The currency is the Japanese Yen (¥ or JPY). There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. The notes are 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yen. For the current exchange rate of Japanese Yen, you can look at www.oanda.com. In May 2012, the rate is 1 Euro to 104 yen.
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Banks are usually open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 15.00 hours and post offices from 9 am to 19.00 hrs. In all the post offices there are ATMs where you can withdraw using your normal bank card, as it is equipped with the Cirrus and/or Maestro symbol. The limitation is usually 50000 yen. Larger amounts can be paid by credit card. Visa and American Express credit cards are accepted in most places. With the Visa card you can withdraw money, but the cost is very high. We recommend therefore to try to use your debit card, but of course you may choose to bring some extra cash. Please note that currency exchange may take some time.
The allowance recommended by us is a minimum amount for your meals, drinks, optional excursions, entrance fees, local airport taxes and gratuities. The amount you actually spend will depend a great deal on your own habits and so therefore souvenirs are not included.