Opening a Japanese bank account

A bank account is usually the hub of your financial transactions. The same is true for Japan, If you live and study or work in Japan for a long time it’s essential to have it.

Basically you will need your:

  • Residence card
  • Passport
  • Money to deposit
  • Hanko (Personal seal)
  • Patience
  • (Japanese friend)

I choosed to open a bank account for the JR post bank. It doesn’t cost anything. They have offices in all cities of Japan. The bank is allways equipped with a post office. But the first and formoste reason for this bank is that I got the JASSO scholarship, and they will put in no other than a JP post bank account. By doing this I also hope to cut my transaction costs while not having to depend on withdrawing cash from my Swedish bank account all the time.

Opening up the bank account is requires quite some time. It took about 45 minuties even with the help of a Japanese friend. There is a lot of information to fill in, in Japanese. They also want your adress and phone number. And most importantly your Hanko! When I finally left there I realized that I didnt have to deposit any money either.

In the post office I went to they had an English pamphlete that explained in detail how to fill out the Japanese application form!

I got an old fashioned bank book and a cash card a week later in the mailbox.