★ How to open a JP Post Bank Account & transfer money
My money came yesterday! \(^o^)/ That’s one less thing to worry about.
I helped Cece with the info she needed, but I figured this may help someone else out in the future, so I’m going to post what I had to do.
What are the benefits of opening a Japan Postal Savings Account?
- Accessibility. Every city has a post office, so wherever you go, you can always withdraw money. Especially since Japan is really cash-based and most places won’t take cards (especially in the rural town I’m living in), it’s always best to have some cash on you.
- No international fees. No international charges like the International ATMs. This was my main reason for opening the account. My bank back in America charges me $5 plus another $2 or so, and that adds up, especially if you’re going to be in Japan for a long period of time.
- No withdrawal limit. My rent is ¥50000 per month, and that’s the limit for the International ATM. Withdrawal limit plus international fees combined? No thank you.
- Passbook and cash card. The passbook comes with opening the account, and you have the option of also getting a cash card, which you can use like a debit card. My tutor told me you can use it at convenience stores (konbini), though there is a small charge. You can use either when you want to deposit/withdraw money, and the ATM machine stamps in your passbook the amount of money you have, which is really great!
What you’re going to need:
- Identification. Passport or alien registration card. If you’re an exchange student, then you’ve probably already registered for a Certificate of Alien Registration card (登録証明書; gaikokujin touroku shoumei-sho). We applied for those at the city hall with our host mother about 2 weeks before.
- Hanko. A hanko is an ink stamp used to sign your name with. I had mine made about a week before. I don’t have a Japanese name, but I was able to make one using ateji, where you use the sounds of kanji to write your name.
- Money to deposit. You need to deposit a small amount of money in order to open an account. Even just ¥1000 is enough.
- A Japanese friend. If your Japanese isn’t that great yet, you might want to bring along a friend or a fluent Japanese speaker to accompany you. Two of our tutors came along with me. They helped me with filling out the form and questions that the lady working there would ask me, since there were a good number of terms that I didn’t know.
Steps for opening a JP Postal Savings Account:
- Go to your local JP Post bank. They’re easy to spot because of this symbol: 〒
- Tell them you want to open a normal savings account: 普通預金 (futsuu yokin). You will be asked for ID and if you have a hanko at this point.
- You will be asked to fill out a form. The form will ask for your full name (in romanji and katakana, if your name isn’t in Japanese), address and phone number while you’re in Japan, birthdate, etc. Note that they ask for your birth year in terms of which year of Heisei. The tutors helped me with this, and there’s a chart at the bottom of this wiki page.
- Turn in the form and wait until you’re called up again. They will ask if you want a cash card and that was free of charge. You will also be asked to pick a PIN number (暗証番号; anshou bangou). They’ll then also ask for a deposit amount.
- There will be a lot of stamping of forms with your hanko. They also took my ID card to make a photocopy, did a few other things, then they handed me passbook. Done!
- You can now access your account using your passbook. The cash card will arrive at your address in about a week. Note that the delivery man won’t just leave it there, but that you’ll have to be there in person. I missed the first delivery, but they leave a paper and you can call in to pick a good delivery time for you. (I had my host mother help me with this)
Steps for transferring money to your JP Postal Savings Account:
- You’re going to need send all the information on this page to your American bank. Except, of course, with your own full name, and your address and phone number in Japan.
- Code number is the number after 記号 (kiggou) in the first page of your passbook. Your account number is after 番号 (bangou). It’s also on the second page, after 口座番号 (kouza bangou). On the second page is the branch number, which is the three digit number after 【店番】(tenban).
- My bank took two business days to wire my money. The Japan Post Bank will call your phone number in Japan to tell you when your money will be deposited. In my case, it was the evening before. They will ask you what the money is being transferred for. My tutor told me to answer 生活費 (seikatsu hi; living expenses).