Culture and traditions

The Japanese yen: value, curiosities and history of the currency of Japan

Since the nineteenth century and after the passage of several types, Japan continues with the same currency: the yen. This is made up of several coins and bills that we show you below. In addition, we indicate your exchange rate compared to other currencies in the world.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.


In the 8th century, Japanese emperors imported China's monetary system. Some of the coins minted were the Fuhon-sen and the Wado Kaichin, which was made with copper. They remained until the 10th century, when the currency was eliminated as an object of payment.

This one returned in the twelfth century. However, this time and until the s. XVI were imported from China. Between the 17th and 19th centuries a trimetallic monetary system was developed with gold, silver and copper coins that were minted in Japan.

In the nineteenth century, much of Asia used the coins of spanish dollar (the real of a 8). However, the Japanese began to coin a silver coin, the yen, officially adopted on May 10, 1871.

From this moment, the yen underwent several stages of devaluation and its exchange rate was changed multiple times. Different materials such as brass, nickel or silver have also been used.

In 1953 all the coins of less than one yen (the sen and the rim) were invalidated, so we did not find divisional currency in this country.

Current currency

The ISO code of and in It is PYN and its symbol is ¥. The word yen means in Japanese round object.

Currently we find six different currencies: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. The latter is the youngest, since it was created in 1982, while the oldest is that of a yen, which has been preserved since 1946.

The most characteristic coins are those of 5 and 50 yen, since they have a hole in the center. Also, most models have a drawing of a plant or flower on its obverse.

It is considered that the 5 yen coin is lucky, so it is common for the Japanese to always carry one in the wallet or leave it as an offering in the temples.

As for today's tickets, they began to be produced in 2004 as a replacement for those approved in 1984, which were being faking in great quantities.

There are 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen, and there are personalities that have stood out throughout the country's history, such as Ichiyō Higuchi, a nineteenth-century novelist found in the 5,000 yen bills .

Exchange rate

This is the equivalence between 100 yen and some of the most important currencies in the world:

  • JPY 100.00 = 0.86 euros (EUR)
  • JPY 100.00 = 17.11 Mexican pesos (MXN)
  • 100.00 JPY = 2,609.80 Colombian pesos (COP)
  • JPY 100.00 = US $ 0.92 (USD)
  • JPY 100.00 = 2.99 Peruvian soles (PEN)
  • JPY 100.00 = 595.89 Chilean pesos (CLP)
  • JPY 100.00 = 6.74 Guatemalan quetzales (GTQ)
  • JPY 100.00 = 9.19 Venezuelan bolivars (FEV)
  • JPY 100.00 = 14.04 Argentine pesos (ARS)
  • JPY 100.00 = £ 0.72 (GBP)

If you are going to travel to Japan, you must change money. You can do it in any of the exchange houses that are in a large part of the cities, as well as in the airports. In addition, you can get yen directly at any ATM.

On the other hand, although in the past it was more difficult, at present there is usually no problem to pay by credit card in most tourist establishments such as hotels and restaurants.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

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