Banks in Ehime
First and foremost about Japanese banks: they are regional! That means the bank has branches and dedicated ATMs ONLY in that prefecture/region. So when you travel around Japan, make sure you’ve pulled out enough money to last the duration of your trip. However, nowadays a lot of convenience store ATMs support Ehime banks.
Iyo Bank (伊予銀行)
Look for the green logo with the yellow sun and pink flower.
Ehime Bank (愛媛銀行)
Look for the orange and white logo.
Japan Post Bank
Japan Post also offers savings accounts, otherwise known as postal accounts. These accounts are optional (you’ll have to open one by yourself) but are fairly easy to set up. The benefit is postal accounts are NOT region specific. You can also get some other benefits. You can use the nationwide cashpoint/ATM network free of charge. These ATMs all have an English language option for ease of use. You can also withdraw and deposit at any post office nationwide. You may also set up automatic bill payments from these accounts. If you are going to leave the country or prefecture in the future you can keep your post office account. They also offer online banking so you can manage your account from your home country. Very useful and a good way of putting money aside for savings.
A word of warning: Japanese ATMs are not open 24-hours! ATMs are typically open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. Some ATMs may close earlier on weekends and holidays. These times are also true for the convenience store ATMs. You will incur a small fee if you withdraw money on weekends/holidays and after 6:00pm on weekdays. There is also an extra fee for withdrawing from convenience store ATMs.
ATMs don`t often come with any English support (this is also true for convenience store ATMs- don’t be fooled by the “English” button, there isn`t always English support) so here’s a handy translation of the ATM menu.
Your regional bank account comes with a cash card and a passbook. The passbook functions much like the registry of your checkbook– it will keep track of all of your transactions. Just open your book and place it facedown on the passbook display and it will update it for you.
Furikomi is the easiest way to transfer money between bank accounts. If your struggling, one recommended guide is from the Surviving In Japan website.
Sending Money Home
You may work in Japan, but there are still many reasons why you need money at home– paying off bills or loans or starting a nest egg for that day when you will (sadly) leave Ehime. Here are some of your options for sending money home:
Wire Transfer via the Post Office
If you plan to send money only occasionally, then you can do a direct international wire transfer from the Post Office. This can only be done at the main central post office (as opposed to the contract offices). There is a 2500 yen charge regardless of the amount, plus whatever fees your recieving bank charges. The transfer takes about two days. You can have the money wired directly from your postal bank account, or pay in cash.
If you plan to send money on a regular basis (like monthly) then the better option is to use the GoRemit (formely GoLloyds) service. There is a 2000 yen charge regardless of the amount, plus whatever your recieving bank charges. You’ll first have to set up an account which will take a few days. After your account is set up, you can wire the money using your bank’s ATM.
A relatively new company that has been used and recommended by Ehime JETs. First register and upload pictures of documents to verify your identity, and then request a transfer and send money to their Japanese account. They will then send you money from their account in your destination country, meaning that there are no international wire fees. It takes about 3 days to get into your account and you can send to others as well. They charge 1% of all transactions and use that day`s exchange rate (which they tell you upfront). Please see the website for more information.