When leaving a country(Japan in this case) is it better to change money in a bank in town or at the airport or does it even matter?

I have heard that the exchange rate at the airport is worse then in banks. Is that true? I am planning on changing yen to euro. The only pros and cons I know currently are that not all banks in Japan have foreign currencies so I would have to visit multiple banks to exchange money while at the airport they will certainly have enough.

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    It is almost always better to change your money in at either a money changers (there are various changers all over Tokyo) rather than banks or the airport. The rates are usually worst at the airport money changers (as you have little ability to "shop around" or go back to Tokyo before your flight), followed by banks (banks usually charge a commission but not all do), followed with the best rates usually offered by city-based money changers (quite a few of which don't charge commissions and usually have competitive rates (for Japan). Mar 28, 2017 at 6:54
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    Never ever at the airport. You will always be dealt a bad hand(very low exchange rate) in all situations, unless you own the shop maybe.
    – DumbCoder
    Mar 28, 2017 at 9:41

2 Answers 2


If you have leftover currency, changing it into your home currency will usually be at a worse rate than what you paid to get it. (If the exchange rate changes more than a tiny bit between when you got the currency and when you leave, this might not be true.) Rather than change the currency, consider spending it, such as paying your hotel with whatever leftover cash you have, and putting the remaining balance on a credit card.


The one exception to not changing it at the airport on your return home would be if you were unfortunate enough to change your money when you arrived at the airport, and the money exchange had a return exchange program so that you could reconvert your funds back to your original currency at the original rate.

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