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Banking in Japan

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In Akita, most of your banking needs can be met by one of the major two banks: Akita Bank (秋田銀行) and Hokkuto Bank (北都銀行). They both have extensive ATM networks throughout the prefecture. Most likely, your Contracting Organization (CO) will have a preference on which bank you to use. You will most likely have a general account set up with a local bank into which your wages will be paid. Interest is negligible or zero on these accounts. Automatic payments of bills is possible. You will probably get an ATM card, and you may request a Visa card once you get your Alien Registration Card.

ATMs in Japan usually open at 8am and close at about 7pm. They close earlier on Sundays and public holidays, if they are open at all. The most reliable places to get cash at off hours are shopping malls. Their ATMs are open late (8 or 9pm). Family Mart and Lawson's also have ATMs that may work at night or on weekends, for a fee.

If you go to prefectures where your bank doesn't exist, you might not be able to use your ATM card there. So if you're traveling, bring a lot of cash. Within the prefecture, using your ATM card at another bank's machine is often possible but might cost a small fee (150円, perhaps). Also, it is possible to get a savings account and ATM card with the Japan Post Office. In that case, you can use post office ATMs anywhere in Japan with no fee. Similarly, JA Bank has branches throughout Akita and Japan.

For the above reasons opening an account with Shinsei Bank is highly recommended. Although physical branch offices are only available in Tokyo, accounts can be opened entirely through the mail, the application process is simple, available in English, and a Shinsei cash card can be used at virtually any ATM with the usual bank fees waived. It is also one of the only banks that allows wire transfers (furikomi 振込) online (Once per month with absolutely no fee)

Finances
Banks Banking in Japan • Paychecks • ATMs • GoRemit • Post Office RemittanceWestern Union
Other First Year Tax Guide • Second-Fifth Year Tax Guide • Pension Refund • Pension book