Japanese investors cashing in after the Nikkei ended at a near six-year high, sending the index lower despite upbeat data showing a strong rise in inflation.
The yen edged down against the dollar, and against the euro sat at lows not seen since the beginning of the financial crisis after official figures showed Japanese inflation at a more than 15-year high.
However, there were few catalysts to drive trade, with Wall Street closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index fell 65.25 points or 0.41 percent to 15,661.87 after closing Thursday at its highest level since mid-December 2007.
The Topix index of all first-section shares was down 0.19 percent, or 2.38 points, at 1,258.66.
Panasonic slipped 2.08 percent to 1,175 yen after a 15 percent rally in the past week.
Sony edged up 0.10 percent to 1,867 yen, Toyota slipped 0.15 percent to 6,380 yen, while Nissan declined 0.31 percent to 936 yen.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 92.20 points or 0.39 percent on Friday at the end of a positive week, hitting their highest level in around two and a half years.
The Hang Seng Index added 92.20 points to 23,881.29 -- its best finish since April 2011 -- on turnover of HK$48.12 billion ($6.21 billion).
The gains highlight that investors are "gaining some interest in the China recovery story", Alex Wong, head of asset management at Ample Capital, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Data over the weekend will bring fresh insight into the health of the world's second biggest economy when the country releases November manufacturing data.
Aluminum Corp of China gained 0.69 percent to HK$2.90, Bank of China climbed 0.81 percent to HK$3.75 and China Mobile added 1.15 percent to HK$83.50, while Cathay Pacific Airways lost 2.02 percent to HK$16.46.
Chinese shares ended flat. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 1.13 points to 2,220.50 on turnover of 97.8 billion yuan ($16.0 billion). The index rose 1.10 percent for the week.
The Seoul index was also flat, dipping 0.90 points to 2,044.87, while Sydney gave up 0.27 percent, or 14.3 points to close at 5,320.0.
In afternoon trade the euro bought 139.20 yen -- after touching at one point hitting 139.70 yen, its highest since October 2008 -- compared with 139.05 yen. It also sat at $1.3610 against $1.3601.
The dollar bought 102.25 yen compared with 102.24 yen Thursday in European trade. The dollar is edging up to levels around 103.70 yen seen in May, which was a four-and-a-half-year high.
In oil trade New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for January delivery, was up 16 cents at $92.46 while BrentNorth Sea crude for January eased 22 cents to $110.64 .
Gold fetched $1,241.70 per ounce at 0700 GMT compared with $1,241.77 on Thursday.
In other markets:
-- Taipei rose 0.53 percent, or 44.40 points, to 8,406.83.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was unchanged at Tw$104.5 while leading chip design house MediaTek was up 0.23 percent at Tw$436.0.
-- Manila rose 0.63 percent, or 38.86 points, to 6,208.82.
-- Wellington fell 0.30 percent, or 14.51 points, to 4,794.95.
Air New Zealand was off 1.50 percent at NZ$1.645 and Fletcher Building eased 0.22 percent to NZ$9.13.