Where can I buy yen in US?

Apr 30th, 2005, 01:22 PM
Original Poster
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Where can I buy yen in US?

I was told I should arrive in Japan with some yen in my pocket. Does anyone know where I can buy some before I go? I am in the Chicago area.
Thanks for your help!
PamR is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Don't know why you would want to do that. You can buy some at O'hare airport before you leave, but it will cost you. The best place to buy yen is in Japan.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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or use an atm at the airport in japan...
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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No reason to buy in the US before a trip to Japan. You'll be able to exchange dollars for yen just outside the customs booths in the airport...don't exchange much there as the rate isn't the best. You'll find that the post offices offer competitive rates...you can use your ATM or credit card to get yen in cash, or exchange cash or travellers checks at the banking counter in the post office. Many banks, but not all, also have exchange services...they will have a sign saying they do foreign exchange - inside, there is a special foreign exchange desk (you don't wait in the regular teller line).
KimJapan is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I also like to have the local money in my pocket so I don't have to be bothered after a very long plane ride. I'm in NYC and got around $200 worth at my bank. You can call your bank and see if they have or can order foreign currency for you. True, it is more expensive than getting it in Japan but to me the convenience is worth it.
Mara is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Thanks, Everyone. I think I'll take Mara's advice and try to buy a few yen to get me going. I forgot to say I'm flying direct to Osaka and joining a group to Kyoto. But I think the situation with the airport bank and the ATMs should be similar to Tokyo.
PamR is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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Try your local AAA office.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 08:34 PM
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I like to have a few Yen (or whatever) in my pocket too when I arrive, just in case. If you have an American Express card, you can get Yen from them, though their rate stinks.
laurieco is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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I always take local currency along to wherever I travel as well!! Not alot, but enough to get me through the first day..
TracyB is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 10:52 PM
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i always have at least one to two hundred usd in local currency in my pocket when i travel.

so, when going to japan, i rec you have at least 2000y before you depart for japan. living in chi, you should have no prob getting yen from your local bank.

if you are taking the limo bus into tokyo, you might miss your limo bus into tokyo if you have to wait in line to convert your usd.

when in japan, i always use the atm, no problem.
kuranosuke is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 10:58 PM
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You can probably get YEN thru your bank, they usually give "slightly" better exchange deal than airport cash to cash exchange for the existing customers.

I got additional YEN at the KIX airport, just outside the customs.

In case you are not aware, a plain ATM in Japan does NOT accept foreign ATM/debit cards. Even at the airport, not all ATM accept PLUS/CIRRUS cards, but at least you can find them.

Even at the Kyoto station, there is no ATM inside that accepts PLUS/CIRRUS cards. There is, however, a post office right next to the Kyoto station that take PLUS/CIRRUS cards.

While you get hit with about 6% additional fee to buy YEN in US, I would go with YEN in my pocket. Japan is an extremely cash driven society and if temporary "technical" problems prevent you from accessing your bank, you would place yourself in a difficult situation.
nickn is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 04:38 AM
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In Chicago I have bought yen at the main branch of what was then First Chicago (Dearborn and Madison). Look for the international tellers. For yen or even more unusual currencies (I have bought Czech and Brazil) from a small foreign curreny broker on the mezzanine floor of the building just North of Lake between Clark and LaSalle (I think it is known as the Transportation Building, there is Cosi sandwich shop and the Avis and National car rentals in that building.) You can just walk in they have a window like a bank teller. Sure you probably pay a premium but I agee sometimes it is worth the peace of mind just to have a few local "bucks" when you arrive jet lagged wherever you are going. I found them in the yellow pages but it is near my office and so quite handy. If you aren't close enough to make downtown handy, I think your local branch bank can order you some currency, especially major ones like yen or Euro. Or try American Express or Chase bank on line.
laurie_ann is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 07:22 AM
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This company will send you yen for a $10 delivery fee: http://www.foreignmoney.com/

If you are a Bank of America customer, BOA will send you the yen for a $7.50 delivery fee.
JoyceL is offline  
May 15th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Thanks, Everyone. I called Bank One (used to be First Chicago) and they sell yen there. So I'll pick up some. Also thanks for information on ATMs. I always get through Europe using those, and was surprised to see it's a little more difficult to do that in Japan. Also surprised to see what a cash-driving society it is, that is, credit cards not used as widely. But I'm glad to learn there is an ATM at KIX airport, which is where I'm arriving. As usual, your help is invaluable. Thanks again.
PamR is offline  

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