Banks in Japan can be a little tricky to navigate through at first. Some banks operate only within that prefecture or region and some operate nationally. This can be a problem when you are travelling outside the prefecture, since using another bank’s ATM will charge fees. Another point to note is that most banks charge a fee for using their ATM machines in the evenings and on weekends.

You can also wire-transfer from banks, but be aware that the price for wire-transferring can be steep depending on your bank. Check your options to find the best place for wire-transferring for you! (Such as online services)


Depositing money, or furikomi: 3 possible ways.

  1. If you have a bill or an invoice that indicates which bank the company/person is operating through, you can go directly go to that bank and pay for the bill with cash.
  2. You can use an ATM or ask a teller of your bank to deposit money into the account on the invoice. This may cost a fee.
  3. At a conbini. Whether you can make deposits through a conbini will be indicated on the bill or invoice.


Most banks in Japan offer online banking, but it is not popular practice yet. Instead, many people use the bankbook system where you put the bankbook into the machine to update it in written form. This service is usually free around the clock, even if you use it in the evenings or weekends.

When you are doing anything at a bank, don’t forget your personal seal (印鑑,いんかん) and your bank book (通帳,つうちょう).


Quick vocab:

キャッシュカード(kyasshukaado) Cash card
通帳 (tsuuchou) Bankbook
引き出し(hikidashi) Withdrawal
振込み (furikomi) Deposit
通帳記入 (tsuuchoukinyuu) Update bankbook
電信送金 (denshinsoukin) Wire-transfer

Learn about conbinis here →

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