Opening a bank account in Japan


You have to produce your Residence Card to be able to open a bank account in Japan. More information on proceedings in this article.

There are many banks in Japan. Check your current bank to get information about partnerships that could exist between your bank and Japanese banks.

An Residence Card is compulsory to open a bank account in Japan. The address on your Residence Card must be valid. Postal boxes are forbidden. Your bank in Japan may ask you to provide an « Inkan » signature, which is a kind of personal seal that you can buy in specialized stores. You will get a debit card without difficulties.

With a Japanese debit card, you can withdraw cash in ATM's, pay your bills and transfer money abroad.

For your information, the documents checklist to open a bank account at the Shinsei Bank.

  Good to know:

Foreign credit cards are barely accepted in Japan (excepted in major department stores, post offices, airports…).

  Useful links:

Shinsei Bank
HSBC Japan
Bank of Japan
Azora Bank

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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
3 years ago

how does one obtain a residence card in japan?? I have a Nepali friend, he is struggling because he is told he cant get work without a bank account, and cant get a bank account... Do you need a bank account in order to get work?? How do people get around this?

3 years ago

Wait, Can't I just withdraw money at an ATM from my foreign debit card?

7 years ago

Actually, an inkan is required to open a bank account in Japan. Also, you won't receive a "debit card," Japan doesn't use debit - they use cash. You will receive a cash card solely for withdrawing money from an ATM (or depositing). You can also do bank transfers through an ATM. The only way you can transfer money abroad is through a wire transfer, postal transfer or a company like GoLloyds. The latter is the cheapest and easiest option - you sign up for an account and transfer money from the ATM to GoLloyds, and they remit the money home. It's good to have someone with you to open an account at a bank. Keep in mind that banks are usually only open until 3 or 4 p.m., and that ATMs charge fees on weekends and after-hours.


See also

Alcoholic beverages, perfumes and cigarettes are exempt from tax in Japan. Some products are banned from entering while others are subject to control.

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