Something interesting that you may not realize about Japan is that it’s mainly what’s called a ‘cash economy.’ That means (perhaps you’ve guessed) that if you want to buy something, odds are good you need to buy it in cash. There are some exceptions – big chain stores, for instance, and some places marketing specifically to Americans accept plastic – but for the most part you have to carry cash to shop off base. Another thing you may not know is that the smallest bill available is 1,000 yen (about $10). Anything smaller than that is in change. As a result, we quickly found ourselves buried in a mountain of coins.
Being crafty, like I am, I made a pouch for them – wide in the mouth with a big, flat bottom for easy change-digging.
Hundred Yen Pouch
- About 20 yards (not sure on this) worsted weight yarn
- H (5 mm) hook
(US pattern conventions used.)
Note: do not join rounds unless indicated.
Rnd 1: Ch 2, make 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6 sc)
Rnd 2: [Sc inc] around. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: [Sc, sc inc] around. (18 sc)
Rnd 4: [Sc 2, sc inc] around. (24 sc)
Rnd 5: [Sc 3, sc inc] around. (30 sc)
Rnd 6: [Sc 4, sc inc] around. (36 sc)
Rnds 7-8: Sc around. (36 sc)
Rnd 9: [Sc 4, sc dec] around. (30 sc)
Rnds 10-11: Sc around. (30 sc)
Rnd 12: Sl st. Ch 2, dc in same sc, dc in next st. [Ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st] around. (30 sts) Join.
Rnd 13: Ch 1, sc in each dc and ch-sp around. (30 sts). Join, finish off and weave in ends.
For drawstring, make a chain about 8″ long and weave through eyelets OR Ch 8, join in a ring w/ a sl st, ch about 12 inches and make a loop with the last 4″. Weave through eyelets, pass big loop through small loop, and pull to tighten.
Their money’s pretty, isn’t it? The bills are multi-colored; at first we had a hard time remembering it was actually money. Sorry I don’t have any bills to show you, but yesterday I used my last 1000 on a trip to my favorite hyakuen (aka, 100-yen store).
100-yen stores are like dollar stores, but full of nice things. Not everything in it is 100 yen – approximately one dollar, although on a good exchange day it can be more like 80 cents – but the majority of items are. I’ve bought everything from yarn to wooden toy cars to baskets there (all for a hundred yen each). This time I bought (among other things) some new socks
some felt, a package of wooden buttons, and some plastic animal eyes,
and some chocolaty snacks, of which only this photo of the empty bag remains.
These things are so good. They taste like…Cheetos would taste, if they were not coated in radioactive orange artificial cheese powder, but were instead saturated with real chocolate. Bliss. There are several different brands that make a treat like this, but I’d recognize that puffy chocolate texture anywhere! I wish I had another bag of them right now, but sadly, they are gone. As am I. See you later!