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Foreign Exchange Guide to Japan

Latest market mid-rate: 1.0 =

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

The domestic currency in Japan is the Japanese yen with currency code JPY. Read this foreign exchange guide to Japan and the Japanese yen with money transfer and travel tips plus Japanese yen exchange cross rates.

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

By late March 2018, the yen had strengthened to a sixteen-month high against the dollar of 104.21, making it the best performing major currency of the year to that point; however, by late-April, renewed dollar optimism had driven USD/JPY back into the 109s, close to its average over the past six months.

In the weeks leading up to this report, the yen had also weakened against seven of the other nine G10 currencies.

It appears that central bank divergence is back as the principal driver of USD/JPY. Recent events have cemented expectations for four further US rate hikes this year, but the Bank of Japan, by contrast, continues to uphold easy monetary policy and maintain negative interest rates.

Despite interest rate differentials working against it, in a report on April 23rd, Citibank said of the yen that it remains “fundamentally undervalued,” and it predicted USD/JPY falling to 103 within the next 6-12 months.

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
JPY 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.

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)

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 Online logo Travelex Online
¥97,589 JPY (10.94%)
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: ¥97,589 JPY
Exchange Rate: 97.5885
Fees: USD 0
Total Cost : 10.94% (from mid-rate: 109.5805)
Amount of money that could be received by your currency exchange at rate USD/JPY=97.5885 and inclusive of the fee of USD 0.
Rate timestamp : Fri May 25 2018 03:00:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Bank Rates - Average
¥94,921 JPY (13.38%)
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: ¥94,921 JPY
Exchange Rate: 95.88
Fees: USD 10 (1%)
Total Cost : 13.38% (from mid-rate: 109.5805)
Receive JPY ¥2,668 less than with  Travelex Online logo Travelex Online
Amount of money that could be received by your currency exchange at rate USD/JPY=95.88 and inclusive of the fee of USD 10 (1%).

Sending money to Japan

How to save when sending money 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 3 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 (prev. USForex)
¥1,087,000 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: ¥1,087,000 JPY
Exchange Rate: 108.7
Fees: USD 0
Total Cost : 0.8% (from mid-rate: 109.5805)
This is the amount of money that could be received by your transfer at rate USD/JPY=108.7 and inclusive of the fee of USD 0.
Rate timestamp : Fri May 25 2018 03:03:39 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Bank Rates - Average
¥1,052,818 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: ¥1,052,818 JPY
Exchange Rate: 105.44
Fees: USD 15
Total Cost : 3.92% (from mid-rate: 109.5805)
Receive JPY ¥34,182 less than with  OFX logo OFX
This is the amount of money that could be received by your transfer at rate USD/JPY=105.44 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
13 May 20180.0091481 Week
20 Apr 20180.0092861 Month
21 Nov 20170.0089026 Months
20 May 20170.0089881 Year
20 May 20160.0090822 Years
21 May 20130.0097475 Years
22 May 20080.00961710 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
13 May 20180.0076531 Week
20 Apr 20180.0075421 Month
21 Nov 20170.0075816 Months
20 May 20170.0080191 Year
20 May 20160.0080922 Years
21 May 20130.0075575 Years
22 May 20080.00612210 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
13 May 20180.0067511 Week
20 Apr 20180.0066311 Month
21 Nov 20170.0067206 Months
20 May 20170.0068931 Year
20 May 20160.0062622 Years
21 May 20130.0064305 Years
22 May 20080.00485610 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
13 May 20180.01211 Week
20 Apr 20180.01211 Month
21 Nov 20170.01176 Months
20 May 20170.01211 Year
20 May 20160.01262 Years
21 May 20130.0099435 Years
22 May 20080.010010 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
13 May 20180.01171 Week
20 Apr 20180.01191 Month
21 Nov 20170.01146 Months
20 May 20170.01211 Year
20 May 20160.01192 Years
21 May 20130.01005 Years
22 May 20080.00947210 Years

Japanese yen News