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Foreign Exchange Guide to Japan

Read this currency guide to Japan with money transfer and travel tips.

Country Code:
Domestic Currency:
Japanese yen
Symbol - Code:
Telephone Prefix:

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

In this guide we review :

  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.

Japanese yen (JPY) general currency information

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%).

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.

Japanese yen (JPY) in the markets

The yen fell to a six-month low against the US dollar (112.3) in mid-July, and to two-month or one-month lows against the euro (131.9), pound (149.0), New Zealand dollar (76.8) and Australian dollar (83.5).

The yen’s weakness throughout the summer months in the wake of escalating trade tensions surprised many in the market given the currency’s traditional status as a safe haven.

Deutsche bank suggested in July that the yen was being held down by the foreign equity purchases of Japanese pension funds. Funds had returned to the market, DBS said, after a period of low activity. The act of exchanging (or selling) yen in massive quantities in order to purchase foreign currency-denominated assets was “holding the yen down even as fundamental forces might normally cause it to appreciate,” one economist said.

ING predicts a USD/JPY rate of 110 by August; Citibank predicts 114 by October.

The interactive chart below shows the JPY to USD 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.

JPY-USD 3 Month chart
JPY-USD 3 Month chart
JPYUSD 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 Rates Compared

Buying JPY Cash with USD 1,000

Travelex US Online logo Travelex US Online
¥100,036 JPY (11.49%)
Free Home Delivery when you Buy Online Travel Money & Cards with $0 commission and great exchange rates only available from Travelex Online. Zero cost for Home Delivery or pickup your foreign cash at your local Travelex store or at the airport on departure day. * Home deliveries can only be made to the registered billing address of your chosen payment method.
Price Details
Receive: ¥100,036 JPY
Exchange Rate: 100.036
Fees: USD 0
Total Cost : 11.49% (from mid-rate: 113.0240)
Amount of money that could be received by your currency exchange at rate USD/JPY=100.036 and inclusive of the fee of USD 0.
Rate timestamp : Wed Jul 18 2018 06:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Bank Rates - Average
¥97,911 JPY (13.37%)
This is the average USD to JPY Buy Foreign Cash exchange rate from multiple banks, exchange kiosks and post-offices, available over the counter and via the internet.

Price Details
Receive: ¥97,911 JPY
Exchange Rate: 98.9
Fees: USD 10 (1%)
Total Cost : 13.37% (from mid-rate: 113.0240)
Receive JPY ¥2,125 less than with  Travelex US Online logo Travelex US Online
Amount of money that could be received by your currency exchange at rate USD/JPY=98.9 and inclusive of the fee of USD 10 (1%).

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!

Sending a LARGER international money transfer? Request a Free Multi-Vendor Quote

Compare Foreign Transfers

Sending USD 10,000 to JPY

OFX logo OFX
¥1,121,200 JPY (0.8%)
Book & track your foreign transfers online (24/7) with industry best rates for all your deals - not just the first one! Lock in exchange rates with Spot & Forward Deals. BestExchangeRates users get the transfer fees waived.
Price Details
Receive: ¥1,121,200 JPY
Exchange Rate: 112.12
Fees: USD 0
Total Cost : 0.8% (from mid-rate: 113.0240)
This is the amount of money that could be received by your transfer at rate USD/JPY=112.12 and inclusive of the fee of USD 0.
Rate timestamp : Wed Jul 18 2018 06:03:38 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Bank Rates - Average
¥1,085,969 JPY (3.92%)
This is the average USD to JPY International Transfer exchange rate and fees from multiple banks for FX rates available over the counter and also via Internet Banking.

Price Details
Receive: ¥1,085,969 JPY
Exchange Rate: 108.76
Fees: USD 15
Total Cost : 3.92% (from mid-rate: 113.0240)
Receive JPY ¥35,231 less than with  OFX logo OFX
This is the amount of money that could be received by your transfer at rate USD/JPY=108.76 and inclusive of the fee of USD 15.

Japanese yen - exchange rates - live and historic

Major JPY cross rates
View Full List (A-Z)

JPY/USD - Japanese yen to U.S. dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
08 Jul 20180.0090551 Week
15 Jun 20180.0090351 Month
16 Jan 20180.0090586 Months
15 Jul 20170.0088851 Year
15 Jul 20160.0095342 Years
16 Jul 20130.01015 Years
17 Jul 20080.00942710 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
08 Jul 20180.0077051 Week
15 Jun 20180.0077761 Month
16 Jan 20180.0073826 Months
15 Jul 20170.0077481 Year
15 Jul 20160.0086392 Years
16 Jul 20130.0076655 Years
17 Jul 20080.00595210 Years

JPY/GBP - Japanese yen to British pound sterling - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
08 Jul 20180.0068111 Week
15 Jun 20180.0068021 Month
16 Jan 20180.0065656 Months
15 Jul 20170.0067851 Year
15 Jul 20160.0072302 Years
16 Jul 20130.0066605 Years
17 Jul 20080.00471010 Years

JPY/AUD - Japanese yen to Australian dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
08 Jul 20180.01221 Week
15 Jun 20180.01211 Month
16 Jan 20180.01146 Months
15 Jul 20170.01131 Year
15 Jul 20160.01262 Years
16 Jul 20130.01095 Years
17 Jul 20080.00968510 Years

JPY/CAD - Japanese yen to Canadian dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
08 Jul 20180.01191 Week
15 Jun 20180.01191 Month
16 Jan 20180.01136 Months
15 Jul 20170.01121 Year
15 Jul 20160.01242 Years
16 Jul 20130.01055 Years
17 Jul 20080.00946010 Years

Japanese yen News