Japan’s currency is called the Yen, and depending on exchange rate fluctuations is approximately exchanged at around $1.20 US for 100 Yen, $1.20 Australian for 100 Yen or about 1 Euro for 100 Yen.

1000 yen note

The currency is made up of coins and notes, with the coins being in 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 denominations. The smallest note is 1000 yen which is about 10 dollars, the next size is 2000 then 5000, 10000. The easiest way to think of the currency is to imagine a decimal point before the last two digits, then it is similar in size to US or Australian currency, e.g. 1000 yen would be 10.00.

The coins are fairly interesting with the Y1 coin being made of very light aluminium and the Y5 a silver coloured coin and Y50 a bronze coin having a hole in the middle.

The notes like the US are all very similar, all being of a bluish colour with a slight accent of another colour. The notes have been withdrawn and changed several times in recent years to be replaced with higher security notes which are harder to counterfeit.

The Y1000 note now features Hideyo Noguchi, a prominent Japanese bacteriologist who discovered the agent of syphilis disease in 1911 on one side, and Mt Fuji, Lake Motosuko and Cherry Blossoms on the reverse. The notes colour is  a bluish tinge.

The Y5000 has a purplish tinge with Higuchi Ichiyo, who was a Japanese author of samurai lineage on the front, and “Kakitsubata-zu” a painting of Irises by Ogata Korin on the reverse.

The Y10000 has Fukuzawa Yukichi who was a Japanese author, writer, teacher, translator, entrepreneur and political theorist and founder of the Keio University on the front with the Hoo Phoenix statue from the Byodo-in temple on the reverse and has a brownish tinge.