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6 Frequently Asked Questions about Japanese Yen

First day in Japan

General (Exchange Rate)

How much Yen should I bring?

How much Yen can I bring to Japan?

Tips in Japan

Bills in Japan

Coins in Japan

Tax in Japan

Receipt in Japan

Airport Tax

Money Sense

Virual Currencies (Bitcoin etc.)

For Money Savers


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First Day in Japan

Wherever you arrive in Japan, you are required to prepare Japanese money at least 5000 Yen(suggestion). You would be comfortable in your mind if you have more than 10,000 - 20,000 Yen. JR train and Taxi were unable to accept any credit cards in the  past.  Acceptance of credit cards becomes much better now.

If you don't have any Japanese money you may feel you almost can't get out the arrived airport.

The airport has banks (at least one) to exchange the foreign currencies to Japanese Yen. But it may be tough for an Airport Stranger to find out such facility at unfamiliar airport taking your heavy luggage.

It is much easier for you to prepare Japanese Yen in your country at your local bank or departing airport using your language!!!!!

If you forget to get Japanese Yen, following facility is available at each airport.
Narita International Airport
Haneda Airport (International Terminal)
Kansai International Airport
Chubu (Nagoya) International Airport
Fukuoka Airport (Fukuoka, Fukuoka)
New Chitose Airport (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
 Kagoshima Airport


Yen is used in Japan.

It is still true that Japan is a cash society, generally sepaking. You may have hard time to use a credit card and a debit card for paying small amount of money. ie,. locat train fare, first food and addmission fee. Therefore you need to exchage your money to Yen.

Here is data of Cash Society. Almost 50% of transaction is cash.

The actual exchange rate from each currency to Yen is worse than this chart because of handling charges.

Foreign Currency Unit

Yen Value

1 US Dollar US$ 101.93 Yen
1 Canada Dollar Can$ 72.66 Yen
1 Euro Eur 125.47 Yen
1 UK Stg 136.18 Yen
1 Swiss Sfr 106.04 Yen
1 Denmark Dkr 15.08 Yen
1 Norway Nkr 11.28 Yen
1 Sweden SKr 10.35 Yen
1 Australia A$ 71.15 Yen
1 New Zealand NZ$ 67.12 Yen
1 Singapore S$ 73.97 Yen
1 Hong Kong HK$ 10.94 Yen
1 Thai THB 2.89 Yen
1 Korea KRW 8.24 Yen

Cash buying base  ( reference rate when you buy Japanese Yen. )

Actual buying rates vary at dealers.

As of March 23rd, 2018

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Conversion to Japanese Yen

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Japanese Yen
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What is the exchange rate and how much it affects your trip?

When traveling abroad, the most concerning matter may be the exchange rate.

Cash Buy rate and Cash Sell rate are used to exchange your money to Japanese Yen.

Cash Buy is used to convert your money into Japanese yen.

Cash Sell is the rate which is used to exchange Japanese Yen to the money of your country.

For example, one day's exchange rate (US dollar at Trvelex) is

CASH Buy 106.10 Yen / dollar
So $100 becomes 10,610 Yen.

a picture of the exchange rate at Travelex shop. The marked number is applicable for buying Japanese Yen.

CASH Sell 118.28 Yen / dollar

a picture of the exchange rate at Travelex shop. The marked number is applicable for selling Japanese Yen.

When you want to change $500, your US $ 500 becomes 53050 yen.

If you do not use this money at all and change them to US Dollar there, money you will get will be $ 448.51 using the rate of above picture.

Exchange Loss

It is a good idea to check the exchange loss.

a picture, the loss of the exchange rate. The loss becomes 4 % in this case. If you want to be a smart traveler, it is better to use cash as less as possible

Your loss becomes 10 % without buying anything in US dollar case!

As one of the tactics, it is best to replace it with Japanese yen as you will use, to spend all of them during the trip, and not to leave the Japanese yen at the time of returning home. Even bank can't change the change, so you should use up small change or make them as a souvenir.

Here are some information of FAQ about Yen on this site.

Any difference in currencies?

Your one of concerns is the strength of the currency. it really depends on the relationship between Japan and your country. Please see the differences between currencies chart.
This is the example of US dollar, Canadian Dollars, EURO and GB Pound.
Yellow bar is original currency (500 unit) you had and green bar is the balanced unit after exchanging.

This is the chart shows the differences between US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, EURO and GB Pound. US Dallor: 10% loss. Canadian Dallor: 27%. Euro Dallor: 11%loss. UK Pound: 20% loss.

This chart is based on the exchange rate of Travelex one day.
It is just a reference data which gives you an idea about your currency loss to Japanese Yen.

Exchange rates vary at dealers. It is important to choose a good dealer.

In the case of Great Britain Pound: I found the Web site of UK Post Office. They give a good deal to the customers. I learned that UK people have voted UK Post Office as the "best Best Foreign Exchange / Travel Money Retailer" at the British Travel Awards.
If you live in UK, it would be a good idea to use UK Post office.


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How to exchange your currency to Japanese Yen in Japan?

- Airport

You can get Yen at any international airports in Japan.

There are offices of Banks.

You can exchange back your Yen to your currency at airports banks..

- Currency shops

There are various currency exchange shops.

Daikokuya and other shops welcome you.
Daikokuya office hour:  10:00 - 19:00

Please check the office hour in advance.
This is Ginza shop.
They are also handling mail stamp, concert ticket, travel ticket, branded bags, watches, jewelry.
Typical re-sale shop.

Here is a sample exchange rate by Daikokuya.

Foreign Country Currency
U.S Dollar
British Pound
Australian Dollar
Hong Kong Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Singaporean Dollar
Thai Baht
South Korean Won
New Taiwan Dollar
Chinese Yuan
Philippine Peso

Available currency is depends on each shop.


Travelex is famous  exchange store in the world.
There are  around 50 offices of Travelex in Japan.

picture of Travelex where you can get Japanese Yen also sell it.

Tokyo Station

You can also exchange money at Tokyo station.This is convenient because it corresponds to 33 currencies.
Tokyo Station, Marunouchi, North Exit turn right at the gate, right there.
You can exchange your currency for Japanese yen in a travel information office.Outside Tokyo Ticket gate 1F JR East Travel Center (JR EAST Travel Service Center)

picture of JR Tokyo Station Money Exchange sertvice
33 Currencies !!!

Foreign Country Currency
U.S Dollar
British Pound
Swiss Franc
Australian Dollar
Hong Kong Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Singaporean Dollar
New Zealand Dollar
Swedish Krona
Norwegian Krone
Danish Krone
Thai Baht
South Korean Won
New Taiwan Dollar
Chinese Yuan
Indonesian Rupiah
Pacific Franc
Malaysian Ringgit
Vietnamese Dong
Philippine Peso
Czech Republic Koruna
Hungary Forint
Poland Zloty
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
Saudi Arabia Riyal
Fiji Dollar
Pacific Franc
Egypt Pound
South Africa Land
Turkey Lira
UAE Dirham
Russia Ruble

Other exchanging facilities

There are many small exchanging facilities are available in Japan in addition to the major operators.
But their locations are not so convenient for travelers. Their exchange rate is fairly good. You should try it if you have challengeable mind and time. "Ninja Money Exchange" is one of them. It locates close to JR Akihabara station.

Ninja Money Exchange


Ninja Interbank Ninja Money exchange

03-5201-3970 or 080-4523-9037 Call ahead for your transaction amount and currency to make an appointment to visit the shop.

Adores Exchange Akihabara

Address: Akihabara ex 1F, 1-13-1, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0021
Nearest Station Akihabara Station Electric Town Exit (North Side)

- Banks

Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank

Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ  (MUFG) is No. 1 bank about dealing foreign money.

Actually Mitsubishi Bank have two channels.

You can exchange your money to Yen at any of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Bank.

It might be good place to exchange your money there.
But their business hour is limited.
  9 am - 3 pm

They handle 16 currencies.

Their subsidies, Tokyo Mistubishi Credit Service  by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, have a specialized shop, WORLD CURRENCY $HOP.

They can exchange 21 currencies.

Now they started to exchange Philippine Peso and Vietnamese Dong from 2017/04/11.

The list of the currencies at WORLD CURRENCY $HOP by Tokyo Mistubishi Credit Service

Foreign Country Currency
U.S Dollar
British Pound
Swiss Franc
Australian Dollar
Hong Kong Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Singaporean Dollar
New Zealand Dollar
Swedish Krona
Norwegian Krone
Danish Krone
Thai Baht
South Korean Won
New Taiwan Dollar
Chinese Yuan
Indonesian Rupiah
Pacific Franc
Malaysian Ringgit
Vietnamese Dong
Philippine Peso

No travelers check

Mizuho Bank

Picture of Mizuho Bank for money exchange. International ATM is available

Foreign Money Exchange

Mizuho handles 18 Currencies.

Foreign Country Currency
U.S Dollar
British Pound
Swiss Franc
Australian Dollar
Hong Kong Dollar
Canadian Dollar
Singaporean Dollar
New Zealand Dollar
Swedish Krona
Norwegian Krone
Danish Krone
Thai Baht
South Korean Won
New Taiwan Dollar
Chinese Yuan
Indonesian Rupiah
Malaysian Ringgit

The branches, Ootemori(Ootemachi), Ginza, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjyuku and Shinjyuku west have special better exchange rate than other branches.
Ootemori(Ootemachi): Monday - Friday  11 - 19 o'clock
Ginza:                 Monday-Saturday 11 - 19 o'clock  Sunday 10 - 18 o'clock Tokyo Plaza Ginza b2F
Ikebukuro:          Monday-Saturday 11 - 19 o'clock  Sunday 10 - 18 o'clock
Shibuya :            Monday-Saturday 11 - 19 o'clock  Sunday 10 - 18 o'clock
Shinjyuku :         Monday-Saturday 11 - 19 o'clock  Sunday 10 - 18 o'clock
Shinjyuku west:  Monday-Saturday 11 - 19 o'clock  Sunday 10 - 18 o'clock

Example of the special better rate at above currencies shops than other Mizuho Bank Branches.

Foreign Currency Yen  Sell Buy 
U.S Dollar  30cent 30 cent 
EURO Euro  2 yen  2 yen
New Zealand Dollar  1.50yen 1.50yen 

International ATMs are also available at Mizuho Bank branches.

★No Travelers check at any foreign exchange shps unless it is issued by itself.

Other Japanese banks are also doing the foreign exchange service. But the service is limited only at Headquarters of the Bank and Major branches.

How to sell Japanese Yen before you leave Japan?

After the best and pleasant trip in Japan, you may think "Where can I change the remaining Yen?"
You can sell it at the international airport. And more, for example, banks, foreign currency shops and post offices

You can keep your Yen while you are in Japan all the end of your trip.

Only thing is to keep time for exchanging it at the departing airport.

Bills can be changed but coins.

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How much yen should I bring to Japan?

How much yen do I need a day?

These are the real questions everyone wants to know before any action.
It is really tough to find the right budget in general. Are you on business or pleasure? Trip on business may needs much money.
Here are several information of food/item/service and it will help you to understand how much yen you need in Japan.

Money Sense

Here is a price table of various items. (excluding Consumption TAX))
You can get some idea about the prices in Japan.
These prices is just reference and there is no limit of price on the most expensive item.

Various Price Description Yen

Train Fare

Tokyo - Kyoto
One way by Shinkansen*

Train Fare

Narita Express
Narita - Tokyo One way*

Train Fare

Keisei Skyliner
Narita - Nippori - Tokyo One way*
Train Fare Chubu Airport
Airport - Nagoya station*
JR Train
Minimum (Ticket) 140
JR Train
(IC ard, Suica,Pasmo )
Tokyo Metro
Bus Fare Airport Limousine Tokyo one way 3,100
Taxi  Minimum (Tokyo)  410
Taxi Minimum* 730
Taxi From Narita Airport to Tokyo
including highway
Advanced reservation required
19,000 - 26,000


Hamburger McDonald*


Food Filet-O-Fish McDonald* 310




Food Lunch Sushi 1,000-2,000
Food Yoshinoya Beef Bawl 380
Food Ramen 600-1000
Food Denny's daily special lunch 780
Food Price of Bento(lunch box) 500-1000
Food Dinner?? 1000 - 10,000
Food Dinner Sushi 3000 - 10.000
Cola Vending machine 100 - 150
Cola At convenience store 130 - 140
Mineral Water At convenience store 100 - 140
Coffee McDonalds 100
Coffee Convenience Store(7-Eleven) 100 - 120
Coffee  Starbucks (short) 280
Beer Canned Beer 350ml 250 - 300
Tobacco 1 package 20 units (Sevenstar) 460 - 500


Imperial Hotel Single Bed / Single person Single Bed / Single person 24,000
Hotel Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Single room
Hotel APA Hotel  5,000-10,000 
Hotel  Nine Hours Shinjuku(Capsule hotel) 4,900 -  

What can I buy with 100 Yen?

McDonald hamburger (Quarter pounder) is 100 Yen.
Also coffee at McDonald is 100 Yen almost same as Premium Roast Coffee small..
You can imagine other items with this reference.
So 100 Yen is very similar to 1 US Dollar.

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Withdraw Japanese Yen at convenience store?

 picture of seven eleven bank

You can withdraw your money in Japanese Yen at Seven Eleven convenience stores.

Seven Eleven and Seven Bank

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:00 - 24:00

- Location 17,500 stores.

Handling fee  (110 Japanese Yen including tax)is charged for UnionPay card.

Seven bank is one of the banks which have started the bank business from retailer business.They have over 20,000 ATMs  at 17,500  Seven Eleven stores.

You can withdraw Japanese Yen using these ATMs. 

Variety of Credit cards (including bank card) : 

VISA, Plus, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, AMERICA EXPRESS, JCB, UnionPay, Discover, Dinners Club

Service hour is almost 24 hours.

It would be really helpful and reliable in some case.

You can withdraw maximum 100,000 Yen at the store.  Some cards can pay 200,000 Japanese Yen.

The service charge might be applied by your credit card company.

The key is whether your credit card is ready for the international use. Do you remember 4 digit secret numbers(PIN, Personal Identification Number)?

If you don't have the PIN number on your credit card, it is good to set the number before your trip.

Check your credit company first of all whether your card is ready for an usage in foreign countries..

Seven Eleven is also a good place for Free Wifi spot.

Why don't you enjoy sipping a cup of coffee with 100 Yen at Seven Eleven shop using free Wifi.

For more detail information for free Wifi at Seven Eleven

Withdraw Japanese Yen at a post office?

You can withdraw your money in Japanese Yen at Post offices and Family Marts (convenience stores).

Post office

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:05 - 23:55
(Sunday: 0:05 - 21:00)

- Location 24,000 stores & 27,300 ATMs. 

a picture of ATM at Post office.  You can withdraw your money in Yen at ATM of Japan Post office.  

Family Mart

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:05 - 23:55

- Location 500 stores & 27,300 ATMs.

Handling fee  (110 Japanese Yen including tax)is charged for UnionPay card.

 a picture of ATM at Family mart. You can withdraw Japanese Yen at Family Mart. It is very convenient when you buy drink, snack and something at store. The machine is operated by Japan Post Office.

Withdraw Japanese Yen at supermarket?

a picture of ATM at Ministop. You can withdraw Japanese Yen at AEON supermarket . It is very convenient when you buy drink, snack and something at a store. The machine is operated by AEON bank.

You can withdraw your money in Japanese Yen at AEON supermarket and Ministop (convenience stores).


- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:00 - 24:00
(Sunday: 0:05 - 21:00)

- Location 2,300 stores & 3,000 ATMs.

AEON supermarket

- Maximum 100,000 Japanese Yen

- Service hour 0:00 - 24:00

- Location 625 stores & 700 ATMs.

Handling fee  (75 Japanese Yen including tax)is charged for UnionPay card.

How much Yen can I bring to Japan?

If you want to bring one million Japanese Yen or more than it to Japan with you, you need to declare at custom office.
This regulation is applied to the total amount of cash (total amount of any currencies), traveler's check, gold and etc.

Less than this amount you don't need any process.

If you have an idea to buy an expensive stuff in Japan, it is better to think to use your credit card.
It is better to check the credit limit and raise the maximum limit before departure.

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Tipping in Japan

You don't need any tipping for any services.

No tipping for a doorman.
No tipping for a bell captain.
No tipping for a porter.
No tipping for a waiter and a waitress in a restaurant.
No tipping for a taxi.
No tipping for anybody

You are free of warring Tipping in Japan.

Some of the finest restaurant/hotel require service fee
but in this case the service fee is already included in your bill.

Hotel bell person never accept your offer of tipping.

In special occasion, you may give some money for the best hospitality for taxi driver or Ryokan maid.

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Bills and Coins in Japan

Money unit in Japan is "Yen" and there is no substantial unit fro daily life.


1,000 Yen
picture of 1000Yen Bill1,000 Yen

5,000 Yen
picture of 50000Yen Bill5,000 Yen
Right side and left side on top of bill, you can see "5000"

10,000 Yen
picture of 10000Yen Bill10,000 Yen
Right side and left side on top of bill, you can see "10000"

Although the 2,000 Yen bills are official note of Japan Bank (Nihon Ginko), it is very rare to see 2,000 Yen bill 

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picture of coins in Japan There are 6 types of coins in Japan.

500 Yen The Largest coin in silver color
100 Yen: Silver color
50 Yen: Silver color with a hole
10 Yen: Copper color
5 Yen:  Yellow color with a hole
The coin with a hole is really rare in the world. It is good souvenir for you.
The coin doesn't have any numerical number on it.

1 Yen Aluminum color.

All vending machines accept coins except 1yen and 5 yen.

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Consumption Tax (Sale Tax) is 8 %.
Many expressions of price are allowed.
A price shows real price without tax and sales tax with small text besides.
So you need to pay 8 % more than the price tag.

Some shops include this tax in their list price.
It is be really complicated for visitors.

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Airport Tax

It is called as PSFC (Passenger Service Facilities Charge).

For International  Airport Passenger
You don't need to worry about the
Airport tax now. It is included in your ticket price.

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Some of receipts are printed in Japanese.
So you had better to write the memo on it as soon as you receive it.

A picture of Receipt sample in Japanese: The paid amount is written on Japanese. You need to convert Heisei to Anno Domini year. You can't read the Kanji on this receipt later.

This is an example of Japanese type receipt.

As soon as you receive it, you had better to write the item of this receipt.
Otherwise you will have big problem to find out which receipt is
personal and business.
You can read the numeric numbers so it can help but time consuming.
Some nicer Japanese restaurants will give you old fashion receipt.
In this case, all information will be written in Japanese "Kanji"
even numeric number and date.
You had better to write down the total amount on it.
Or keep your Credit Card receipt.

Another Tips is "date".
Above receipt shows the date as 9/5/23.
You can't find it is issued on May 23 in XXXX.
We use Anno Domini year and Japanese one both in Japan.
If you find the strange date on your receipt, you need to correct the date to your style and write it down.

"平成" is pronounced Heisei.

Conversion Chart

Heisei Era (Japanese way)

Anno Domini year









Heisei 30
(This year)

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Virtual Currencies (Bitcoin)

Virtual currencies such as bitcoin are being used more and more in various countries. Certainly, it is convenient if you use bitcoin etc. overseas without exchanging foreign currency. Also, it is good not to calculate every time. I will explain the situation of bitcoin in Japan.

It is said that the Japanese have 40% of all bitcoins. This proportion is getting higher and higher. Japan is the number one owning bitcoin in the world.

Unfortunately, in Japan, this bitcoin is not used so much.

Currently, in Japan, bitcoin is subject to investment, and at present, it is not used for payment so much.

The places where bitcoin in Japan can be used for payment are still very limited.

With some electronics appliances and some chain restaurants, you can use bitcoin for payment.

Big Camera

A picture of BicCamera electric appliances shop

"Yamada Denki (Electric)"
Yamada Denki (Electric), starts Bitcoin payment

Yamada Denki is the largest Electronics appliances in Japan, where you can buy various duty-free goods. Yamada Denki starts to accept payment with virtual currency "bitcoins" from January 27, 2018. At first, they use the payment system of the big virtual currency exchange "Bit Flyer" (Tokyo · harbor). Two major shops locate "LABI Shinjuku East" in Shinjuku and "Concept LABI TOKYO" in front of Tokyo station. It accepts the payment from the company's Wallet (account) and there is no settlement fee. It is not clear that it is possible to pay with other wallets. People who are considering purchasing expensive souvenirs have a good option to pay.Please check at Yamada Denki in advance whether you can use your Bitcoins.

Yamada Denki Logo who supports bitcoins.
Yamada Denki

LABI Shinjuku East
3-23-7 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022 Japan
Phone number: +81-3-3359-5566
Business hours:
Weekdays 10:00-23:30
Saturday 10:00-23:00
Sunday 10:00-22:00

1-5-22 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0028 Japan
Phone number: +81-3-3510-9098
Business hours: 10:00-21:00


A Chinese restaurant with about 10 restaurants nationwide.

A picture of Heichinro

In pretty special fields, it can also be used for Wi-Fi rental "SAMURAI", which provides a rental service for mobile Wi-Fi router for foreigners.

a picture of Samurai foreign exchange shop

Certainly, using virtual currency, such as bitcoin, in overseas countries has many merits.

But even if you are a bitcoin fan and you rely on bitcoin, it will be a big problematic issue if you come to Japan with bitcoin only as holding money.

For money savers

Following are the tips for lower budget travelers.


Convenience stores are the best place to buy breakfast and lunch to save money.
There are many stores within 5 minutes walk when you are in big cities.
If you can't find it, ask young people "Where is Convenience?".
"Convini" in Japanese is the shorten word and much popular than "Convenience Store".

Muffin, Sandwich, Pastry, Onigiri, Juice, Milk, Coffee, Tea, Snack, Fruits, Cup noodle, etc.
They supply hot water for your cup noodle.
Also a microwave oven is available to use for customers.

picture of Seven-Eleven

Seven Eleven

picture of Lawson


picture of MiniStop

Mini Stop

picture of CircleK

Circle K

picture of Sunkus SUNKUS

picture of ThreeF

Three F

picture of FamilyMart

Family mart


For long distance travel, Shinkansen is fast and convenient but expensive.

1. Use local train, not express

2. Use red-eye bus for long distance travel

3. Use JR Pass

4. Shinkansen / Super Express

For short distance,

1. Walking

0 Yen

picture of Shoes

2. Use subway efficiently

160 - 200 Yen

3. Use bus

170 - 230 Yen

4. Use local train

140 - ??? Yen

JR Seishun Jyuhachi Kippu (Seishun 18 Kippu)

This tickets are valid for JR local trains only and only one day.
5 tickets costs you 11850Yen.
5 people can use one day or one can use 5 days.
You can use all local trains from a.m. 00 o'clock to midnight.
There are overnight trains operating by JR and they are very useful for you to use.
Consult with the JR timetable, you can go to Kyushu from Tokyo with 2370 Yen.
The selling period is limited;

Selling date Valid date
2018 02/20 - 03/31 2018 03/01 -04/10
2018 07/01 - 08/31 2018 07/20 - 09/10
2018 12/01 - 12/31 2018 12/10 - 2019 01/10

It is another option to purchase JR Rail Pass.


1. Youth hostels

From around 3000 Yen (no meal)
From around 4500 Yen (Dinner & Breakfast)

2. Inexpensive Japanese inn

There is no bed. You can experience the Japanese Futon mattress.
The employees may not speak English but will welcome you with warm heartfelt hospitality.
You can enjoy the different world from hotel life.
Here are some inns;

Hotel Judo

From 3200 Yen

Sawanoya Ryokan

From 4700 Yen

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