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Foreign Exchange Guide to Japan

Read this currency guide to Japan with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/JPY=109.0275]

 
Japan
Country Code:
JP
Domestic Currency:
Japanese Yen
Symbol - Code:
¥ JPY
Telephone Prefix:
+81

This is a foreign exchange guide to Japan, the Japanese Yen currency plus JPY transfers and travel tips.


In this Japan currency guide we take a look at :

  1. Japanese Yen info - general info about the Japanese Yen
  2. Japanese Yen in the markets - recent JPY moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in Japan - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Japanese Yen cash online - travel money for Japan
  5. Sending money to Japan - save on Japanese Yen bank transfers to Japan
  6. Japanese Yen exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.
  7. JPY News - the latest Japanese Yen related articles from our blog.

Japanese Yen (JPY) general currency information


What is the Japanese Yen currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Japanese Yen is JPY and the symbol is ¥.


Which countries use the Japanese Yen?

It is the domestic currency in Japan.

According to the Bank for International Settlements, in 2016, trading in the Japanese yen (ISO: JPY) contributed to 22% of total foreign exchange market turnover, making the yen the world’s third most traded currency.

Like government bonds and gold, the Japanese yen is considered a safe haven asset – it is the premier safe haven of the currency world. This means that the yen is likely to increase in value against other currencies during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.

Since 1995, against the US dollar, the yen’s lowest valuation came in August 1998 when USD/JPY reached 147.67 (¥100 cost a little less than $0.68). Its post-1995 high came in October 2011 when USD/JPY traded at just 75.56 (¥100 cost $1.32).

The Japanese yen is a crucial part of the ‘carry trade’ – a popular strategy among foreign exchange traders in which they borrow in a currency with a low interest rate and use those funds to invest in currencies paying a higher rate. In recent decades, the most popular way to fund the carry trade has been to borrow (sell) yen due to Japan’s consistently low interest rates (since 1996 Japanese rates have averaged less than 0.5%).


Japanese Yen (JPY) in the markets

31-December-18: The yen was the best performing major currency of 2018. As 2019 rolled in, the Japanese currency touched a 6-month high against the dollar and a 4-month high against the euro. USD/JPY and EUR/JPY fell to respective rates of 109.7 and 125.5, marking yen strength for the year worth 2.7 percent and 7.6 percent.

In December, the yen — the FX world’s preferred safe haven — benefitted strongly from a notable switch to risk-off trading. Stock markets were volatile and falling hard and the prospect of further trade tensions and higher interest rates in 2019 unnerved investors.

Analysts appeared to agree in December that the yen would strengthen throughout 2019 and beyond.

The median estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg in December indicated USD/JPY would fall to 105 by the end of 2019. Experts at Mizuho, Citibank and Commerzbank saw the yen strengthening even further, to 100 or stronger. USD/JPY hasn’t traded at the symbolic 100 level since August 2016.

Yen strength will be driven by tighter Japanese monetary policy, experts said, and by a slower pace of policy tightening in the US. The US-Japanese interest rate differential will narrow.

The interactive chart below shows the USD to JPY exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.


USD-JPY 3 Month chart
USD-JPY 3 Month chart
USDJPY currency converter

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Japan

 

Though very expensive, Japan is one of the most amazing, beautiful, and friendly countries in the world. Japan is a high-tech world mixed with the politeness and respect of their past. It has all the benefits of a high tech country mixed with a lovely sense of the old. Japan has fantastic food, beautiful temples and shrines, zen gardens, national parks, and a culture with a long and rich history. It’s a wonderful place and, while it may be an expensive country to visit.

Most people can speak English and are willing to do so. Accommodation can be expensive, especially in Tokyo, but with a little looking around on the internet you can find some amazing deals. Food options cater to all, you can both go expensive or cheap, and neither is hard to find.

The easiest way to travel in Japan is by train, bullet trains can be expensive but are astoundingly fast and comfortable. Most of the city metro tickets cost 125-250 JPY for a single journey. In most major cities, you can buy a day pass, which gives you unlimited travel for 24 hours for around 1,000 JPY on select trains. Inter-city bus tickets cost around 2,500 JPY. For budget travelers the bus is an option, they are far cheaper but can take up to five times the amount of time to get to your destination.

Most temples and museums are free to enter, although some popular attractions cost around 1,250 JPY. The temples in Kyoto can cost up to 620 JPY. Many of the city’s parks are free, so take advantage when you can and spend the day there. The same for Tokyo, don't be afraid to get a decent map and wander around.

 

Travel money for Japan

 

Save money and time by Ordering your Japanese Yen online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the JPY cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Japanese Yen otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.

 

Travel Money - Exchange Rate Comparison

Travel Money Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount JPY(¥)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery/CollectDeal Links
Wells Fargo Bank logo
101,998 JPY
Value & Rating
104.08$206.38%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
101,989 JPY
¥9 less
103.03$106.39%Branch-
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank logo
101,980 JPY
¥18 less
101.9806.4%Branch-
 
Travelex Online US logo
98,235 JPY
¥3,763 less
98.23450^9.83%Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery2-3 days
Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→JPY
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:104.08 (4.47% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:101,998 JPY
Total Cost:6.38%
Time:18:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo

Travel Money USD→JPY
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:95.33 (12.5% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:101,989 JPY
Total Cost:6.39%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→JPY
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:101.98 (6.4% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:101,980 JPY
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:18:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→JPY
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:98.2345 (9.83% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:98,235 JPY
Total Cost:9.83%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed Jan 16 2019 16:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
 

Japan Trip Checklist    

 
  1. Compare JPY travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Japan
  3. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Sending money to Japan

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Japan you need to start with finding out the latest Japanese Yen foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).


Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Japan

When sending money to Japan it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Japanese Yen amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted JPY amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Japan.

Use our Send to JPY calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Japanese Yen deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

 

Foreign Transfers - Exchange Rate Comparison

Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive JPY(¥)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
WorldFirst logo
1,085,100 JPY
Value & Rating
108.5100.4%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
 
OFX logo
1,075,100 JPY
¥10,000 less
107.510^1.32%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
1,052,802 JPY
¥32,298 less
105.47183.37%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
1,052,020 JPY
¥33,080 less
105.36$153.44%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
1,045,609 JPY
¥39,491 less
105.17154.03%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America
Bank of America logo
1,038,807 JPY
¥46,293 less
104.93$1004.65%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank logo
1,038,807 JPY
¥46,293 less
104.93$1004.65%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
WorldFirst: Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:
Exchange Rate:108.51 (0.4% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,085,100 JPY
Total Cost:0.4%
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:107.51 (1.32% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,075,100 JPY
Total Cost:1.32%
Difference:
¥10,000 less than using WorldFirst
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed Jan 16 2019 16:02:44 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:105.47 (3.19% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,052,802 JPY
Total Cost:3.37%
Difference:
¥32,298 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:105.36 (3.29% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,052,020 JPY
Total Cost:3.44%
Difference:
¥33,080 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo

Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:104.71 (3.89% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,045,609 JPY
Total Cost:4.03%
Difference:
¥39,491 less than using WorldFirst
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:104.93 (3.69% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,038,807 JPY
Total Cost:4.65%
Difference:
¥46,293 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→JPY
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:104.93 (3.69% from mid-rate)
JPY amount:1,038,807 JPY
Total Cost:4.65%
Difference:
¥46,293 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
 

Popular JPY cross rates


JPY/USD - Japanese Yen to United States Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
06 Jan 20190.0092121 Week
14 Dec 20180.0088161 Month
17 Jul 20180.0088486 Months
13 Jan 20180.0090061 Year
13 Jan 20170.0087352 Years
14 Jan 20140.0096075 Years
15 Jan 20090.011210 Years

JPY/EUR - Japanese Yen to Euro - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
06 Jan 20190.0080731 Week
14 Dec 20180.0077961 Month
17 Jul 20180.0075926 Months
13 Jan 20180.0073821 Year
13 Jan 20170.0082072 Years
14 Jan 20140.0070265 Years
15 Jan 20090.00850710 Years

JPY/GBP - Japanese Yen to British Pound Sterling - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
06 Jan 20190.0072351 Week
14 Dec 20180.0070031 Month
17 Jul 20180.0067516 Months
13 Jan 20180.0065591 Year
13 Jan 20170.0071712 Years
14 Jan 20140.0058455 Years
15 Jan 20090.00763910 Years

JPY/AUD - Japanese Yen to Australian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
06 Jan 20190.01291 Week
14 Dec 20180.01231 Month
17 Jul 20180.01206 Months
13 Jan 20180.01141 Year
13 Jan 20170.01162 Years
14 Jan 20140.01075 Years
15 Jan 20090.016910 Years

JPY/CAD - Japanese Yen to Canadian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
06 Jan 20190.01231 Week
14 Dec 20180.01181 Month
17 Jul 20180.01176 Months
13 Jan 20180.01121 Year
13 Jan 20170.01152 Years
14 Jan 20140.01055 Years
15 Jan 20090.014010 Years

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