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Tours of the Bank's Head Office

Image: exterior of the Old Building

To provide opportunities for visitors to learn more about the Bank of Japan's roles and business operations, two kinds of tours are offered at the Bank's Head Office in Tokyo. Details of tours are as follows:

  1. (1) In-House Tours (reservation required; about 1 hour in length)
  2. (2) Short Tours on the Day (no reservation required; about 30 minutes in length)

Where to Meet for the Tours (Map) [PDF 220KB]

In-House Tours (reservation required; about 1 hour in length)

In-house tours are available only with advance reservation. Guided tours in English are offered, upon request, on Tuesdays, 14:45-15:45. The tour includes a walk outside to see the exterior of the Main Building1 -- registered as an Important Cultural Property -- as well as visits to parts of the Old Building -- completed in 1938 -- and the banking floor of the New Building's first floor.
During the tour, visitors have the chance to take pictures with replicas of a 100-million-yen banknote package and a gold bar.

  • Image: East Entrance of the Old Building

    Meet at the East Entrance of the Old Building

  • Image: a replica package of 100 million yen being held

    Experience the weight of 100 million yen

  • Image: banking floor of the New Building's first floor

    Have a look around the banking floor

  1. 1Visits to the interior of the Main Building have been halted due to reinforcement work to enhance its seismic safety. Instead, the tour includes a brief explanation of this historic building's base isolation (how the structure is isolated and hence protected from seismic events) near the worksite.

Basic Information on the Tour

  1. Schedule for the English-language guided tour
    Tuesday, 14:45-15:45, upon request
    The tour is not held from December 29 through January 4 nor on national holidays (see the Holiday Schedule of the Bank). Tour schedules are subject to occasional changes due to official events.
  2. Schedule for the Japanese-language guided tour
    Monday-Friday, (1) 9:45-10:45, (2) 10:45-11:45, (3) 13:45-14:45, and (4) 14:45-15:45
    Please note that English-language support is not available during the Japanese-language guided tour. Visitors unable to follow instructions in Japanese are advised to bring an interpreter.
  3. Tour size
    Limited to a maximum of 20 people (reserved on a first-come, first-served basis).
    The English-language guided tour is also limited to groups with at least 5 members (on a case-by-case basis, individuals and/or groups with fewer than 5 members may join another group's scheduled tour).
  4. Age requirement
    Children under the age of 11 are not admitted on the tour; those aged 11-12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  5. Cost
    Free
  6. Flow of tour
    The tour usually begins with a 20-minute introductory video about the Bank, followed by a guided 40-minute walking tour.
  7. Language
    Video: English2/Chinese/Japanese
    Guide: English/Japanese
    Pamphlet: English/Japanese
    1. 2For the video in English shown in the tour, see The Bank of Japan in Our Daily Lives (18 minutes).
  8. Lectures
    Groups of university/college students of 10 people or more may have short lectures in English on the role of the Bank and the framework of monetary policy, instead of the introductory video.
    Those who would prefer the lectures to the video should indicate this when making their reservation.
  9. Currency Museum
    Following the tour, visitors are welcome to visit the Currency Museum;3 the tour's guides will take those who wish to do so to the museum entrance.
    1. 3The museum provides an overview of the history of Japanese currency. Visitors can take the opportunity to explore the museum's collection of coins and notes, as well as related materials and research. For more information, visit the website of the Currency Museum.

How to Make a Reservation and Join the Tour

Booking starts three months before the tour date, and the reservation process must be completed, at the latest, one week before the day of the tour.
For information on tours without reservations, see Short Tours on the Day.

  1. Reservations and inquiries
    Public Relations Department
    E-mail: prdmail@boj.or.jp
  2. Reservation process
    • Please contact the Public Relations Department and make a request by specifying (1) the desired date of the tour and (2) the number of participants in your group.
    • Once tour availability for your requested date is confirmed, you are asked to provide the following details:
      1. (1) Name of the group leader as it appears on their passport (and if applicable, the name of the organization the group represents)
      2. (2) Group leader's home address and phone number
        A reservation confirmation letter is mailed to the leader at the home address provided.
      3. (3) Names and home addresses of all the other participants as these appear on their passports
  3. On the day of the tour
    • Please come to the East Entrance of the Bank's Head Office (see Where to Meet for the Tours (Map) [PDF 220KB]). Visitors are requested to arrive 10-15 minutes in advance of the tour.
    • Please bring the reservation confirmation letter mailed to the leader of each group.
    • All visitors are required to present a valid ID4 before the tour.
      1. 4The following are examples of acceptable forms of ID: passport; driver's license; health insurance card; employee or student photo ID; disability certificate; credit card with a photo; "taspo," an age verification card for purchasing cigarettes from vending machines, issued after confirming that the holder is 20 or above; and other IDs issued by public entities (e.g., Residence Card, Individual Number Card, Basic Resident Registration Card with a photo, pension handbook, etc.). Copies are not accepted.
    • Please note that visitors are asked to undergo screening with a metal detector and X-ray inspection of their belongings for security reasons. Visitors are advised to refrain from bringing items that are unrelated to their visits. 

Notes on Tour Reservation

  • If anyone in your group uses a wheelchair, please notify us when making a reservation.
  • For large groups, we send the group leader a form for listing all tour participants, enclosed with the reservation confirmation letter. Please complete and return the form as early as possible and no later than two weeks prior to the tour date (the mailing address, facsimile number, and e-mail address are shown on the form).
  • All the tour participants' names and home addresses must be registered in advance. Those without prior registration are not allowed to join the tour. There are no exceptions made for tour guides or interpreters.
  • In cases such as a travel agency making a reservation on behalf of a group, please provide the home address of the leader of the group participating in the tour. The reservation confirmation letter is mailed to the group leader.
  • We do not accept tentative reservations. Travel agencies are requested not to make reservations for in-house tours until the number and identity of all participants are fixed.
  • If there is a change in the number of tour participants, please notify us as early as possible.

Notes on Your Visit

  • Lockers are not available. Please do not bring large items of luggage (e.g., suitcases).
  • There is no parking space available. Visitors are recommended to use public transportation.
  • Visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes, as the tour route includes stairs. Please note that visitors in wheelchairs or with limited mobility may not have access to some areas on the tour route.
  • Drinking, eating, and smoking are prohibited on the Bank's premises. Also, photography (except at designated photo points) and audio/video recording are not allowed. Visitors are requested to keep their voices low and refrain from using a cellphone or playing games on handheld devices.
  • Any visitor who does not follow instructions or is otherwise disruptive will not be permitted to take any further part in the tour and will be asked to leave.

Comments from Tour Participants

We hope that participants on the tour will have an informative, enjoyable, and meaningful experience at the Bank. Below are some of comments we received from tour participants (translated from the original Japanese):

  • "The architecture of the Bank building was very impressive." - Adult, 20s
  • "Feeling the weight of 100 million yen was a valuable experience." - University student
  • "The tour was very educational. It allowed me to understand the Bank's roles and importance in the economy." - Adult, 30s
  • "The tour encouraged me to pay more attention when the Bank appears on TV." - Junior high school student
  • "Hope that the Bank will continue with this kind of tour, as an on-site visit is a real learning experience for students." - Adult, 60s

Short Tours on the Day (no reservation required; about 30 minutes in length)

Tours without reservations are available from Tuesday through Friday, 12:45-13:15. The tour consists of an introductory explanation about the Bank and a walk around the Main Building.5 The tour is conducted in Japanese, but accompanying handouts are available in English and Chinese. Visitors wishing to join the tour are welcome to request a handout before the tour starts (in the Video Hall of the Currency Museum).

  1. 5This tour does not include a visit inside the Head Office building. For information on tours that do, see In-House Tours.
  • Image: a tour guide explaining the Old Building's features near the South Entrance

    Discover the uniqueness of the Old Building

  • Image: a tour guide pointing to 'Kin-za' during the Edo Period on a historical map, showing the area of the Head Office today

    Stop by the site of "Kin-za," the location of the gold mint during the Edo Period, now the site of the Head Office

Basic Information on the Tour

  1. Schedule for the tour
    Tuesday-Friday, 12:45-13:15
    The tour is not held on Bank holidays, from December 29 through January 4, or on days when the Currency Museum is closed.
    After this tour, visitors can join the Currency Museum's guided tour in Japanese starting at 13:30 (pamphlets in English are available). For more information, visit the website of the Currency Museum.
  2. Tour size
    Limited to a maximum of 20 people (available on a first-come, first-served basis).
  3. Cost
    Free
  4. Flow of tour
    The tour begins with a 10-minute introductory explanation about the Bank, followed by a guided 20-minute walk around the Main Building.
  5. Language
    Guide: Japanese
    Handout: English/Chinese

How to Join the Tour

Please enter the Currency Museum in the Annex of the Bank's Head Office, and come to the Video Hall on the second floor of the museum (seeWhere to Meet for the Tours (Map) [PDF 220KB]). Visitor's passes for the tour are handed out in the hall at 12:45, when the tour starts, so visitors are advised to be there by 12:45.

Notes on Your Visit

  • The tour is subject to cancellation due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • There is no parking space available. Visitors are recommended to use public transportation.
  • Tour participants are requested to refrain from abandoning a tour once it is underway. They are required to return their passes for the tour to guides at the end of the tour.
  • Visitors may not photograph the Bank staff or other tour participants. No audio/video recording is permitted.
  • Any visitor who does not follow instructions or is otherwise disruptive will not be permitted to take any further part in the tour and will be asked to leave.