Banks in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Banks in Japan

By Guidable Writers Jul 22, 2016

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) Japanese Spanish Vietnamese Chinese (Traditional)

Banking system in Japan is similar to banking system in other countries.

There are a variety of institutions, ranging from large international banks to small regional banks. The large domestic banks include Japan Postal Bank, Mizuho, Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo and Resona.


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Moreover, several online banks, most notably Seven Bank, have recently gained popularity and offer their customers banking via the internet and a network of ATMs. 
You can have services such as cash deposits, withdrawals, transfers, foreign exchange and investment services in a bank.

Most banks are open from 9:00 to 15:00, and close on weekends and national holidays. ATMs tend to have longer operating hours and tend to be available on weekends and holidays. It is increased that ATMs are available 24 hours.


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<Opening an account>

Both foreign residents and travelers can open a bank account as long as they hold a residence card. Some banks may also accept a Japanese driving license instead of  residence card. More conservative banks may also require a personal stamp (Inkan).

You are not required a minimum deposit to open an account and are not charged a fee to maintain it, at most banks. Interest rates on regular account re very low, often fraction of one percent. Once you have applied, you can receive your bank book and ATM card will be sent via mail. You have to pay a fee (1,000 yen) for issue of ATM card.

Conversely, you can close your account in person at any branch with your cash card, bank book, residence card and personal stamp (if required)


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<Bank Transfers (Furikomi)>

One of the key services offered by Japanese banks is electronic bank transfers (Furikomi).They are a very common way for individuals and businesses to transfer money between each other and to pay bills.

Transfers can be made at the teller, ATM or via the internet, and are processed on the same day if made within business hours. A fee of typically 200 to 500 yen is paid by the sender.

It is also possible to transfer money from an account outside of Japan to Japanese account via international wire transfer, however, it can be a somewhat complicated process that usually costs several thousand yen in handling fees.


Japanese banks offer loans and mortgages at very low interest rates, however they can be difficult to secure.

Moreover, requiring the applicants to have a certain income level, most banks will issue loans and mortgages only to Japanese citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals with a Japanese spouse.