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24 June 2016 @ 11:02 am
Japan travel checklist finished  
At least, I hope so!

We bought our plane tickets back in March, and while they would have been a lot cheaper if we bought them a month later and we would have gotten a direct flight--right now we're flying Air Canada to Toronto and then Toronto to Tokyo--but there's no use complaining about that now. We reserved our hotels in May and got pretty good prices (~$110 a night on average) and close to shinkansen and transit lines. On Monday, I ordered our JR Passes from JTB, and yesterday they arrived. On Tuesday, I went to the bank and got new debit cards sent out. Chipped versions, so we can use them in 7Bank ATMs.

Then there was trading our currency. I asked about it at our bank and the banker told me not to do it there, do it somewhere else, but I asked for a quote to compare. Then I checked against the place she suggested and the rate was worse, so I looked around and found a third place and asked softlykarou to go there and make the trade. Then that place didn't allow credit card payments over $500 and slapped a surcharge on top of them to prevent fraud, didn't take her debit card for some reason, and didn't take checks, so at the end of the day yesterday I asked her to go back to the bank and just do it there, since they can easily accept payment since they already hold our money. So that went through.

Then the Brexit vote happened and the yen took off like a rocket. When we did our trade, it was 104.5円 to the dollar minus fees and so on, so we got something like 99円 to the dollar. Today the yen is already trading around 99円 to the dollar (though up to 102円 at the time of writing). The Nikkei is down over 1300 points and when I went to sleep, they had suspended trading when it lost 1000 points in an hour. Who knows what the Bank of Japan is going to do--Kuroda is already trying negative interest rates and it didn't help at all.

I just got a phone call that our yen is waiting for us at the bank. This is pretty much terrible news all around, but at least we managed to get lucky on something small.
Current Mood: worriedworried
Current Music: Mouthful of Toast podcast
q99q99 on June 24th, 2016 05:25 pm (UTC)
Yea, the currency market is a mess right now!