

Credit Cards

As Japan is very much a cash-based economy, never assume you can pay using a credit card. For businesses which do take credit card, Visa is most widely accepted, followed by MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. Getting a cash advance using your foreign-issued credit card is nearly impossible, but Sumitomo Mitsui banks (SMBC) give cash advances if you bring your passport with you. The main credit-card companies all have offices in Tokyo.

Tax Free Measures and Procedures

Tax Free Buying at "Downtown Taxfree Shops" exempts you from the 5% consumption tax applied to sales in Japan. You will have to submit a certificate of purchase at a dedicated booth past the immigration area of your airport of departure. Ask the sales clerk for the procedure and get great deals by shopping tax free.

【Persons Eligible for Tax Exemption】
・Foreign nationals who have stayed in Japan for less than six months
・Status of residence of the passport is "diplomatic" or "official"
(Even though entry into Japan was six months or more ago, they are eligible.)

【Articles Eligible for Tax Exemption】
Articles eligible for tax exemption at the tax-free shops when purchased by non-residents are any consumables for daily use and for which the total amount of one transaction exceeds 10,000 yen, excluding food and beverage, tobacco, quasi drugs, cosmetics, films, and batteries.

【Tax Exemption Procedure】
①Please show your passport at a tax-refund counter at the shop where you have made a purchase. (It must be your own passport and a copy of the passport is not acceptable.)
②Please submit a purchase agreement to the shop indicating that you will bring the goods out of Japan when you leave.
③The shop attaches a card entitled "Record of Purchase of Consumption-Tax-Exempt Goods for Export" to your passport and it will be collected by the customs officer at the time of departure.