Money and Banking Phrases in Japanese

2 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Japanese Words and Phrases for Traveling

Visiting Japan can be expensive, so it's crucial to have a good understanding of Japanese money and banking phrases. Whether you're just visiting or you're planning to live in Japan for a while, the best way to ensure that you get the most for your money is to be familiar with these common financial terms.

o-kane (money)
ginkō (bank)
kawasere-to (exchange rate)
toraberāzu chekku (traveler's checks)

In Japan, the monetary system is based on the yen. Economically, it is almost always best to exchange your U.S. dollars for the local currency. In fact, exchanging money is the most common banking need for travelers. In the following conversation, a traveler exchanges his U.S.money for yen.

Joe: Kyō no kawase rēto wa ikura desu ka. (What's the exchange rate today?)

Banker: Kyō no kawase rēto wa ichi-doru hyaku-nijū-ni-en desu. (Today's exchange rate is 122 yen for 1 dollar.)

Joe: Hyaku-doru ryōgae shitai n-desu ga. (I would like to exchange $100.)

Personal checks are rarely used in Japan. So, if you're going to Japan, you're very likely to open a regular savings account rather than a checking account.

The following phrases give you a guideline to follow when forming your own questions about other banking needs while staying in Japan.

  • Ikura kaeraremasu ka. (How much can I change?)

  • Shiten wa ikutsu arimasu ka. (How many branches do you have?)

  • Amerika ni wa shiten ga arimasu ka. (Do you have any branches in the U.S.?)

  • Toraberāzu chekku o kaitai n-desu ga. (I would like to buy traveler's checks.)

  • Kono toraberāzu chekku o genkin ni shitai n-desu ga. (I'd like to cash this traveler's check.)

  • Futsū yokin kōza o hirakitai n-desu ga. (I would like to open a savings account.)

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