Currency Exchange to Japanese Yen
You can exchange foreign currencies at designated banks bearing the following sign: 財務省認可両替商 (“Authorized by Treasury Department”). You can also exchange foreign currencies at banks or money changers in the airport when you arrive. Financial institutions are generally open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays (Monday through Friday), and closed on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
In Sendai city, you can exchange foreign currencies at the following money exchanger on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Travelex Viewcard Currency Exchange Center JR Sendai Station Branch (only in Japanese)
- Travelex Sendai (Japanese only)
Japanese money uses four denominations in paper (although there is a 2000-yen note, it is seldom used) and six in coin. Please note that some ATMs don’t accept coins.
When you purchase anything in Japan, an 8% consumption tax will be added. The amount you will be asked to pay is the total for your item(s) plus the consumption tax. At retailers such as fast-food restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, etc., the displayed price might or might not include the consumption tax, depending on the business.
It is not customary to tip in Japan.
Cash and Credit Cards
Credit cards can be used in many shops, but in general, the number of places that accept credit cards is much lower in Japan compared to the US and European countries. Carrying cash at all times during your stay is recommended.
Convenience stores are relatively numerous in Sendai. You can withdraw money using an overseas bank card at ATMs in the stores.