Cash Rehab: The Secret World of Japan’s Crisp Banknotes

Are you tired of being judged for your less-than-pristine currency? Look no further than the land of the rising sun, where cash is king and must be treated with the utmost respect. That’s right folks, if you’re planning a trip to Japan and you’re a crumpled cash carrier, you might want to rethink your strategy.

In Japan, it’s a well-known fact that banknotes must be in excellent condition in order to be used. But what happens to those dirty, marked, and crumpled notes? They get sent to cash rehab, where they receive a spa day for money and are sent back out into the world, good as new. No, we’re not kidding.

As a part-time student working in Osaka, I was told not to give dirty bills and coins as change to customers because it’s considered rude and quality customer service is important. Dirty or damaged cash was stored in a separate compartment and collected at the end of the day. But that’s not all, folks.

In Japan, it’s also considered basic manners to have new and flawless cash for gift money. You must not give a bill with a wrinkle or stain to newlyweds or as a gift to children. New bills are called ピン札 (Pin-satsu) in Japanese, which literally means “crisp bills.” Can you imagine giving your loved ones a crumpled bill? The horror!

But beware, my friends. Damaging Japanese currency is officially a crime in Japan. There’s a law named the Act on Control of Damaging and Other Acts Related to Coins, which can result in a prison sentence of up to a year. So, the next time you’re tempted to crumple up that 5,000 yen bill, remember, in Japan, cash is king and must be treated with the utmost respect. Don’t risk it, folks! So, keep your cash crisp, clean, and out of prison.


Nothing more, nothing less. But, let me tell you, the moment I stepped off that plane and into the land of the free, my eyes were opened to a whole…


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