Foreign Currency Exchange in Yudanaka

The Only Place in Yudanaka to exchange to Yen


Japan is such a “Cash Society”

Like many other Asian countries where you need to carry a wad of cash in your wallet or pocket.

Credit Card payments are not as readily available as other Western countries.

Like New Zealand, that I live, all the payments can be made by simply tapping my credit cards on EFYPOS (or DEBIT in most countries?) terminal.

I seriously do not carry cash with me these days in daily life in NZ. So this cash-carrying culture is something I’m not used to (anymore) either.

Anything can happen

Still, you can always do some research in advance and get prepared for it.

However, some unforeseen circumstances can put you in a difficult situation where you need lots of cash, like your hotel actually don’t take credit card payment and you were not aware of it until the last minute!

Solution For You

So I introduced this place when I talked about the coin lockers at Yudanaka Station. It’s in the same place, right across the station.


Here’s the aerial map to show you where.


Their money-exchange machine takes 9 different currencies as below.

  • Euro
  • Chinese Yuan
  • US Dollar
  • Hong Kong Dollar
  • Taiwanese Dollar]
  • Korean Won
  • Thai Baht
  • Singaporean Dollar
  • Australian Dollar


Basically, you just follow the instruction on the screen.

  • Choose the currency you have
  • Confirm the exchange rate that gets calculated daily by the machine
  • feed the notes (No coins obviously)


Their shop is open from 8am till 5:30pm.

So, hopefully, now you know at least a place to rush to when you get caught short in Yudanaka!

Remember, preparations is the best prevention!

See you next time

Today’s Phrase

Ryougae Ga Dekimasuka? 両替ができますか? = Can I exchange money?

This is an useful phrase to know!

Shiga Kogen Beer 志賀高原ビール

A local craft beer brewery in Yamanouchi Area



So Shiga Kogen has once won a prestigious status amongst all the domestic ski resorts because,

  1. It hosted some of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics races
  2. Being one of the largest area for skiing with 19 resorts combined
  3. The location was used for filming a hugely popular movie in the 80s, when skiing was so popular

With that prestigious name as the brand, Shiga Kogen Beer has been around for quite many years.

Tamamura Honten 玉村本店 is the brewer of that legendary beer, based in this region, Kutsuno right across Shibu Onsen.


Duration: 2 hours round trip on foot from Yudanaka Station, including the time to enjoy a pint of beer

Tamamura Honten

Tamaura Honten is originally a Sake maker, founded in 1805, and have been producing Sake for more than 200 years at the same location!

Then in 2005, they have started brewing beer and selling those, which became “Shiga Kogen Beer”.

Also, apparently this region once produced hops to make beer until 1950s.

So using local pure water, locally grown hops with the knowledge and Sake making kind of started this beer.

Tamamura Honten Website (Unfortunately available only in Japanese)


The Location 

It’s only 10 min walk from Shibu Onsen, up on the hill of Kutsuno, you can get to their main store.

First you will come across this brewery after walking a gentle uphill.


You keep turn left on the street and go further 30m or so then you’ll find their main office/store/gallery on your right.

Once inside, you’ll find retail section, a bar counter, and the gallery upstairs.


They have Sake and Beer tasting. When I went there a pint of beer on tap was ¥648.

I tried their IPA, Indian Pale Ale, on tap and that was beautiful.

Where else do you find their beer?

As far as I have seen, there are numerous local restaurants and liquor stores around Yudanaka who stock this brand. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to find.

usually the bottle is for ¥600, which is reasonable for a craft beer I think.

They do have an online store too. However, they seem to have the Japanese site only and it will be a good challenge to navigate through for purchase if you don’t read the language.

Give me a private mail if you need help. See what I can do.

If you like fresh beer and the smell of brewery, 2 hours well spent!

See you next time.

Today’s Phrase

Biru Wa Oisii Desu ビールは美味しいです = Beer tastes good!

Who can argue with that! A Killer phrase to learn!



Grocery Shopping in Yudanaka?

American Drug Store in Yudanaka

Why “American”? I don’t know, don’t ask me…

But one thing in Japan is for sure in Japan.

That is: “American” influence has been huge since the end of WW2

-Today’s Phrase-

American Drug Wa Doko Desuka? アメリカン ドラッグ は どこですか? = Where is the American Drug?

Listen, learn and practise!

It’s just a matter of replacing “American Drug” with wherever you want to go to when you want to ask the direction.

Where that is

Here we go. Here’s the google map for you.

Why “Drug Store”?

I can’t really tell you exactly why, but in Japan, drug stores (or pharmacies in Down Under sense) sell not only drugs but also groceries.

But in this case, groceries as a sort of all the packaged stuff like snacks, instant noodles and even alcohol! If you are lucky, you may even find stuff like eggs, milk or cheese on the shelves.

On the other hand I hardly see fresh stuff like vegetables in those places.

I believe it’s to do with the licensing of this type of business in Japan, but I’m not 100% familiar with that side of Japan to be honest, although I grew up here…

All I can say is “This is the way it is in Japan”. And It’s widely known here these places are cheaper than those “convenience stores” such as “Seven Eleven” or “Lawson” commonly found throughout this country.

So in this “American Drug” store in Yudanaka

You’ll find stuff like:

  • Drugs
  • Grooming items such as tooth paste, brush, razors and so on
  • Supplements
  • Instant noodles
  • Coffe and Tea
  • Milk
  • Snacks
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol such as Beer, Whisky, Sake, Shouchu and Wine
  • Cheese

So, you know where to go to if you are staying in Yudanaka for a few days and you have some needs.

Make sure to be nice to the shop staff there!

See you next time!