Friday, May 23, 2008

Where Exactly Are We?

You can see on the right under "About Chopsticks" that we live in Zushi, Kanagawa, Japan, but that probably doesn't mean much. Unless you've looked at a map, chances are you have no idea where it is. We live in the city of Zushi which is in the prefecture (can be compared to a state in the U.S.) of Kanagawa. We're about an hour south of Tokyo and 90 minutes from Narita Airport. Kanagawa sits on the Kanto Plain, and Zushi is in the center Miura Peninsula. So to sum it up and simplify it, I circled in red where we live. The base, Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) is about a 20 minute drive from our house, and is located southeast of us. The base is a peninsula that sits on a peninsula.

The Yen Japan's main unit of currency is the yen and its symbol is ¥ or ¥. The sen, a former monetary unit, was worth 1/100 of a yen. "Yen" originally referred to a round coin, while "sen" referred to a copper coin. And strangely enough, the plural of "yen" is "yen." The Japanese use 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 yen coins. Slightly different from ours, but not too much. Since a yen is roughly equal to a cent, you can see than a 100 and 500 yen coin is close to a dollar and 5 dollar coin. Wow, and are they handy. Too bad the dollar coin never seems to catch on in the States...not to mention a 5 dollar one!

I use the general rule of moving the decimal point over two places to the left and that gives you an idea of the dollar amount. When Bob was here on a port call in the fall, the conversion rate reached $1.28, but now we're getting about $1 for ¥100. On base we can pay in dollars, yen or with a credit card. But out in town we need to pay with yen. We could use a credit card, but are charged a fee for conversion, so it's easer to use yen.


Kelipso said...

That's cool, I've always wondered what the conversion was. But never took the time to look. Atleast right now the conversion is pretty easy with 1 yen = $1. :)

I'm jealous you're over there seeing and doing all this cool new stuff!