Available in 100, 500, and 1,000-yen denominations.

Back in the spring, Japan’s Ministry of Finance announced that it’s redesigning Japan’s currency, adding images of ukiyo-e paintings and wisteria blossoms to the country’s paper money. Beautiful as the new designs are, though, they won’t be going into circulation until 2024.

However, there is a form of eye-catching pseudo-currency you can obtain, and use, in Japan right now.

Rather than being printed by the bank of Japan, these bills are issued by animal welfare organization Neco Republic. With “Neco” being a stylized rendering of neko, the Japanese word for “cat,” of course the bills all feature felines on their faces, rather than any human luminaries of historical heads of state.

▼ The backside of the bills features an image of Mt. Fuji, in addition to the sakura cherry blossoms and corner paw-print motif seen on the front.

In addition to the 500-yen (US$4.60) note seen above, there are also 100 and 1,000-yen denominations.

If you’re thinking that rendering of Mt. Fuji looks familiar, it might be because you read our previous article about Japan’s first-ever cat capsule hotel, where every guest space has a view of frolicking kitties. Called Neko Yokujo & Neko Hatago, the Neco Republic-run facility is a combination hotel and cat cafe, and the bills seen here are gift certificates/vouchers that visitors to the cafe and guests of the hotel can use when paying.

Of course, the adorable designs also make the bills charming keepsakes or souvenirs, and even if you never use them, your purchase goes towards keeping Neco Republic running and working towards its mission of finding loving homes for rescue cats across Japan. If you’re looking to exchange some of your people money into kitty currency, all denominations are available on Neko Yokujo & Neko Hatago’s website here.

Source: Neko Yokujo & Neko Hatago
Top image: Neko Yokujo & Neko Hatago
Insert images: Neko Yokujo & Neko Hatago (1, 2, 3)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!