So you’ve been shopping and eating around, spending money like crazy, but then you start to realize that your pockets are becoming really heavy with all of that loose change…. Especially thanks to all of those 1¥ coins. So what can you do with all of those coins? Well, you could take them to a bank and have them changed up into notes but… where’s the fun in that? You’re on holiday! Spend it all!

Gashapon (capsule toy)

Japan is home to some really crazy gashapon machines. You want some inexpensive anime goods? No problem, there are thousands of gashapon machines dedicated to that. You’re looking for a bunch of really cheap and quirky souvenirs? Gashapon. You want some “fake food” to hang off of your suitcase? Gashapon.


Most machines will cost you around 300¥ for a decent toy. Some higher quality goods can be more expensive, but it may be worth an extra few yen to get a really cool and unique keychain.

UFO Catchers (claw games)

Speaking of spending money, UFO Catchers in Japan are a sure way of getting rid of all that annoying loose change. Here you can play for really cool prizes like figurines, pillows, soft toys, food, tote bags, beach towels and more. Be careful though, these games can be highly addictive and can cause you to spend way more than you intended. Try going in with a limited amount of funds, just to be sure you won’t overspend.


Give Them Away

Maybe you’ve had enough of spending and you’re ready to give something instead. For all those pesky 1¥ coins, you can try dropping them off at a temple, or placing them in a charity box at the airport on your way out. Of course, you can always use those coins when paying for something, but sometimes, if you have too many, a cashier won’t accept them. There are tons of great causes in Japan that would gladly accept all of your useless coins. Earthquake relief, children’s charities, animal rescues, temples and shrines, you’ll have your pick. If you know that you’re leaving pretty soon, and you’ve got hundreds of coins, give them away to a better cause. You’ll feel good about yourself knowing that you’re helping out a charity, and your pockets will be back to normal.