Dean and Sue Zemke

Asahikawa, Hokkaido JAPAN

Current Yen Exchange Rates

Please click below for the current Japanese Yen exchange rates
US Dollar - Japanese Yen Exchange Rate

Japanese Money

Japanese Money
The Yen
Japan's main unit of currency is the yen (or en) (symbol: ). The sen, a former monetary unit, was worth 1/100 of a yen. ("Yen" originally referred to a round coin, while "sen" referred to a copper coin. The plural of "yen" is "yen.")

Coin Denominations
The low denominations are represented by coins: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500. Coins increase in size and weight with value. The kanji "Nihon Koku" (aka "Nippon Koku") means Country of Japan.

Banknote Denominations 
1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000
"Nippon Ginko" means Bank of Japan.



Japanese Coins

For specifications of coins, please click here:


Paper Money

Japanese Banknotes

click for  Bank of Japan Notes Currently Issued

click for Details of Current and Former Valid Bank of Japan Notes (PDF File)

New series of Japanese Yen notes released November 2004.

It is the first time the bills have been redesigned in 20 years.

The new banknotes have been produced with advanced anticounterfeiting technology, including a hologram designed to make the banknotes' color and design appear to change if seen from different angles. Lettering will also become visible on the surface of the bills when viewed from certain angles.  The Bank of Japan believes it is almost impossible to counterfeit the bills using computers or color copiers.

The new 1000 yen note bears the image of Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928), an internationally renowned bacteriologist.  The obverse of the 1,000 yen note features Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms. 

The 5000 yen note features Ichiyo Higuchi (1872-96), a novelist and poet, the first woman to be depicted on a Bank of Japan note.  The obverse side of the 5,000 yen note features "Kakitsubata" (Rabbit-Ear Irises), a masterpiece by Ogata Korin,a famed painter of the Edo period (1603-1868). 

Keio University founder Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901) is still featured on the 10,000 yen note. The obverse of the note features the Chinese phoenix that adorns the roof of the Byodoin (Phoenix Hall) temple at Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, a national treasure. 

The 2000 yen note, released in 2000 specifically for the new year, is rarely used, as it's popularity has not caught on.  The picture on the front is 'shurei no mon' (the Gate of Shurei) in Okinawa.  The back has a scene from 'Genji Monogatari' (the Tale of Genji).  To the lower right (bottom) is a portrait of the writer, Murasaki Shikibu.  She lived in Japan 1000 years ago. 

The old 1000 yen note:  The face on this note is Natsume Soseki.  The back has 2 Tsuru (Cranes).   Natsume Soseki was a very famous writer during the Meiji period.  His most famous book is entitled
I am a Cat (
Wagahai wa neko de aru). It is about a cat who spends his time making comments on the way the humans run things.

The old 5000 yen note:  Nitobe Inazou's face graces the front.  And Mount Fuji is on the back.  Every year thousands scramble to climb this active volcano.  Nitobe Inazou established a woman's university in Tokyo.

The old 10,000 yen note:  Yukichi Fukuzawa graces this bill.  The birds are kiji (pheasant).


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