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1. Banks and Post Offices

Banking Services

Banking services including deposits and savings, direct payment for utility bills, automatic debit transfer for credit card, remittance, etc. are all handled at banks and post offices (yucho ginko). Banks are normally open 9:00-15:00, while banking services at post offices are open 9:00-16:00 (some post offices are open until 18:00). Although banks are usually closed on weekends and holidays, there are some that are open in the evening and on weekends. As long as you have your cash card, cash deposits and withdrawals are both available via automatic teller machines (ATM) or cash dispensers. In addition, financial institutions also offer online banking services on the Internet or through the web on your cell phone.

Types of Banks
Banks in Japan primarily consist of major city banks such as Mizuho Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation—that have head offices in large cities like Tokyo and branch offices across the nation—and regional banks including Fukuoka Bank, Nishi-Nippon City Bank, among others that provide financial services in specified prefectures or regions in the country. Although city bank branches are only available in prefectural capitals and regional bank branches are almost never available in other regions, you can still make cash deposits and withdrawals at their affiliated financial institutions or at ATMs in convenience stores. Likewise, for postal banking, since there are over 20,000 small and large branches of postal offices around the country, cash deposits and withdrawals can be easily made anywhere in the country. They may also be made at affiliate financial institutions and convenience store ATMs. Moreover, in recent years, an increasing number of “Internet banks” such as “Sony Bank” and “Seven Bank” are providing cash deposit and withdrawal services at their allied banks or convenience store ATMs, without the establishment of any branches or reception desks. Regarding the service fees of ATM transactions, please consult with your respective financial institution.

Opening an Account
When opening an account at banks or post offices, you will need to fill out an account application form in which case you will need a form of personal ID such as your residence card or something that verifies your name, current address in Japan, and date of birth, as well as your personal seal. Upon successfully opening your account, you will receive a bank book in which the history of your deposits will be recorded. If you wish to apply for a cash card (credit card types are also available), you will need to register a four-digit PIN. Opening your bank account and applying for your cash card are both free (credit card accounts require a screening process).
*Signatures can also be used in place of personal seals; however, keep in mind that you will only be able to withdraw at your branch and nowhere else (for post office bank accounts, you can use a signature at branches other than the one at which you opened your account). As personal seals are required for conducting various procedures including banking services in Japan, it is convenient to have your own seal custom-made to facilitate your day-to-day business in the city.

There are two types of machines at which you can use cash cards: the ATM (Automated Teller Machine) and the CD (cash dispenser). The former type not only allows deposits, but also allows withdrawals, passbook updates, and bank transfers, among other transactions. In addition to those ATMs/CDs installed at the head office and branches of banks and post offices, they are also available inside department stores, shopping centers, convenience stores, etc., but keep in mind that the service hours and handling capability for each machine vary greatly and fees may be levied depending on the time of your transaction. Although major cash cards can be used at ATMs in 24-hour convenience stores for withdrawing cash early in the morning or late at night, bear in mind that each financial institution has different service hours and service fees. To get better acquainted with the precise information of your cash card service, consult your financial institution.

Cash Withdrawals with Foreign Cash Cards or Credit Cards
While it is possible to withdraw cash using a cash card issued overseas, it may only be allowed on ATMs that are compatible with your card. For more information, please consult your financial institution or credit card companies. If your card bears any of the following trademarks, it can be used at Yucho (postal) ATMs: VISA, VISAELECTRON, PLUS, MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, China UnionPay, or Discover.

Cash Withdrawals and Deposits
When making a cash withdrawal at a bank counter, you will need the personal seal which you registered when you opened your account. If using a bank card, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs or cash dispensers, but be aware that there may be limits to the number of withdrawals and and the amount that can be withdrawn per day. Inquire at each financial institutions for more details. Also, it is not possible to deposit more than 100,000 yen into another person's account from an ATM. In such cases, you must present identification (Residence Card, etc.) at a bank counter and complete procedures from there.

Sending Money
Both banks and post offices provide several domestic and overseas remittance services. However, as each financial institution varies in commission fee and handles services differently, it is best to consult your financial institution for finding ways to send your money overseas. A form of personal ID (residence card, etc.) is required for conducting domestic and overseas remittance that amounts to more than 100,000 yen.

<Receiving Money from Overseas>

Japan Post Bank (Yucho)
Remittances from overseas can, in principle, only be depositted into an account with a name that match the receiver's name. For details on the documents required to claim a remittance and any associated fees, inquire at your financial institution.

Foreign Currency Exchange

While you can exchange foreign currency at major banks and post offices, depending on the type of currency you are seeking, some outlets may not have it in stock and may not be able to exchange it for you right away. Essentially, it is the best to visit the head office of your bank or a Yucho branch office linked to the central post office in the city when seeking a variety of foreign currencies. When exchanging a large sum or minor currency, contact a local financial institution to find out whether such exchange is possible.

Currency Exchange Offices on Weekends and Holidays

<Fukuoka City Downtown>
- Fukuoka Bank Tenjin Lion Hiroba Foreign Exchange Shop
2-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City (Lion Hiroba)
Open: 9:00-21:00 daily, year-round
Tel: 092-723-2013

- NCB Alpha Tenjin
2-5-28 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Nishi-Nippon City Bank, Daimyo Branch, 4F
Tel: 092-771-9002
Weekday: 9:00-18:00
Weekend and national holidays: 10:00-17:00 (except for Dec. 31-Jan. 3, May 3-May 5)

<Fukuoka Airport>
- Fukuoka Bank
Domestic Terminal Building 2, BF1
Tel: 092-611-5961
International Terminal Building 1F, 3F
Tel: 092-477-0377

- Nishi-Nippon City Bank
Domestic Terminal 2, BF1
Tel: 092-622-9002

- Tisco Japan Exchange Service
International Terminal, 1F
Tel: 092-477-0086

- Travellex, Fukuoka Airport International Terminal Departure Gate Branch
International Terminal, 3F
Tel: 092-436-2055

- SBJ Bank, International Terminal Foreign Exchange Counter
International Terminal, 3F
Tel: 092-436-6600

<Chuo Wharf Cruise Centre>
- Fukuoka Bank
- Nishi-Nippon City Bank
9:00-21:00 on days when the Cruise Centre is open (closed when Cruise Centre is closed)