Many people are concerned about the management of money during the stay in Japan. If your stay is less than 90 days, coming for tourism, shopping, or visiting your family/friends, it will be useful to use credit cards or travelers checks. If your stay will be longer than 90 days due to studying abroad or working holiday, then you should open a bank account because it is unsafe to carry a lot of money with you.
This article explains how to open a bank account in Japan. We also compare the features and service fees of each bank. Please refer to it when you plan to open a Japanese bank account.
Opening a Bank Account in Japan
As opening a bank account in Japan, you need an identity document, a certificate of your current address, and a personal seal (inkan/hanko). A few banks do not require the inkan/hanko to open an account instead of requesting your signature. But you had better prepare your inkan/hanko because it is required for many official documentations in Japan.
What is a inkan/hanko?
Inkan（印鑑）/hanko（判子） is a seal that acknowledges an individual. The curved letters must be your name; you are not allowed to use others'. It is used for the official documentations in Japan, instead of a signature. The price is normally range from 3,000 yen to 15,000 yen or more.
The Best Recommended Inkan/Hanko Online Shop in Japan
It is the best inkan/hanko online shop in Japan. It opens 24 hours and 7 days in a week, and you can order inkan/hanko online. It is very useful that they deliver it at home. The delivery cost is 540 yen all over Japan.
Supporting life in JapanThe support service for purchasing an inkan/hanko
Do you need a help to buy an inkan/hanko? We can support it. If you do not understand Japanese and feel hard to buy it, please feel free to ask us.
※The support service for purchasing an inkan/hanko cost 2,160 yen (including tax) for a order.
Necessary Items for Opening a Bank Account in Japan
- Identity document
It would be Alien Registration (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho), alien registration records (gaikokujin toroku genpyo kisai jiko shomeisho), Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), a health insurance card, a passport, or a driver's license; you should also prepare a student card or an employee ID card because it might be required.
- Certificates that prove your current address
It would be Alien Registration (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho), Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), or Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho). Also, recent utility or cell phone bills show your current address, but the copies of them are not accepted.
- Telephone number
It must be able to receive a phone call. Some banks do not allow you to open a bank account without the number.
The Limitation of Opening a Bank Account as a Foreigner
If your stay in Japan is less than 90 days, you cannot open a bank account. You need to stay over six months in order to make a bank account in Japan even though you hold a valid long-term (over 90 days) resident visa due to Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law. However, the standard is different with each branch office. Therefore, when you attempt to open a bank account, you should apply several banks. The possibility of accepting your subscription increases if you subscribe at a nearby bank from your home, school or workplace.
The Differences Between Traditional Banks and Online Banking
Online banking is a financial institute that provides the ATM services and enables to bank on the Internet. They can cut the cost of maintaining for bank's officers and buildings because there is neither real building nor passbooks. Various fees are cheaper and deposit interest rate is higher than the traditional banks. You can access the online banking from any places and time under the Internet connection; you can check your balance, send money, and make a bank transfer. In addition, you can open a fixed deposit account with a high-interest rate as using bonus campaign. If you open it by using these reasonable campaigns, you can save money. If you are not confidence about speaking Japanese, online banking is highly recommended. It is because the process of opening a bank account is only preparing the required documents; you do not have to visit the place and talk in Japanese.
Although traditional bank, such as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank), provide the internet banking services, the fees and interest rates are relatively unreasonable.
The Benefits of Online Banking
- Enable to use 24 hours
- Low cost for various fees
- Enable to use partnership ATMs at convenience stores/banks
- The interest rate is comparatively high
The List of Recommended Traditional Banks and Online Banking
Services, opening hours of ATMs, fees are different depend on each bank. Especially, withdrawing at closed hours cost from 108 yen to 216 yen as an extra-fee though some banks do not charge the overtime rate in several times at a month. Although it is not a large amount of fee, it surely costs over and over as you withdraw.
Here is the list of recommended banks (traditional and online banking). Check and find out the best one for you.
Shinsei Bank(新生銀行）Branches Located
It is a comparatively foreign-friendly bank. They rarely refuse if you prepare the required documents completely. There are some English-speaking clerks so it is good for those who hardly speak Japanese. The bank does not give a passbook so you can check your transfer and balance at the Internet banking. You can choose your favorite color for your cash card when opening a bank account. After completing the process of it, a cash card, a security card, and a user's guide will be sent in a week.
Although the number of branches are not many, it is useful to be able to withdraw your savings at Seven Bank which place all over Japan. Moreover, the withdrawal fee and the maintainance cost is free of charge. The transfer fee via the Internet is free once in a month; It would be free of charge max ten times depend on your amout of savings. If you pay a house rent from the balance, you should use this service because Japanese bank transfer fees usually cost from 108 yen to 864 yen.
|Required documents|| Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), Alien Registration (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho), the passport (if you would like to be delivered the cash card), a copy of Residence Card for foreigners, and alien registration records (gaikokujin toroku genpyo kisai jiko shomeisho)
* You need a telephone number in order to confirm your application.
|Processing Duration||About a week|
|Available ATM||Shinsei Bank, Seven Bank, Japan Post Bank (Yucho bank), Mizuho Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Risona Bank, and Saitama Risona Bank|
|Withdrawal fees||Shinsei Bank and Seven bank are always free of charges.|
|Transfer to Shinsei bank less than 30,000 yen||Free of charge|
|Transfer to Shinsei bank over 30,000 yen|
|Transfer to other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen||Free of charge once a month: It costs 308 yen every time after that.
*The number of transferring by free may increase depend on the amount of the saving money.
|Transfer to other domestic banks over 30,000 yen|
|Depositing to oversea banks||Free of charge (※1)|
|Remitting to oversea banks||2,000 yen + 0.1% of remitting money (min 1,500 yen) (※2)|
- If you receive it through other banks, you will be charged Shinsei bank's fees and the other bank's fees as well.
- In order to use the service, you also have to apply “Go Remit – Shinsei Overseas Remittance Service”.
Sumishin SBI Net Bank(住信SBI Net銀行）Online Banking
This online banking is provided by Mitsui Sumitomo Shintaku Bank and SBI Holdings. It has been awarded by the best customer satisfaction in 2011. They do not own branches, but the savings are able to withdraw at ATMs in convenience stores all over Japan. The withdrawal fees are free of charge at any time (*NOTICE: Lawson and E-net ATM are free by five times in a month.) In addition, overtime fee and maintenance cost are also free. The transfer fees to other banks via the Internet are free by three times in a month (※1). The interest is high rate. The number of free transferring to other banks is more than others; it is good to use the service for the payment of house rent or auction.
|Required documents||Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), and Alien Registraion (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho)
* Be careful that passports, student ID cards, and employee ID cards are not available.
|Processing Duration||About 7-10 days|
|Available ATM||Seven Bank, Lawson, E-net, Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank)|
|Withdrawal fees||Seven bank are always free of charges.
Lawson, E-net, and Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank) are free by 5 times in a months; 6 and more times cost 108 yen in every time.
|Transfer to Sumishin SBI Net Bank||Free of charge|
|Transfer to other domestic banks except Rakuten Bank (※1)||Free at 3 times (after that is costs 154 yen each time)|
|Depositing to oversea banks||2,500 yen（※2）|
|Remitting to oversea banks||Not Available|
- Transfering to Rakuten Bank costs 150 yen in each time.
- If you receive it through other banks, you will be charged Sumishin SBI Net bank's fees and the other bank's fees as well.
Jibun Bank（じぶん銀行）Online Banking
This online banking is managed cooperatively by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (the largest bank in Japan) and au (the major mobile phone operator company). This bank does not own real buildings and ATMs, therefore the fees are low and the interest rate is high. It is the only bank that provides deposits denominated in Chiese Yuan. Both the maintenance fees and cancellation fees are free. It is possible to open the bank account by smartphones, PCs, cell phones, or sending documents by mail. Please remind that you need a mobile phone in order to open the account.
Withdrawal fees are free by three times in a month as using Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ or ATMs at convenience stores, such as Seven Bank. The change of the amount of saving money will be noticed by e-mails so you can recognize it. The difference thing from other online banking is that you can use the most services via cell phones/smartphones. As mentioned, it is great and rare to be able to open a foreign currency savings account, such as Korean won and Chinese Yuan.
|Required documents||Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), Alien Registraion (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho), a health insurance card, valid mobile phone number, and valid mobile e-mail address|
|Processing Duration||About 2 weeks|
|Available ATM||Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson, E-net, Yucho Bank (post bank)|
|Withdrawal fees||Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven bank, Lawson, and E-net are free by 3 times in a months; 4 and more times cost 108 yen,
Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank) is free by once in a months: twice and more times cost 216 yen in every time.
|Transfer to Jibun Bank or Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ||Free of charge|
|Transfer to other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen||170 yen in a time|
|Transfer to other domestic banks over 30,000 yen||270 yen in a time|
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ（三菱東京UFJ銀行)Branches Located
It is the largest bank in Japan. They are popular with reliability and stability. This bank is recommended those who are concerned about applying to online banking. If you would like to open a bank account with this bank, you should go nearby branch from your home, school or workplace, otherwise you might be refused.
There are plenty of branches located. The withdrawal fees using ATMs are free on a weekday at 8:45-18:00. You can also apply to the online banking (called Bank of Mitsubishi-Tokyo UFJ direct) without any cost. If you use the online banking service, it is possible to transfer at any time, and each fee will be lower. It is useful that you can use the passbook and the Internet trade at the same time.
|Required documents||Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), Alien Registraion (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho), and a passport
* You might need a health insurance card, student ID card, or employee ID card.
|Processing Duration||About 1 weeks|
|Available ATM||Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson, E-net, Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank)|
|Opening hours (weekday at 8:45-18:00)||Free at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson (※1), and E-net|
|Closed hours||108 yen at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson (※1), and E-net|
|To Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ less than 30,000 yen||Free of charge|
|To Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ over 30,000 yen|
|To other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen||216 yen in every time|
|To other domestic banks over 30,000 yen||324 yen in every time|
|Depositing to oversea banks||0.05% of depositing money (min 2,500 yen) （※3）|
|Remitting to oversea banks||3,500-4,000 yen + 0.05% of remitting money (min 2,500 yen)|
- The ATMs at Lawson convenience stores might not be Lawson ATM. Please check the mark of “Lawson ATM”.
- You need another application to use the services of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ direct.
- If the amount of deposit is less than 3000 yen, the fees will be half of the deposit cost. In addition, if you receive it through other banks, you will be charged Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ's fees and the other bank's fees as well.
Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank)Branches Located
This is the easiest way of opening a bank account in Japan. When you prepare the required documents, you can open it immediately; you do not have to wait for six months to open it. However, you cannot send to and receive money from overseas unless you stay in Japan over six months. If you rely on allowances from your family, it might not be a good choice. This bank is for those who are concerned about managing money because only this bank can save your money before you spend six months in Japan.
There are plenty of branches and ATMs; most of the post offices in Japan have. Therefore, if you move to another place, you will be not in troubles. You can also apply to “Yucho direct”, which is the online banking of Japan Post Bank, at the counter or by sending mail. After applying to it, the transfer fees are free by five times at a month and enables to complete it immediately even on holidays.
|Required documents||Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), Alien Registraion (gaikokujin toroku shomeisho), a passport, and a personal seal (inkan/hanko)|
|Processing Duration||About 2 weeks|
|Available ATM||Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank), Citibank, Shinsei Bank, Seven Bank, Mizuho Bank, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Risona Bank, and Shinyo Kinko|
|Withdrawal fees||The own ATMs are free at opening hours, which is depend on the branches.
Other bank's ATM cost 108 yen in weekdays at 8:45-18:00, and Satuday at 9:00-14:00; Other times cost 210 yen in every time.
|To Japan Post Bank less than 30,000 yen||Free until 5 times in a months; 6 and more times cost 110 yen in every time.|
|To Japan Post Bank over 30,000 yen|
|To other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen||216 yen in every time|
|To other domestic banks over 30,000 yen||432 yen in every time|
|Depositing to oversea banks||It depends on each bank.|
|Remitting to oversea banks||2,500 yen|
- It is better to use a traditional bank as the main bank because most online banking does not provide the services of depositing and remitting overseas. However, online banking is very useful with your daily lives because of the low fees and ATMs' locations. Before you decide to open a bank account, let's check out each service, and fee. And then, you finally choose the best-fitted one to your lifestyle in Japan.
TidbitsCancellation of a Bank Account
You might need the bank maintenance fees so please confirm it before you go back to your home country. When you cancel the bank account, which automatically pays the mobile phone bills or public utilities, be careful that you cannot pay for these utility fees with the bank account after cancelling.
When you cancel the bank account, you need the passbook, cashcard, identified document, and personal seal (inkan/hanko). You can cancel it at any branches; some banks only allow you to cancel at the branch you subscribed.
In the case of online banking, there is two type of canceling processes; you are able to cancel it via the Internet website, or you have to prepare a document for cancellation. If you need a document for canceling, you might take 2 weeks to complete it. The balance can be transferred to your requested bank account (* you need extra fees for it).