Chibana Exchange membership card saves paperwork

Rina (left) and Anna are ready to greet customers at Chibana Exchange.

Rina (left) and Anna are ready to greet customers at Chibana Exchange.

Sometimes it feels like one of the fastest growing businesses on Okinawa are small shops that specialize in currency exchange, and actually, with the number of foreign visitors to the island soaring and a large number of residents working for the U.S. military and related civilian companies that pay wages in U.S. dollars, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. When there’s a demand, there’s a supply.

Chibana Exchange opened Sep. 15, 2016. The shop is located close to Kadena Gate 3 right next to Family Mart Chibana 4-chome branch. The shop is open from 9:30 to 19:00 on weekdays and 9:30 to 18:00 on weekends. Their telephone number is 098-989-6203.

According to local regulations, a person who exchanges foreign currency worth over ¥100,000 must write personal information like the name and phone number on an exchange slip. This is required based on international agreements to prevent money laundering. Chibana Exchange has a way to make this faster and easier by issuing repeat customers a free membership card. The shop keeps the personal information of the customer on file and fills in the paperwork. All the customer has to do is to show the card.

Takashi Yorikawa, the owner of the Chibana Exchange and another shop in Hamby that he has run since May 2015, says, “We try to make exchanging currency as easy as possible. Whether you need foreign currency before traveling overseas or want to exchange your foreign money back to Japanese yen, we can make it easy for you. We exchange U.S. and Canadian dollars, Euro and currencies of 9 other countries of Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.” He adds, “The year end holiday travel season is coming. Now is the time to make the plans.” The daily exchange rates are on their blog.

Both shops are open seven days a week and only close for the New Year holiday from Dec. 31 through Jan. 2.

12:34 14 Jul , 2024