The majority of the Japanese citizens including foreign residents have their own bank account because living without it is inconvenient. Why?
When you need to rent an apartment, you pay a deposit and monthly fees through bank transfer via a domestic bank account. When you pay bills, may it be utility or phone, you can either pay it with cash or use your ATM of a local bank. To avoid running out of cash, it is wise to use your ATM card, which means, you really have to own a bank account. It is one of the first things you should do when you decide to stay in Japan.
For foreigners staying in Japan for less than ninety days, opening an account is not advisable. But if you are in Japan to study or work, you should open a bank account. Banks have different rules or standards. We advise you to open in the nearest bank to your home, school or work or to which will approve your application.
For foreigners, domestic banks may be strict. You only need to show your Residence Card and fill up a form. Some banks will require you to write your name in Katakana. Most bank forms are written in Japanese, some have English translations, but most of them don’t have.
What’s good, opening a bank account in Japan does not require any maintenance fee.
What bank do we recommend to you?
Recommended Banks for Foreigners
Yucho Bank is the most foreigner-friendly bank for foreigners, operated by Japan Post Bank.
Even though you stay in Japan for less than six months, you are allowed to open an account for deposit only.
I am sure you would agree to carry a lot of cash all the time is not safe.
So you can deposit your extra money to your bank account. After six months, you can then switch to a general account that will allow you to withdraw or transfer.
Sumishin SBI Net Bank
In Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Mizuho Bank are three major bank companies. However, there is an increase in net bank users. Why?
These are the benefits:
- Initial Deposit is lower or sometimes for free
- ATM service fee is cheaper or is free
- The savings interest rate is higher than the others
- Available 24 hours for a withdrawal transaction
- No need to visit a bank
A net bank does not have a physical office. Therefore, the net bank is able to provide cheaper plans. I also have Mizuho Bank and Sumi Shin Net Bank accounts. I use both accounts for different purposes but mainly for savings. And because it is a net bank, you don’t have to go to their office to apply or create an account. You can do it online.
We understand that not all foreigners in Japan knows Japanese, and opening a bank account will be hard for them. If you are in this situation, please don’t hesitate to get our Bank Account Support Service.
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