Random – Bank Account

..so for all those who are planning to go on working-holiday. Here it is, the secret guide to get a japanese bank account. Golden Rule: Get all things you need to bring, and you are done within 30 min.  [reminder: as a working holiday you have less options. Basically your account is a “transfer salary account“]

  • !! Banks in Tokyo are open 9am-15pm, ATMs have closing hours (they charge some fee if you try to get money on public holidays, or at ‘night’/’morning’)  — a paradoxon in the so-called ‘service oriented’ Japan
  • With a simple german IC “ChipCard” (normale Maestro-Girokarte) you can withdraw money only at 7ginko (7/11 ATMs) and Post Office ATMs !! All other ATMs, due to the different reading system of magnet/chips, don’t accept foreign cards!!

A) Get a 印鑑 {inkan} (印章) which I mostly refer to as –hanko– 判子 (the “wooden stick”)
though I know if you open up a bank account at Post Banks they don’t require one. But Post Banks are Post Banks and not Bank Banks, so it is up to you what you prefer.
⊗ I got my Hanko from a friend. It is not much of a big deal and cost you maybe 500 yen. Foreigners usually make their Katakana First-Name as the stamp (not a strange Kanji Word as it need to coincide with the registered name on your card which is in Romaji (ABC) and Furigana (reading converted into Katakana)


B) Get a cellphone (japanese phonenumber) — or use the phonenumber of a friend

C) Get your address registered at the local office (you need a phonenumber to do so)
→ You have to fill out a form, very simple. And bring your ID Card↵ that you got at the airport. They will stamp and sign the address on the back. Finished. Very easy (and free of charge!!)


D) Find out your birthday according to japanese calendar.
Click here for a converter
⊗ In Japan the years are calculated according to the emperor which is currently reigning. Hence when he dies a new “area” begins, which each is given a name and start by year 1. →more on japanese history

Now you are ready to go to the bank. Usually there is a Help-Desk Clerk around, tell him/her you want to open up a bank account. What he/she will hand you over is Application Form. Fill it out accordingly, take a number #, and wait for your turn. Finished. They will explain everything in detail to you.

⊕ Here at 三菱東京UFJ銀行 [Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFC] it will look like this:

bankkk(you fill out, todays date, your phonenumbers, your address, name, birthday, employers address in case you already found work, and Amount in Yen you want to deposit initially)

  • ECO option means good for the environment or “internet banking” in short. Usually you would be handed over a “bank booklet” to print in all your transactions.
    → you will have to set up a online-password which consist of ABC, 123 and some *signs* like @ or . etc. quite annoying as I’m so easy to forget.
  • Super option actually is a new security update (which is more than just a “PIN”# to make sure your not scamed. → within Super you can choose ‘Combi-Type‘ or ‘Security Type‘  which basically gives you the option to use the card not only at UFC ATMs but in combinis and everywhere.
  • VISA [ you have the option to apply for an additional VISA Credit Card, which I don’t need as I have my own from germany]
  • Your card in general will have a 4-digit  security #

BEST THING (that reminds you that you are actually in Japan) @ UFC you can choose between normal cards and ‘character’ cards = there will be a cute Mickey and Minney Mouse on your bright red card


⇒ everything will be sent to you by post. It takes about 1 week. You have to sign on arrival, so in case your not home you can request another delivery attempt by phone.


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