My first experience with Japanese banks

Hello , I’m Cagla !

Born and raised in Turkey. Living in Osaka for 6 years. The primary reason that I’m writing here is to help others and share the things that I have experienced.

「My first bank experience」

In Japan , there is a lots of “not to do”, modern rituals, and quite strict unwritten rules. And some of them might be tough for a first-time movers.

Japan is one of the most technologically advanced country on earth. Yet there is a lot of paper work for a technological country. Such as house rental contracts and bank contracts. And today, I want to write about my first bank experience in Japan.

You may have heard how bad and difficult Japanese banking system are. But personally, I don’t think it’s that bad. But they have good and bad points. And I want to start from the good points.

Japanese banks does not have maintenance fee like in my country. Even if you only have 1 Japanese Yen balance , you don’t need to pay monthly fee. And I think this is great!

The Machines (ATMs) are very advanced. you can fill your passbook  and you can use coins. Some ATMs even accept 1 yen.

And lastly , the staff is very polite and helpful (well, if you know Japanese).

So yes these are the good points. But now let’s talk about my very uncomfortable and challenging experience.

When I first moved, naturally I had to find a place. So luckly I met with an estate agent who can speak in English. She found the perfect place to fit my budget , and it was large enough to live for long time.

After finding the place the only thing that I need was a bank account to pay the rent.

I went to the  one of the most popular bank In Japan with zero Japanese and waited the staff who can speak in English. After waiting quite long time she told me that they cannot make a bank account for me since I don’t have an address. But I can’t have an address without a bank account… So I found myself in a weird loop.

And then I have tried different banks and different branches. Finally, one of the bank said that they can make a bank account with the home address of the person who will vouch for me. And finally, I was able to get a bank account , rent the apartment and start to my new life in Japan.

So yes , you might not have be able to make a bank account without a vouch.

If you are considering about to moving to Japan, I think you have to have an acquaintance.