Example of a 1000 Yen bank note featuring Hideyo Noguchi (November 9, 1876 – May 21, 1928). Noguchi-san was a prominent Japanese bacteriologist who in 1911 discovered the agent of syphilis as the cause of progressive paralytic disease.
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.
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.