Cheapest / Best way to get Japanese Yen in Japan using money from Foreign account?

Hi all, I'm a Canadian that'll be living in Japan for the next few months. I've brought several thousand yen with me but I'll be needing more at some point in the future. In hindsight, I should have exchanged it all while I was in Canada but what's done is done. I think the most expensive option would be to continue using my visa while I'm abroad or making a cash withdrawal from it? I'm thinking of transferring money over to a family member back in Canada and get them to remit the money to me in Japanese yen?? Any help and ideas would be very much appreciated!! (I'm staying in Osaka for the record).

6 Answers

  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you want to check current exchange rates in Japan with whatever you can get where you are now, have a look at

    The easiest, most hassle free way to get yen for you in Japan is with your ATM card at a Japanese 7-11 or post office. Good rates, and the 7-11s are open virtually 24/7.

    Do not EVER get a cash advance off of your credit card - you'll be paying loan shark interest rates from the second the money lands in your hands.

    You can also see what Japanese money looks like at

    Note that you can not use 1 or 5 yen coins in vending machines and phones.

  • 3 years ago

    The Post Office ATMs typically accept Canadian visa/mastercard, if that is the way you want to go. Whatever you do, don't assume that say; the RBC or Scotiabank office in Tokyo or Osaka will cash a Canadian cheque. They are typically representative offices that don't do anything retail.

  • Quinn
    Lv 6
    3 years ago

    Wrong. You do not get the best exchange rate conversion outside of Japan. That's because money changers outside of Japan have to buy more yens for each yen they exchange so they give you a lower rate than what you see on the Currency Exchange. Those inside Japan will give you a better rate because by giving you JPY (Yens) it is a given that you will be spending it in Japan. And what foreign currency they receive, they can use it to buy goods and services from abroad - remember Japan has to buy every drop of oil and every ounce of raw materials such as metal ores to make their product.

  • 3 years ago

    You'll need to do a spreadsheet, and compare, because it really depends on the banks you are using. Most people I have talked to look at me like I was stupid, and say something about ATM cash withdrawals being the best option. Make sure your credit card is an international credit card that can do that.

    You could look into wire transfers -- banks on both ends probably charge fees, and you might not want to set up an account.

    Wire transfers directly to you (such as Western Union) are probably much more expensive.

    Also, if you are living in Japan on a student visa, then you might be able to work part-time if your school lets you. This, honestly, is probably the best way to get yen. A few hours a week teaching English should cover your pocket money. Make sure you can work legally, though.

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  • 3 years ago

    ATMs and credit cards are usually the least expensive way to obtain money. Credit card companies charge very different transactions fees- it's a little late to look into that now, but there are some that charge a lot less for an international transaction. If you can, setting up a local bank account is also a good idea.

  • 3 years ago

    It's going to cost you something to exchange currency regardless of what country you do it in. It's going to cost something for someone else to send you money. It may cost you something to transfer money to someone else. depending what your bank does for fees. Your best option is probably to use the card and make sure you pay off any cash withdrawals as soon as possible.

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