Opening a bank/online bank/post bank account in Japan

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Opening a Bank Account in Japan

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Opening a Bank Account in Japan

Opening a Bank Account in Japan

Japan is a safe country, but you should not carry a lot of money with you. Many people are concerned about management of money when they come to Japan. If your stay is less than 90 days as you come for tourism, shopping, or visiting your family/friends, it will be useful to use credit cards or travelers checks. But as you come for studying abroad, working holiday or work, then you should open a bank account.

Also, if you stay in Japan more than 90 days, it will be easy to get scholarship or wages, and to pay for house rent, telephone expenses, water rates or electrical charges by account transfer.

In this article, we explain how to open a bank account in Japan for foreigners and what is needed to open it. We also introduce some foreing-friendly banks and explicate some information about online banking. In addition, we compare each bank's feature and service fee. If you are willing to open a bank account in Japan, please check it out.

Contents

Opening a Bank Account in Japan

The Limitation of Opening a Bank Account as a Foreinger

If your stay in Japan is less than 90 days, you cannot open a bank account in Japan. In addition, those who stay in Japan less than 6 months are also not allowed to open it due to Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law, even though you have a valid long-term (over 90 days) resident visa. However, the standard is different with each branch office. Therefore, international students or foreigners who came to Japan as working holiday should apply several banks when you attempt to open a bank account. We recommend to open it at a nearby bank from your home, school or workplace so that it is easier.

Recommendable Bank for Foreigners

It is one of the banks where foreigners are relatively easy to open an account. Since the procedure for opening a bank account is completed online, foreigners who are not good at speaking in Japanese can easily apply for an account. To open it, enter the required information, photograph the identity verification document and signature or seal, and upload it with a dedicated application. After the procedure is completed, a cash card, a security card, and online banking guide will be mailed to your home approximately one week later. Net banking is also corresponding in English.

Open an Online Banking Account at Shinsei Bank (in Japanese)

Required Items for Opening a Bank Account for Foreigners

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

Hankoya.com (ハンコヤドットコム)

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. Customer Support opens at 10:00a.m to 6:00p.m. *except Sunday, public holiday and regular day-off. It is very useful that they deliver it at home. The delivery cost is 540 yen all over Japan.

Buy It Online (in Japanese)

Necessary Items for Opening a Bank Account in Japan

  • Identity document
    It would be 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 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.
  • Inkan(印鑑
  • 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 Differences Between Traditional Banks and Online Banking

Online banking is a financial institute that provides the ATM services and enables to trade on the Internet. They can cut the cost of maintaining for bank's officers and buildings because there is neither real building nor bankbooks. 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 with these reasonable campaigns, you can save money. Also, you can apply for opening a bank account without going to real bank with preparing required documents. We can say online banking is suit for foreigners.
Some traditional banks, like Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ or Japan Post Bank, provide online banking but their fees are high and deposit interest rate is lower than online banking. We do recommend to use a specialty online banking.

The Benefits of Online Banking

  • Enable to apply for opening a bank account via Internet
  • Enable to use partnership ATMs at convenience stores/banks
  • Enable to use 24 hours
  • Low cost for various fees
  • The interest rate is comparatively high

List of Recommended Traditional Bank and Online Banking for Foreigners

Services, opening hours of ATMs, fees are different depend on each bank. Especially, withdrawing at closed hours cost from 110 yen to 220 yen as an extra-fee (*NOTICE: 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.

In this chapter, we introduce some foreign-friendly banks (traditional and online). Check their services and find out the best one for you.

Shinsei Bank is one of the most foreign-friendly bank in Japan. They rarely refuse if you fill in the application form on internet and send the required documents. The bank does not give a bankbook so you can check your transfer and balance at the Online banking. Also, 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. They provide online banking in English so it is good for those who hardly speak Japanese.
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, both deposit fee and deposit inquire are free of charge for 24 hours. The transfer fee via the Internet is free once in a month; It would be free of charge max 10 times depend on your amout of savings. If you pay a house rent from the balance, we recommend that you use this service.

Required documents Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado) which term is more than 1 year, Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), drivers license which is more than 6months after licensing, a copy of Residence Card for foreigners or original receipt of public utility charge (cell phone/smart phone, electricity, water, gas rates)
* You need a telephone number in order to confirm your application.
* If you want to use remittance for overseas, receiving payments from overseas and international cash service, you need to resister My Number beforehand.
Processing Duration About a week
Available ATM Shinsei Bank, Seven Bank, E-net, Lawson, Aeon Bank, Japan Post Bank (Yucho bank), Mitsui Sumitomo Trust Bank, Aozora Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank
Withdrawal fees 110yen in a time (*If your rank is Shinsei Gold or Shinsei Platina, the withdrawal fees are free. However, it costs 110 yen by using ATMs of Yucho Bank, all City Banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank, Mitsui Sumitomo Trust Bank, and The Shoko Chukin Bank.)
Each fee via the Internet transfer
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 in a month: It costs 105 yen / 210 yen / 314 yen depend on your rank every time after that.
*The frequency of free transfer fees 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”.

Open an Online Banking Account at Shinsei Bank (in Japanese)

This is an online bank established by Aozora Bank and GMO Internet, Inc. Compared to other banks, it provides higher deposit-interest and cheaper fees. This service strongly covers both yen and foreign currency. You can complete all account opening procedures online. Enter the necessary information in the online account opening application form, upload the identity verification document, and pass the examination, you will receive a cash card at home. There is no need for procedures at bank tellers or mailing of documents. Since it is bricks-and-mortar banks, withdrawals are possible at SEVEN BANK and AEON Bank ATMs nationwide. ATM withdrawal fees and transfer fees to other banks are free, up to 15 times depending on the usage of GMO Aozora Net Bank. It issues a cash card with Visa debit when opening a bank account. Therefore, it is very useful for those who do not have a credit card. Moreover, by applying for an overseas money transfer service, which affiliated with GMO Aozora Net Bank, you can send money with the cheapest fee. If you often send money to your home countries, using GMO Aozora Net Bank is one of the ways to reduce the cost of overseas transfers.

Required documents
  • Valid residence card or special permanent resident certificate + individual number card
  • Valid residence card or special permanent resident certificate + health insurance card with your address, name, and date of birth
  • Valid residence card or special permanent resident certificate + a receipt of paid utilities (issued within three months)
  • Valid residence card or special permanent resident certificate + a copy of Jūminhyo (residence record) with your address, name, date of birth issued within six months

* Confirm the address, name, and date of birth on the documents are the same as the information you have entered when opening a bank account.
Available ATM AEON Bank, Seven Bank
Withdrawal fees Free at 2-15 times in a month depending on the rank (after that, it costs 110 yen each time)
Transfer fees via the Internet
Transfer to GMO Aozora Net Bank Free
Transfer to other domestic banks Free up to 15 times in a month depending on the rank (after that, it costs 157 yen each time)
Depositing to oversea banks Not Available
Remitting to oversea banks Not Available (*1)
  • You can remit overseas by applying for an overseas money transfer service, which affiliated with GMO Aozora Net Bank. As a transfer, the fee costs 600 yen to 3,980 yen.

Open an Online Banking Account at GMO Aozora Net Bank (in Japanese)

This online banking is managed cooperatively by Bank of 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. Both the maintenance fees and cancellation fees are free. You can open a bank account with completing application form on internet and send identity documents. Please remind that you need a mobile phone and mail address in order to open the account.
Withdrawal fees are free by 3 times in a month as using Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ or ATMs at convenience stores, such as Seven Bank (NOTICE: free by 11 times for maximum in proportion to the stage at the bank). Also, people can use this bank safely because this bank provides certification by smart phone to prevent traffic in. The difference thing from other online banking is that you can use the most of services via cell phones/smartphones as deposit, checking transaction history, balance check, checking the number of times for free transaction. Users can transfer a specific amount of money from other bank with free of charge every month, so that you can bring wages togather. au Jibun Bank would be useful for who work double tides.

Required documents Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), or Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), a health insurance card, valid mobile phone number, and valid mobile e-mail address
Processing Duration Sending required documents: About 2weeks
Uploading required documents: 5days in the shortest
Available ATM Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson, E-net, Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank)
Withdrawal fees Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven bank, Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank), and Convenience Store ATMs are free by 3 times in a months; 4 and more times cost 110 yen.
Each fee via the Internet transfer
Transfer to au Jibun Bank or Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ Free of charge
Transfer to other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen 178 yen in a time
*The frequency of free transfer fees may increase depend on the amount of the saving money.
Transfer to other domestic banks over 30,000 yen 283 yen in a time
*The frequency of free transfer fees may increase depend on the amount of the saving money.
Depositing to oversea banks Not Available
Remitting to oversea banks Not Available

Open an Online Banking Account at au Jibun Bank (in Japanese)

Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ 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 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 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 bankbook and the Internet trade at the same time.

Required documents Valid Residence Card (Zairyu Kado), Special Permanent Resident Certificate (tokubetsu eijusha shomeisho), a driver's license, a personal seal (inkan/hanko), 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 Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson, E-net, Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank)
Withdrawal fees at ATMs
Opening hours (weekday at 8:45-18:00) Free at Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson (*1), and E-net
Closed hours 110 yen at Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ, Seven Bank, Lawson (*1), and E-net
Transfer fees via the Internet (Mitsubishi UFJ direct)(*2)
To Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ less than 30,000 yen Free of charge
To Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ over 30,000 yen
To other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen 220 yen in every time
To other domestic banks over 30,000 yen 330 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 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 Mitsubishi UFJ's fees and the other bank's fees as well.

Check Details of Bank of Mitsubishi UFJ (in Japanese)

This is the easiest way of opening a bank account in Japan. When you prepare the required documents, you can open it immediately. However, those who stay in Japan less than 6 months cannot deposit and remit overseas. If you rely on allowances from your family, it might not be a good choice. But, you do not have to concern about stealing or losing the funds because of the system.
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 5 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), a passport, and a personal seal (inkan/hanko)
Processing Duration About 2 weeks
Available ATM Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank), Shinsei Bank, Seven Bank, Mizuho Bank, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Bank of 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 110 yen in weekdays at 8:45-18:00, and Satuday at 9:00-14:00; Other times cost 220 yen in every time.
Transfer fees via the Internet (Yucho direct)(*1)
To Japan Post Bank less than 30,000 yen Free until 5 times in a months; 6 and more times cost 113 yen in every time.
To Japan Post Bank over 30,000 yen
To other domestic banks less than 30,000 yen 220 yen in every time
To other domestic banks over 30,000 yen 440 yen in every time
Depositing to oversea banks It depends on each bank.
Remitting to oversea banks 2,000 yen(*2)
  • You will need another applicatiion to use the services of Yucho direct.
  • If you want to use remitting to oversea banks, you need to resister your My Number Card at Post Office or Yucho Bank branches beforehand.

Check Details of Japan Post Bank (in Japanese)

  • 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).