Japan is generally considered a cash society with the Japanese Yen being the currency of Japan. (The currency code for Yen is JPY, and the currency symbol is ¥.) Many of the smaller restaurants, boutiques and shops only accept Yen, while most, but not all, of the larger stores and restaurant chains will accept Yen or credit cards as a form of payment.

When purchasing items on base, you will find that it is much like the United States – credit cards, checks and U.S. dollars are accepted. However, there may be an occasional store on base where yen is accepted or required (Starbucks currently requests Yen).

Community Bank and Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) each have multiple ATMs on base that allow you to withdraw funds from your accounts. Community Bank ATMs dispense both Dollars and Yen. NFCU ATMs only dispense dollars. Some Japanese ATMs offer instructions in English and will allow you to draw cash advances on your credit cards. You will pay a small surcharge fee when you use an ATM affiliated with a financial institution where you do not have an account. It is suggested that you open an account with at least one of the on-base financial institutions.

To view top Yen (JPY) exchange rates, click below. Note that this is the official exchange rate and is not the rate that you will receive when you exchange dollars for yen at Community Bank, a bank or money exchange off-base, withdraw yen from an ATM, etc. Suggest you Google the “exchange rate in Yokosuka or Sasebo” for that information.

XE – Currency Encyclopedia


Useful Japanese Phrases

Learning basic spoken Japanese is not as difficult as it may seem, despite how intimidating it may seem at first. There are several options for learning the language: Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Workshops, on-base college courses, off-base language schools, computer based programs, and language exchanges (trade teaching English for Japanese). The Japanese people appreciate your attempts to speak their language. Below is a list of a few common phrases that can be used on a regular basis. Pronunciation of vowel sounds is consistent, but a bit different than you might be used to. Refer to the chart below for the correct vowel sounds.

NOTE: the (u) at the end of a word is pronounced as a short sound, almost silent, as if it has been cut off before it is completely spoken.

VOWEL Sounds Like: In Sample Word
A ah Father
I ee See
U oo Too
E eh Met
O oh Vote
Good Morning
Ohayou gozaimasu
Good Afternoon
Konnichiwa (pronounce BOTH “n” sounds!)
Good Evening
Good Night
Oyasumi nasai
Good Bye

How are you?
Ogenki desu ka?
Fine, thank you.
Hai, genki desu.
I’m pleased to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
Douzo yoroshiku.

What is your name?
Onamae wa nan desu ka?
My name is ____________.
Watashi wa ____________.

I don’t speak Japanese.
Nihongo wo hanashimasen.
Please say that again.
Mou ichido itte kudasai.
I am sorry.
Gomen nasai.
Do you speak English?
Eigo wo hanashimasu ka?
Do you understand?
Wakarimasu ka?
DYes, I understand.
Hai, wakarimasu.

Please (Here you are)
Please give me.
Please do this for me
Thank you
Doumo arigatou gozaimasu
You are welcome
Douitashimashite (limited uses; it’s often better to say “thank you”)

I like it
Suki desu
I don't like it
Kirai desu

See you later!
Mata ne!
Take care
Kiotsukete! (the “u” is almost silent!)

It’s OK, I don’t mind

I’m leaving
Itte kimasu!
Have a nice day
Itte rashai! (said to someone who is leaving)

Please come in
Agatte kudasai! (at a store, etc)
Please come in
Haitte kudasai! (a room)
Please wait a moment
Chotto matte kudasai!

For additional useful Japanese word and phrases, please see