#4206

Banking in Japan: Where to Go, What to Do

So you’ve just made the big move to Japan and now you’re working on acquiring the basic necessities needed to survive, which are—in no particular order—finding work, obtaining a phone plan, seeking a roof over your head and setting up a bank account.

As you’ll soon find out, one crucial difference between Japanese banks and others is that in Japan, they rarely seem keen on selling you something; if anything, they give you far fewer options than a bank in, say, North America might. Whereas western banks are about pushing sales and trying to get customers to sign up for as many cards and accounts as possible, Japanese banks are, at least with foreign clients, simply banks. Isn’t that nice?

For visual purposes, we have included a YouTube video by Kev in Japan detailing the initial banking process, as well as using an ATM afterwards. If you’d like to have this information handy in a text format, just continue reading!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYpgqoL-xbM

What You Need

Now, which banks are available to you depend on your visa type and current living situation. Even if you’re technically a resident, most banks will refuse you if the period of stay on your card is less than a year. If you’re on a working holiday visa as a Canadian citizen or some other country with similar processes and restrictions, your period of stay will likely say six months, which unfortunately bars you from known “gaijin-friendly” banks such as Shinsei and Citi. Otherwise, if you’re on a work permit or spousal visa or something with a minimum of one year, various banks such as Mizuho, SMBC or MUFG are all possibilities.

Now, the best option available to you if your initial period of stay is for less than one year is Japan Post Bank Co., Ltd., typically referred to as Yū-cho (ゆうちょ)* by Japanese speakers. Of course, you can use this bank even if you’re on a different visa; you just have other options available.

*not every JP Post Office includes bank functions, so you should look for the following sign, both the color and the text:

Though a great banking option, one should be aware that if limited by a shorter period of stay, you’ll likely only be able to open a fairly basic account with some restrictions for the first 6 months. These restrictions include being unable to make wire transfers or inter-bank transfers. The account is restricted to withdrawals and deposits. Still, any employer or company should have no trouble directly depositing into your account. One thing, however, is that you’ll probably need to pay rent and other similar bills by cash at your local konbini or any other necessary office.

With that disclaimer out of the way, a major plus-side to JP Post Bank is that once the 6-month restriction period is lifted (or if it was never imposed upon you in the first place), is the ability to transfer funds between other JP Post accounts for free.

Furthermore, there is no cost to opening an account with JP Post, and this is also usually the case with other Japanese banks, though unlike JP Post, others usually require at least a mere ¥100 to be deposited into the account upon opening.

Opening the Account

Another thing Japanese banks do that other countries don’t, at least not anymore, is give you a passbook. What this is, is a fancy little booklet with a cover you can usually pick yourself from a few available options. Nice personal touch, don’t you think? Now what’s great about a passbook is that it’s a physical hardcopy of your bank details! So if you’ve yet to acquire a smartphone or internet at home, you needn’t rely on a website for your account number and transaction history.

What’s more, is the passbook can be automatically updated at any ATM, and used for transactions in place of a cash (debit) card; as the card can take up to a week to receive in the mail after opening an account. Also, if you haven’t visited the ATM in a while, it will automatically flip the pages on your passbook for you to update information!

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Click here to continue reading more about "Banking in Japan: Where to Go, What to Do" on Japanista! →http://japanistas.com/en/archives/39198 Open new window
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Japanista image

Japanista

United States

Japanista's other advice

Akihabara & Ueno Restaurants: Themed images

Akihabara & Ueno Restaurants: Themed

Many of the restaurants and cafés in the well-known district of Akihabara are just as cute, quirky and exciting as the anime and manga-related shopping. Though the district of Ueno is less anime-cent…

Ordering Tips At A Yakitori Shop 101 images

Ordering Tips At A Yakitori Shop 101

Yakitori is a popular food both in and outside of Japan. Grilled Chicken on skewers are just the perfect comfort food or snack epecially after a good hard day of work. Back in America there were plen…

Walking Alone at Age 7: Japan’s Independent Kids images

Walking Alone at Age 7: Japan’s Independent Kids

Opening with the Japanese proverb kawaii ko ni wa tabi saseyo, which translates to “send the beloved child on a journey” and means something like ‘leave them be, let them try,’ this new mini-document…

Ishikawa: Top 10 Sightseeing Spots images

Ishikawa: Top 10 Sightseeing Spots

Ishikawa Prefecture is found in the Hokuriku area of the Chubu region, in the middle of Honshu on the coast of the Japan Sea. The prefectural capital city is Kanazawa City. It is long north to south,…

Experience Your Own “Japanese Style Wedding” in Tokyo! images

Experience Your Own “Japanese Style Wedding” in Tokyo!

What’s the most romantic place in the world? Paris? Hawaii? Rome? Those may be some of the obvious contenders, but there seems to be an increasing number of people who would name Tokyo as the most ro…

Tsukishima: Monja Street images

Tsukishima: Monja Street

月島 (つきしま) – Tsukishima, translating to “Moon Island,” is a man made island in the Tokyo area on Tokyo Bay. It is a famous area known for having many お好み焼き (おこのみやき) – Okonomiyaki and …

You might also like

What to do at a Japanese Funeral | Funeral Etiquette images

What to do at a Japanese Funeral | Funeral Etiquette

Attending a Japanese funeral can be stressful, even shocking, if you don't know what to do. The more you know beforehand the better, as you'll be able to comfort and support mutual friends and their …

Former Deep Japan Writer image

Former Deep Japan Writer

Bringing Your Meds To Japan? Study The Laws A Little. images

Bringing Your Meds To Japan? Study The Laws A Little.

For a long time, the ubiquitous sinus medicine Vicks Inhaler was the butt of jokes among resident foreigners in Japan. Signs used to grace airport terminals with the familiar cream-and-green device…

jdlawrence image

jdlawrence

Know your Receipts in Japan! images

Know your Receipts in Japan!

Are you in Japan on business and working with a Japanese firm? Will you be taking your clients out for a meal?Recently I have been doing some consulting work for one of Japan’s eminent Chinese cuis…

 image

Yurei, Yokai and Obake: Japan's Very Busy Ghost Scene images

Yurei, Yokai and Obake: Japan's Very Busy Ghost Scene

Ghosts and spirits hold a place in the folklore of many cultures around the world. In the western world, Halloween, observed on October 31st, is a time for scary, spooky tales, while Latin America w…

jdlawrence image

jdlawrence

Funniest Japanese Show in Japan: Itte-Q images

Funniest Japanese Show in Japan: Itte-Q

If you're interested in japanese TV, Itte-Q is the show to watch. Even if you don't understand Japanese, the show should be entertaining. Its on Channel 4 from 8pm every sunday. On the show, they do …

GenS image

GenS

Enjoy the Yokohama Market, heaven for fish lovers, in a more delicious way images

Enjoy the Yokohama Market, heaven for fish lovers, in a more delicious way

When we think of the Marine Products Division of the Yokohama Market, we imagine the intermediate wholesalers, true professionals in the world of fish, all lined up, with other professionals in the w…

Kanagawa P.G.T.D. image

Kanagawa P.G.T.D.