The surprising location made affordable by the strong pound

British holidaymakers hoping to escape April showers this year can make their money go further in Japan than ever before thanks to a strong pound.

Sales for the Japanese yen more than tripled in the 12 months to January as Britons eyed up holidays to the land of the rising sun, according to a report by the Post Office.

It said that the pound rose 16pc against the local currency last year, helping to bring it into the Post Office’s top 10 best selling currencies for the first time.

The Japanese yen was one of seven Far Eastern currencies to dominate the top 10 in the company’s travel money index report. It was only surpassed by the Chinese yuan, which saw a 573pc surge in sales.

This means Britons gain £67.81 for every £500 exchanged compared to last year.

The Post Office said this was “clear evidence of the latent demand for holidays to Japan, which reopened to international visitors much later than other long-haul destinations”.

James Flynn, of travel debit card provider Currensea, said the strengthening pound meant it was “clearly a great time to make that once-in-a-lifetime Japan trip”.

He said: “Securing value on travel money should be just as much of a priority as grabbing a great deal on flights or accommodation.

“This year, Japan is offering fantastic value to long-haul travellers and is much more cost-effective to visit than 12 months ago.”

Flights from London to Tokyo in April start as low as £239, according to comparison site Skyscanner, while return flights start at £250.

The cheapest five-star hotel in the capital listed on Expedia, an online travel shop, costs £290 per person a night for a standard double room. In Osaka, prices start at £201 a night.

An upcoming report by the Post Office found local prices in Japan had also fallen even before the exchange rate was applied. A meal for two with wine now costs around £40, down from nearly £50 last September.

The Post Office said Japan had moved up to fourth place in the company’s worldwide holiday costs barometer as local prices fell 16pc since last year.

A separate report published by the company in September found that the Far East occupied half of the top 10 spots for value-for-money long-haul destinations.

Lesley Rollo, of travel agents Travelbag, said bookings for Far East regions were up 127pc last year compared to 2022.

Laura Plunkett, head of travel money at the Post Office, said the pound’s strength against most leading holiday currencies – including the euro and the US dollar – provided “ a great incentive for Britons considering trips abroad in the coming months”.

She said: “Most currencies have weakened against the pound in the past year, and many of these are for destinations that traditionally offer the cheapest prices for meals, drinks and other tourist staples.”

Ms Plunkett added that the pound had continued to strengthen against local currencies in Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam.

Britons visiting Turkey this year will get around 73pc more Turkish liras for the pound than a year ago, the Post Office found. The pound had also risen 13pc against the Czech koruna and 10pc against the Thai baht.

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