All About Japanese MONEY: Your Guide to Japanese Yen

Everything you need to know about japanese bills, coins, currency exchange, and money etiquette !

If you are visiting Japan or learning about japanese polish, it is essential that you have basic cognition of japanese currency. Called yen, japanese money is the third most globally exchange currency in the alien currency central grocery store, right behind the US Dollar and the Euro.


All japanese currency – made up of both bills and coins – is known as yen. The give voice comes from the japanese news 円 : en, which means “ circle ”, referring to the beat form of the coins inaugural used by the japanese people in ancient times. Unlike the american dollar sign, which is put in front of a money sum ( i.e. $ 100 ), the japanese ache symbol is put after the numerical measure ( i.e. 1,000円 ). Continuing the comparison of american dollars to japanese yen, $ 1 USD is equal to about 100 yen .
Important note: Although japanese currency is called yen, when you are speaking in japanese, you do not pronounce the “ yttrium ”. For example, 1円 is “ ichi en ” and 100円 is “ hyaku en ” .


japanese currency has three different wallpaper bills that are presently being made and kept in circulation. The japanese bible for bill is “ Osatsu ” ( お札 ). All japanese bills, from the 1,000-yen to the 10,000-yen bill, have an ellipse in the center, and this ellipse, when held up in the luminosity or against a window, shows the confront of the person printed on that bill. This is a common method acting used to ensure that a charge is not counterfeit. On the reverse side, at the top center of every bill, are the words NIPPON GINKO, which mean “ Japan Bank ”. At once time, a few decades ago, there were other kinds of bills in circulation, including a 100-yen bill and a 500-yen charge, but these have since been discontinued, replaced by coins, and are no longer in circulation .

1,000 yen

The 1,000 yen bill is equivalent to around $ 10 USD, and is presently the lowest rate bank notice in circulation. The front side of the circular shows a portrayal of Hideyo Noguchi, a celebrated japanese doctor and bacteriologist. The other side shows a picture of Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms .

5,000 yen

The 5,000 yen bill is equivalent to around $ 50 USD. The font slope of the poster shows a portrait of celebrated female novelist Ichiyo Higuchi, and the reverse side features a bunch of kakitsubata, or japanese irises .

10,000 yen

The 10,000 yen, besides known as a 1-man ( 万 ) bill, is presently the largest trust note in circulation. It is equivalent to about $ 100 USD. The face side of the bank note includes a portrait of Yukichi Fukuzawa, a Meiji-era philosopher and the laminitis of the celebrated Keio University in Tokyo. The inverse side of the placard shows a draw of the Fenghuang, a taiwanese fabulous dame that is actually made up of several different animal parts – including the head of a cock, the wings of a peacock, the lepidote digest of a pisces, and the back of a capsize .

2,000 yen

For a brief period from 2000-2003, the 2,000 yen bill was printed and brought into circulation. Although it was only printed for three years before being discontinued, you can sometimes silent find this bill today, but merely on rare occasions .


As consistent with the pillow of their respectful culture, japanese people are besides very well-bred when it comes to the treat and manage of money. Unlike in some western countries, where it is absolutely normal to stuff a jam of bills into your pouch or wallet, in Japan, it is frowned upon to fold or crumple money. therefore, most japanese bills are quite clean and free of creases or tears. even silent, when giving money as a endowment, which is done around the New Year vacation, rather than barely giving away the money they have in their wallets, many japanese people will go to a trust to get fresh, clean bills to present as gifts .
When giving or receiving money, it is accustomed to do indeed with both hands. And, after you have received your exchange, you should gently place the money into your wallet. Be warned : japanese bills are slenderly larger than american bills, so be prepared to bring or buy a bigger wallet to prevent the bills from becoming wrinkled or creased !


japanese currency presently has 6 types of coins in circulation today. While most japanese people will understand the word “ koin ” ( pronounced コインin katakana ), the japanese word for coin is “ kouka ” ( 硬貨 ). While the unlike coins all come in varying shapes and colors, two of the coins, the 50-yen coin and the 5-yen coin, actually have a hole through the center. While modern coins are given holes to make them more easily identifiable by touch, in ancient times, people used to carry around their coins on a string, making the hole in the center field quite virtual. As Japan is still presently a heavily cash-based club, coins are much used in everyday life, so you will probable be carrying a bunch around !

500 yen

The 500 yen mint is the largest of all of the japanese coins. This gold-colored coin is equivalent to about $ 5 USD, sol try not to lose it ! The coin is made of a bi-metallic combination of nickel, brass, and zinc. The front side shows an easily-legible number 500 and the reverse side shows a painting of a kind of Paulownia tree, which are present in many asian countries .

100 yen

The 100 yen mint is a silver-colored coin made of copper and nickel, and it is equivalent to about $ 1 USD. This mint is normally used at 100-yen stores, vending machines, and coin-operated laundry machines. The presence side shows a big number 100, and the binding side features an image of cherry blossoms ( sakura ), which are the national flower of Japan .

50 yen

other than the bombastic count 50 printed on the battlefront side, this mint can be identified from its silver color and the fix through the center. On the change by reversal english, you can find an double of the chrysanthemum flower. It is equivalent to about 50 cents ( USD ) .

10 yen

The 10 yen coin is a copper mint equivalent to about 10 cents ( USD ). The front side shows a large count 10 positioned above a crescent of bay laurel leaves, while the reverse side features an engrave of the celebrated Phoenix Hall of the Byodo-in Buddhist temple in Kyoto .

5 yen

The 5 yen mint is easily identifiable by its yellow shade and the hole through its center field. Unlike all of the other japanese coins, which have their numerical value printed in Arabic numerals, the front of the 5yen coin actually has its economic value shown in japanese kanji. equivalent to approximately 5 cents ( USD ), this coin is normally known as being a lucky mint in Japan ! This is because “ 5 yen ” is pronounced “ go-en ” in Japanese, which is the same word for ご縁, meaning kinship, or affiliation. When you give this mint as an offer at a shrine, you can expect a good relationship and connection with the gods .

1 yen

equivalent to only 1 cent ( USD ), the 1 yen mint is the coin with the lowest currentness respect of all of the japanese coins. Made of aluminum, this belittled coin is so lightweight that it actually floats on water ! While perfectly thoroughly for making accurate deepen in stores, the 1yen mint is often not accepted by vending machines, ticket machines, busbar fares, and electronic tag booths, therefore keep that in heed when using up your spare transfer ! The front side of this mint shows an encircle count 1, while the bet on shows an visualize of a young branch of an unspecified tree .

exchange currentness

As previously mentioned, Japan is a heavily cash-based society, so if you come to Japan, it is knowing to carry a fair come of cash with you at all times. While these days, many places are starting to accept credit cards, as you leave the city and go out far out into the japanese countryside, stores and establishments are more frequently “ cash only ” .
Exchanging your money into japanese ache is fairly elementary, as it can be done at most, if not all, japanese airports. In heavily-populated cities, there are typically a number of locations where you can exchange currency to get japanese yen. Some larger, tourist-oriented keepsake goods stores such as Don Quixote, have currency exchange machines. As expected, as you leave the cities and move farther out into the countryside, it becomes more unmanageable to find places where you can exchange money into japanese yen, so it is a good mind to do that first gear in the airport or while you are placid in a big city. Of course, many appliance stores, such as Seven Eleven, have ATMs that accept international recognition cards, so that is another way to withdraw money as japanese yen .


We went bouncy on Facebook and answered all your questions about japanese money ! To watch that live stream, click this video below .

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