The currency in Japan is the Yen. The note pictured is the 1000 Yen bill which is the smallest. The other notes are 5000 and 10000 yen. Just recently a 2000 Yen note was introduced in Japan. The coins come in 500,100,50,10,5 and 1 yen denominations.
When travelling to Japan the best thing to do is to change your money into Yen cash (or if you are coming from the US then American Dollars is fine) as Japan is a cash based society. It is very common to walk around with the equivalent of $500US in cash or more!
The debit card and credit card craze of most societies has never caught on in Japan. Most foreign credit cards are not accepted in shops, restaurants and even some hotels. It is possible to get a cash advance from a Visa card at some ATM machines or banks but don't count on it! In Nagano the best place to go to get cash advances from your visa card is the ATM on the ground floor of the Heiando book store building opposite Nagano Station.
To find out how much the Yen is worth take a look at this currency converter
When you come to Nagano you will notice many Soba Restaurants. That is because Soba is a Nagano specialty. You can buy the raw product in omiyage gift stores or in supermarkets. If you are interested in seeing how Soba is made then I suggest you take a trip out of town to Togakushi. This picture is of a traditional Soba Mill at the Ninja Museum in Togakushi. The Soba Noodle is made from ground Buckwheat.
Please see my Togakushi Travelogue for more pictures and information.
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Washing your hands at the temples
When you visit a temple in Japan it is customary to wash your hands in the water found near the temple entrance. There are little scoops provided. It can be very cold in winter though!!
This is taken at Zenkoji Temple.
Naked and clean
Before entering the hot springs make sure to
a. be naked
b. shower and bathe before entering
c. feel enriched as the minerals are rumored to keep you young, and beautiful.