How to Open Bank Account in Japan

Bank Account in Japan Money

I think one of the most difficult things for foreigners to do when they arrive in Japan is to open a bank account. I once helped a foreign friend open a bank account. First of all, you need to be able to speak Japanese in order to open a bank account at the counter. I think there are people who don’t speak Japanese but want a bank account.

This article will teach you how to open a bank account online without going to a counter.

I will write about opening an account at Shinsei Bank. The reason for Shinsei Bank is that it is easy for foreigners to open an account.If you fill out the online form and mail in the documents required to open a bank account, there is a good chance you will be able to open a bank account!

What You Need to Prepare

To open a bank account, you will need the following.

  1. Residence Card (Copy) or Special Permanent Resident Certificate (Copy)
  2. A copy of Japanese driver’s license or An original copy of Residence Certificate (Issued within the past 6 months) or An original copy of a utility bill receipt (Landline telephone, electricity, water, gas or NHK)
  3. Application form

For more information, go to the following site

Open an account by mail | SBI Shinsei Bank
No need to visit a branch


Those who fall under the following cannot open a bank account.

  1. Non-residents of Japan
  2. Those who have resided less than 6 months after entering Japan and who are not working in Japan or those who have diplomatic, official, or short-term visa status.
  3. For details regarding account opening requirements, please click here.
  4. Corporate application Post office box address

For those who wish to open a bank account at the counter

In Japan, people who do not speak Japanese cannot open a bank account at the counter. Because they are concerned about money laundering.  

5 Tips to Follow when opening a bank account at the counter

  1. Bring someone who speaks Japanese.
  2. Never visit the bank with more than three people.
  3. Avoid visiting the bank at the beginning of the month, end of the month, and on days that are multiples of 5.
  4. Visit the bank right after it opens.
  5. Visit many branches.

As for 1, they call it money laundering, but in reality, it is because few people speak English. As for 2, it takes time. As for 3, these days, banks are crowded. As for 4, the bank is empty this time. As for 5, the decision to open a bank account depends on the branch.