have your say

Why do you think the ¥2,000 banknote, introduced in 2000, never caught on in Japan?


©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Simply no need for it, people have been able to use other bills to handle the role of the 2000 effectively.

It's like the $10 and the $50 in the USA. Both exist, and sure you can find them. But the $10 is too big for your day to day 'quick' purchases, and too small for convenient carrying in a larger purchase. Same with the $50 really, with most people easily handling both via $20s (which are dispensed by ATMs) and for big cash purchases, $100s.

When I worked in retail management, at the end of the day we'd have about $15-20 in $1s, maybe $50 in $5s, and only $20-30 in $10s, with the rest made up of $20's, with the occasional $100 for large cash payments. I rarely if ever had a $50 in the cash deposit at the end of the night.

With the rise of cashless society, expect these 'gap' bills to fade even further into use.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

From talking to Japanese friends, they said the size was weird and too big and sometimes did not fit properly in tills or wallets, and that vending machines didn't always take them. I personally think the 2000yen bill is very convenient and kind of wish they had caught on in the mainland. In Okinawa though they're apparently still very much in use, I read a report about how 90% of usage in the country is just in Okinawa.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm wondering more whether retaining the 1 yen coin is actually economically sound.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The ¥2000 note can be equated roughly with 20 in other popular denominations.

Euro 20 is 2nd most popular @ 20%

US$ 20 is 3rd most popular @ 22%

Au$ 20 is 3rd most popular @ 10%

E£ 20 is the most popular @ 55%

¥2,000 is @ 0.7%


A Big reason is many ATMs and vending machines never made the change over, so the notes are viewed as inconvenient and not useful. Because of that the habit never was instilled and people have developed an "unwarranted slight" towards the note.

In recent years tourists esp to Okinawa want the notes as souvenirs because they show the Shureimon(gate) of Shuri Castle.

I use sometimes to freak shop staff out.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because it was new and new things are scary here

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I used to have fun with them. A lot of store clerks would look confused by them and some actually refused them. Sorta like the $2 bills, haha

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They may have been introduced by Japan but Japan didn't make them convenient for us using them. The main complaint I here is most vending machines, self-registers or ticket machines don't accept them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I use sometimes to freak shop staff out

They probably just shocked that you’d use a 2k to buy beer and cup ramen and not keep it as a souvenir. :P

I’ve never had any trouble using 2ks anywhere other than old vending machines.

The reason they fell out of circulation is because the BOJ and people who save large amounts of cash are hoarding them, because 2k will never change as it is a commemorative tender.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

From another news source:

Initially, the bank of Japan wanted to have one billion 2,000-yen bills out in the Japanese economy by the end of the year 2000, but so far peak circulation for the bill has been a meager 513 million in 2004. The number has fallen since then, dropping below 100 million since 2014, and the Bank of Japan is sitting on a large surplus of already-printed, yet-to-be-circulated 2,000-yen bills

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It was not really necessary and people confused them with ¥1,000 notes. A ¥50,000 note would have been much more popular and useful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've only ever had one... It was issued by an ATM in 2005... somewhere in Ichikawa. I went to use it at a convenience store and the clerk looked like she was going to call security on me. I've never seen another one myself.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The ¥2000 banknote was only introduced to celebrate the new millennium, year 2000 and not intended to be a long term banknote.

Soon after the introduction an urban myth was started that all modern bank notes, except the ¥2,000 one, had government tracking chips in. The people with secret and illegal sashes of cash converted them into ¥2000 bank note and it started to disappear from the high street.

Soon after that, a second urban myth was started, was in fact only the ¥2000 bank note have a government tracking chip.

I had one in my wallet for years but gave it as part of a wedding gift.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The only time I ever saw one was when my bank in the US gave me one as part of the yen that I requested before a trip to Japan. Once I got to Japan, my friend was shocked to see it and wouldn't let me spend it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

like david said- it's not needed. What MIGHT be more popular is a 500 and a 100 yen bill. That might be more popular..maybe

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It makes sense if you follow the 1, 2, 5 principle. This is used in the U.K., for example:

1p, 2p, 5p,

10p, 20p, 50p,

£1, £2, £5,

£10, £20, £50

You can easily and quickly make amounts between these numbers.

It might make more sense, if it were:

¥1, ¥2, ¥5

¥10, ¥20, ¥50

¥100, ¥200, ¥500

¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥50,000

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is a ¥5000 note. ¥2000 is not a multiple of ¥5000.

Interesting enough, I very raely see a US$2.00.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought they were pretty cool. I have 7 or 8 of these in my desk which I just cannot bring myself to spend. Kind of like the old US 2 dollar bill or Susan B Anthony dollars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For me, it was hard to use as they featured scenes from my favorite Japanese novel, Genji Monogatari. I have a drawer full of them. Call me sentimental.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only time I ever saw one was when my bank in the US gave me one as part of the yen that I requested before a trip to Japan. Once I got to Japan, my friend was shocked to see it and wouldn't let me spend it.

I once bought yen in Canada for a trip to Japan..and was given about 25 2000 yen notes. I knew they might present an issue, so just told them to give me 5,000 yen notes instead. All of the 2000 yen notes were crisp and brand new. Kind of wonder how they got them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember at the time a major complaint against them came from retailers. All the cash registers in the country were designed with slots for 1, 5 and 10 thousand Yen notes. If use of the 2,000 Yen note had taken off they would have had to re-arrange everything (not to mention the vending machines, etc).

That is actually kind of convincing as an explanation. ATMs don't dispense 5,000 Yen notes, you only get them in change when you spend a 10,000 Yen note that you got from an ATM. Since retailers never adopted them like they did the 5,000 Yen note, and you couldn't get them from ATMs, they just never entered your wallet in everyday life like 5,000 Yen ones did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites