Sending Money Home

These are a few of the many methods for sending money back to your home country. Every service has benefits and drawbacks. In broad terms, most of these services listed offer competitive exchange rates, updated daily to reflect the Bank of Japan’s exchange.

Terms:

送金 そうきん soukin remittance/transfer
送金手数料 そうきんてすうりょう soukin tesuuryou remittance fee
外国向送金 がいこくむけそうきん gaikoku mukesoukin overseas remittance
外国送金 がいこくそうきん gaikoku soukin overseas remittance
Western UnionJapan PostGo Remit

Pro:

  • Western Union has the lowest rate for under ¥100,000 at ¥2000
  • Transfer can be started 24/7
  • Can be sent from many locations, including 7-11 and FamilyMart ATMs
  • Transfer is instant
  • Great for those with family or trusted friends back home

Con:

  • Despite instant transfer, requires a family member or recipient on the other end to physically receive and deposit funds before they are available to you
  • Exchange rate available online, but what rate you will get exactly is unknown until you send.
  • Fees scale, so the rate at other institutions can be better for amounts over approx. ¥100,000

Read more here to find locations or for how to setup an account to use it at ATMs.
Click here for more information on fees.

Pro:

  • Direct account transfer for ¥2500 + Intermediary bank fee (varies)
  • Money is transferred directly into your account
  • Fees for large amounts are very low
  • No application process at all
  • Also provide Money Orders and Cheques

Con:

  • Takes 2-3 business days on average, but up to 5 for funds to arrive.
  • Transfers can only be made until 4pm each day, Mon-Fri at a Japan Post office
  • Requires you to fill out a remittance form at least once by hand. Subsequent visits using printed forms require you to write your address and sign.

More information is available from the JP Post website. (Japanese Only)

For a guide to to send money via the JP Post click here

The post office offers three different options:

  1. Wire Transfer (口座あて送金 kouza ate soukin)
    Sends money directly to a bank account.
    Fee: ¥2500
    Transfer time: 2-5 business days on average.
  2. Money Order (住所あて送金 juusho ate soukin)
    Sends money via money order to an address abroad that you specify.
    Recipient can cash it at their local post office but only the person named on the money order can cash it.
    Fee: ¥2000 for US addresses, ¥2500 for all others.
    Transfer time: 5-60 days depending on country (US: 5-12 days; Canada: 20-30 days).
  3. Remittance Cheque (通常為替 tsuujou kawase)
    Send money home via a check that you mail separately. You will need someone back home to cash or deposit it for you.
    Fee: 2500 yen

You can pay via:

  • Cash (現金 genkin)
  • Directly from a post office account (口座間送金 kouza kan soukin)

Once you know which service you would like, make sure to bring the relevant addresses and bank info with you. Bank Code, SWIFT Code, Routing Number, etc. Clerks are usually very helpful, and if you have all the information ready, you can just approach the counter when it’s your turn and present your information. Simply tell them “kouza soukin o shitai”, “juusho ato soukin o shitai”, or “tsuujou kawase o shitai”.

If you plan to use this method many times, ask for a: 国際送金請求書印字サービス申込書 kokusai soukin seikyuusho inji sa-bisu moushikomisho. This is a printed copy of the transfer form, to make future visits faster. You will have to fill out your information on a order form, and they will mail you up to 10 copies of it for free.

Pro:

  • Direct account transfer for ¥2000 + Intermediary bank fee (varies)
  • Money is transferred directly into your account
  • Transfer is near instantaneous
  • Can be done 24/7 from any open ATM via Furikomi
  • Offers daily email updates on their exchange rate

Con:

  • Fee is worse than Western Union. Sometimes slightly worse, sometimes slightly better than JP Post due to the intermediary bank fee. Must confirm the banking fee with each.

To apply for GoRemit click here.