my place in japan

How to move into Japan

Money in the Bank! Setting up a bank account in Japan

Ahoy there!

  No matter where you go in the world, if you plan on staying there for a little while and make a little cash, you are going to want to keep your money somewhere before long.  Hiding it under a mattress can only take you so far! 

  In Japan, there are various types of banks from smaller local ones to country-wide major ones.  Due to a recent increase in the crime rate using Japanese banks, a large number of banks have begun to ask for many types of documents and have stricter screening systems not only for foreign residents but also Japanese citizens before anyone can actually open a bank account in Japan.  

  However, there is one very foreigner-friendly bank called “Japan Post Bank" (JPB) or Yucho Ginko (ゆうちょ銀行) in Japanese”.  It can be said that the JPB is one of the easiest banks for foreign people to open a bank account quickly. JPB is usually located in the same building of the regular Japan Post Office.  If you type “Japan Post Office” and a city or town name using the internet, at least one or two will show up on the map without fail.

  You will need the following items if you are going to open a JPB account:

- Your ID with your picture on it (Like a residence card or passport)
- A contact number (A personal phone number or a work phone number, etc.)
- Ideally, a Japanese driver’s license if you have one.
- A hanko. 
- You should have some money to deposit as well!

  For most banks in Japan, you will be asked to bring your personal seal (Inkan or Hanko in Japanese), but for JPB it will be OK just with your signature in order to open an account although it is preferable to bring your personal seal if you already have one.

  With JPB, you can do the following: receiving your monthly salary, sending money both domestically and international via wire transfer, make regular deposits and withdraws, and also withdraw money using their ATMs (And some other bank ATMs as well), and be able to update your banking book (Also known as a passbook) when you receive it .

***Please note that you might not be able to open a bank account with JPB if you are staying in Japan for less than 90 days (basically during a visit on a tourist visa).

Banking is important and the ability to send money back home is quite easy through JPB, although a little costly. (Roughly 5,000 yen per transfer as of this post's writing.) But having that financial connection back home to pay off debts like school loans and help family can be invaluable!

 Hopefully this article gave you some insight on how to be prepared before you head to the bank and attempt to set one up!  Feel free to let us know what you think by shooting an e-mail to us at!

 Set sail to a new life, may ships take you on the seas, through the skies, and over the land towards my place in Japan.

Until next time, from all of of here at take care!

Kei & Phil