Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

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Banking services

You may open an account at a bank or post office to manage your own money.

Bank

Opening a bank account

  • To open an account at a bank, you are required to present valid identification such as your passport, driver's license or resident card. Please note that some institutions will allow you to use your signature rather than a personal seal (hanko/inkan) when opening an account.
  • You can request an ATM card (commonly called "cash card" in Japan) when you open the account. With your ATM card, you may withdraw, deposit and transfer money through your account and also check the balance of your account on the ATM.
  • Combined with a credit card, multifunctional ATM cards are also available at some banks.
  • Interest rates vary between banks and account types. Choose the one that best fits your needs.

ATM (Automated Teller Machine)

  • Many ATMs are available only in Japanese, although some also have the ability to display their menus in English and in other foreign languages.
  • ATMs are found at banks and many convenience stores. You may be charged for withdrawals during certain time periods.
  • You can also use your ATM card at the ATMs of different banks. There will be an extra service charge for such cases.

Overseas remittance

  • To send money overseas, fill out a designated application form and take it to a clerk at the bank. Both sender and recipient are required to pay a service charge.
  • You may also ask the bank to issue a demand draft and mail it by yourself.
Post office
  • A banking service, which is outsourced by JAPAN POST BANK Co.,Ltd, is also available at the post office counters.
  • To open your account at the post office, you are required to present identification such as your passport, driver's license or resident card, along with your personal seal (hanko/inkan). Please note that non-Japanese who are unaccustomed to using personal seals (hanko/inkan) can use their signature instead when opening an account.
  • The maximum amount that an individual may deposit into their post office account increased to 13,000,000 yen (from April 1st., 2016).
  • You may send money overseas from the post office, either to an overseas address or to an overseas bank account. An overseas remittance service is not available at some post offices. Remittance to certain countries and regions may also not be available.
Credit Card
  • Major international credit cards are accepted at many locations. Air tickets, shinkansen (bullet train) tickets, and taxi charges in some cases can be paid by credit cards.
  • Credit cards or ATM cards that were issued outside Japan may not be accepted at all ATMs for cashing services.
  • Most ATMs at post offices accept credit cards issued overseas for cashing services. You may find a sign saying "International ATM Service" on or next to the machine, along with logos of acceptable credit companies.
Traveler's checks
  • Traveler's checks are accepted at major banks, hotels and large stores.
Exchange
  • You may exchange foreign currencies into Japanese yen at banks and stores that show the "authorized money changer" sign. Exchange rates vary daily.
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