Currency and Money Exchange
There is no limit on the amount of any currency that may be brought into or taken out of Japan. However, if you transport (any currencies, checks, securities or other monies.) exceeding 1,000,000 yen worth in Japanese currency into or out of the country then you must complete a customs declaration.
The unit of Japanese currency is yen. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen and bank notes in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen.
* As of November 2004, old bank notes are still in wide circulation.
<img title="Japanese Notes" alt="http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/img/notes.jpg" src="http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/img/notes.jpg" ialign="lnowrap" size_type="direct" style="WIDTH: 372px; HEIGHT: 225px" />
<img title="Japanese Coins" alt="http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/img/coins.jpg" src="http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/img/coins.jpg" ialign="lnowrap" size_type="direct" style="WIDTH: 372px; HEIGHT: 78px" />
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.
Travelers Checks and Credit Cards
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Travelers Checks are accepted by leading banks, hotels, ryokan (Japanese inns) and stores in major cities.
International credit cards such as American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard are also acceptable at these major establishments. However, Credit card transactions are not always convenient outside big cities so obtaining cash beforehand is recommended when you travel to the countryside.
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Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are commonly available in large urban areas throughout Japan. However, many do not accept foreign credit cards or cash cards and their service hours are very often restricted. Many ATMs operate only during banking hours although some remain open until 18:00-20:00 on weekdays. Often, weekend services are restricted to Saturday mornings.
For ATMs that accept credit cards, it is advised to contact each credit company beforehand and check the location of each ATM and its availability as these conditions vary from machine to machine.
Foreign credit, debit and cash cards can be used at over 26,000 Post Office ATMs in locations throughout Japan. Post offices where this service is available display stickers indicating which cards are accepted. Cards from the Cirrus, Plus, Maestro and Visa Electron networks can be used. Accepted credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club.
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