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Old Oct 31, 05, 8:45 am   #1
 
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Exclamation Can I still use old currency notes?

Hi

Need some advice on the usage of old currency notes in Japan. I have changed some Japanese Yen in Singapore and was given some old notes design that are no longer in circulation. The money changer has assured me that it is still legal tender and accepted in Japan. I have checked the Bank of Japan website and it seems that the notes are still legal tender. Would I have problem using those notes?

The notes can be found in the following PDF file: http://www.boj.or.jp/en/money/basic/...ta/money01.pdf, which can be downloaded from BOJ website: http://www.boj.or.jp/en/money/basic/now/okane.htm.

The notes which I have are found in Page 2 of the PDF file, top left corner. Would appreciate any advice or assistance on this as I am travelling to Japan tomorrow.

Many thanks again.
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Old Oct 31, 05, 9:39 am   #2
 
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They may be legal tender, but I'd suspect that most vendors would balk at accepting them -- it's been 20 years since they were taken out of circulation! I'm very surprised you got those in Singapore (which gets lots of Japanese visitors), I suspect the money changer just managed to get rid of some notes nobody else wants... You may have to make a trip to a bank, or perhaps even the Bank of Japan (which has branches in Tokyo and Osaka among other places), to get rid of them.
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Old Oct 31, 05, 9:43 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hclee01
The notes which I have are found in Page 2 of the PDF file, top left corner.
You were given a 10,000yen note with a portrait of Shotoku Taishi? Was this given to you by a legitimate bank or money exchange agency?
(I can hardly believe it).

The information on the Bank Of Japan PDF indicates that the Shotoku Taishi note has not been issued since 1986. That's a very OLD note. The currency has been re-designed at least twice since then. I can't remember when I last saw a Shotoku Taishi note...

My guess is that there's a chance that you could take the note into a Japanese bank and they might check that it isn't a fake and then exchange it for a current note. But you cannot expect any store in Japan to accept that note.

I would refuse that note.

You should take that note back to whoever gave it to you and insist on receiving some up-to-date currency. (or get a refund).

Last edited by jib71; Oct 31, 05 at 9:46 am..
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Old Oct 31, 05, 10:16 am   #4
 
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Hi

Thanks for the info. I have changed it today and was told that it was legal tender. As I am not too familiar with it, I accepted it. I am flying to Tokyo tomorrow and do not have time to go back to the money changer again. Would I be able to change it for the new series note at any of the banks in Tokyo or at the money changing counter in Narita Airport? I have a few of such notes and pretty upset now that the money changer has not been ethnical. Yes, it is a legal moneychanger in Singapore.
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Old Oct 31, 05, 11:49 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hclee01
Hi

Thanks for the info. I have changed it today and was told that it was legal tender. As I am not too familiar with it, I accepted it. I am flying to Tokyo tomorrow and do not have time to go back to the money changer again. Would I be able to change it for the new series note at any of the banks in Tokyo or at the money changing counter in Narita Airport? I have a few of such notes and pretty upset now that the money changer has not been ethnical. Yes, it is a legal moneychanger in Singapore.
Since you mention that this is a legitimate money changer, my gut feeling is that those notes probably qualify as "legal tender." However, I am pretty sure that you will have some problems using them at any store in Japan. Just consider that many of the staff members working at 7-11 or McDonalds were born after those notes were taken out of circulation....

The best thing to do is to take the notes to a bank counter as soon as you arrive at Narita airport. I have a feeling that the bank will accept the notes - but if they don't, then you might need to take them to the Bank of Japan. (Fairly close to Tokyo Station or Nihonbashi subway station or Mitsukoshimae subway station).

Was the moneychanger unethical? I don't think so. But I would say unhelpful in the extreme.
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Old Nov 2, 05, 11:05 pm   #6
 
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Thanks for all the comments.

I have tried to change the notes at Narita Airport and was refused that they do not change Yen for Yen, even though I have changed some SGD to YEN as well.

Well, in Tokyo, I went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner and they gladly accepted the old note for payment. Thereafter, I tried again at a 7-11 store in Ueno and they accepted as well. Was real glad that I managed to do it without much fuss.
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Old Nov 2, 05, 11:35 pm   #7
 
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Thanks for the report

Thanks for reporting that - I'm stunned that the bank wouldn't "change yen for yen." Banks have been happy enough to give me fresh notes for torn ones in the past...

But anyway, I'm glad it worked out OK for you in the end and it's nice to know that good-old 7-11 will happily accept those notes.

But despite hearing your good experience, I am going to stick with my instincts. If a someone tries to pass me a Shotoku Taishi 10,000yen note, I will probably refuse it.

Now.... I wonder if the stores would be as comfortable taking the old 1-yen notes that are shown on the same PDF from the Bank Of Japan.... I'll bet you that they're worth more than 1-yen to the right person.
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