I have been so pumped lately because of the exchange rate. Thank you, Abenomics, for weakening the yen. As of current, the average rate is 120 yen to the dollar. That’s a whopping 20% more (on average). When I went to Japan for study abroad, the exchange rate was about 80 yen to the dollar. That was painful… 🙁
Because I want to take advantage of the great exchange rate, I’ve been giving as much money to my mom as I can afford, and she’s been exchanging it for me every so often. Why am I asking my mom to exchange it instead of doing it myself? Two reasons mainly:
- I’m not going to be flying out of DC, so there’s no reason for me to travel with that much cash on me. I’m mitigating the risk.
- Hawaii has a bomb exchange place. This isn’t going to apply for a lot of you, but for anyone who lives in Hawaii/will be vacationing in Hawaii before going to Japan/has a (long) layover in Hawaii, go to Pacific Money Exchange! It’s kind of sketchy (it’s just a window in Waikiki) but there are no service fees AND the kama’aina rate adds one yen per dollar to the current exchange rate!! (So if the exchange rate is 120 yen to the dollar, you’ll actually get 121 yen to the dollar… It adds up!)
But anyway, this exchange rate is great, and anyone heading to Japan soon, I’d recommend you exchange your yen now since I think it’s going to peak soon. (Not an economist. Do your own research as this is just my personal opinion!) But this means that you need less than $4,200 to get the recommended 500,000 yen!
For those of you currently in Japan looking to come home, I’m sorry for you… You’re probably feeling the complete opposite of how I feel right now. 🙁