**Disclaimer: This is a list of some of the third party options for sending money from Japanese bank accounts to foreign bank accounts. We provide this list for your convenience only, and these services are not in anyway affiliated with or endorsed by the Saga JET Program. Research your options thoroughly to decide the service that best fits your needs.
Saga Bank transfer services
If you have a Saga Bank account of any kind, you can make international payments directly from your account to another foreign account.
Go to your local branch to find out more, or click here to see Saga Bank’s web page about what foreign currency transfer services (外国送金サービス/gaikoku soukin saabisu) they offer. There is no English language option unfortunately, so please ask a friend/colleague or your supervisor to help you with translations.
This service, operated by Shinsei Bank, allows you to open a separate account to use for money transfers. Any money transferred to the account will automatically be routed to the international bank account you have designated. This is a popular service as, after an initial registration period (which may take up to two weeks), money can be remitted in 1-3 days. Each transfer will incur a domestic wire charge by Saga Bank (around ￥500-600) as well as a commission by Shinsei Bank (￥2000 regardless of the amount you remit). Note that your home bank may also charge a fee, so the total fees paid per transfer will vary by the person.
After your first transfer, Saga Bank ATMs give the option of printing a furikomiken (振り込み券), which is a small card that stores your GoRemit account information and allows you to skip entering it each time you make a transfer.
As of late 2015, GoRemit also requests your “My Number” (マイナンバー) when filling the application form, or you will unfortunately not be able to use the service. For more information specifically pertaining to My Number, visit our My Number page.
Click here for more information.
You can also transfer money using a kokusai soukin (国際送金) service at your local post office. You fill out the form with your home country bank account information and can pay in cash or with funds from your Post Bank Account. Each transfer costs 2500 yen and the number of post office branches makes this a widely available option. If you will be making international money transfers frequently, they offer a service where they will print out forms with your bank information already written so you don’t have to write it each time.
7Eleven has a partnership with Western Union that also now offers an option to send money to your home country. See here for more information.
Transferwise is a relatively new transfer service that is popular with JETs for ease of use.
Airports, large banks, and hotels catering to tourists will provide these services for most currencies. You will need a form of photo ID (passport or Residence Card) handy for this process. Banks will tend to give you the best exchange rate, so planning ahead is advised.
There are six branches of Saga Bank that provide currency exchange. The Main branch (Saga City), Tosu Branch, Taku Branch, Karatsu Branch, Kashima Branch, and Imari Branch.
Note: the Keio Plaza Hotel, which hosts Tokyo Orientation, has several currency exchange machines in their lobby.