Opening a Bank Account

What banks are in Hokkaido?

The two most popular banks for foreigners in Hokkaido are JP Post and Shinsei Bank. If you are in rural areas of Hokkaido, it may be in your best interest to open an account at whatever local branch is available to you since operating hours are limited.

  • JP post operates all over Japan and has an English option on its ATMs. If you intend to transfer money home via JP post you will need to set up an account with them to do so. So why not kill two birds with one stone?
  • Shinsei Bank is another popular option because of its English services. Its website has an English option and there is an English support line. Although branches are limited,  you can apply to open an account without stepping foot in a store by downloading the application form available at:

What do I need to open a bank account?

You will need:

  • Residence card
  • Passport
  • Registered personal seal (Hanko)
  • Money to deposit. Usually 1000 yen is enough.
  • Contact phone number. (If you do not have a personal contact number in Japan, arrange with your bank and contracting organization to use your work number for the time being.)
  • Optional – A Japanese speaking person who can help you fill out the forms.
  • Patience as the forms are most likely only in Japanese.

I can’t read Japanese; how do I fill out the application form?

If you can’t find a Japanese person willing to help you open your bank account, the following guide has been made based on the JP posts application form.
You will need to know your date of birth according to the Japanese calendar. Use this link to find what era and year you were born in.