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Transferwise

Sending money to Japan: which payment solution is the most cost saving?

Just arrived in Japan or arriving soon and looking for the best solution to send your money here?

When moving to Japan, depending on how long you plan to stay, you will either open a bank account locally, either use an alternative payment method. In both cases, for using your hometown savings and/or before actually earning money in Japan you will have to transfer some money from your hometown account to Japan. Careful, even if you open an account in Japan, for the rent matter it might be more complicated than expected since some local banks that are open to foreigners actually have withdrawal restrictions.

For making a payment from overseas, the most famous ones are often PayPal or simply an international transfer from your bank, but the commissions tend to be way too high!

PayPal is good enough for small amounts of money but when you have to you pay your rent, keep in mind that the commission will be around 4.1 % for payments from 0-300,000 JPY. For international bank transfers, it’s usually even more expensive.

In this article, I am glad to share with you a very cost effective solution that I just discovered: Transferwise.

Be sure that I have no specific interest in recommending this payment solution, but just helping foreigners like me to find the best option!

Let’s start with a few words on how Transferwise works

Transferwise has local bank accounts in most countries. So for sending money to Japan, you will actually transfer the money from your account to Transferwise account in your hometown country. Then Transferwise will send the money from his local account in Japan to your Japanese beneficiary account. With this system, the money is actually not traveling abroad. Also, they use the accurate exchange rate change, for example, the rate that you would see on the internet, instead of using a higher exchange rate as banks do.

How much will that cost you to send money to Japan?

– How is the fee calculated? It’s a fixed percentage plus a small flat fee, depending on the currency you send and how much it costs to convert it.
– When is the fee paid? Transferwise always charges the fee initially from the amount you are sending. No risk that the recipient will have to support it upon receiving your transfer, no shortage.

A few examples of the cost for sending money to Japan depending on the initial country

Cost examples

Is it easy and quick?

All you need is the bank detail of your beneficiary account in Japan! The only tricky part is to make sure that the recipient name is correctly spelled, especially if it is spelled in katakana make sure to copy and past every character. If the recipient name is incorrect the payment will be rejected.
It takes on average 3-4 days.

Does it work for any bank in Japan?

Yes! Since Transferwise has a local account in Japan it works with the main Japanese banks such as Mizuho or Mitsubishi bank, but also with the Japan Post Bank and the smallest local ones.

You can now move to Japan with one less thing to worry about!

A reminder to let you know that if you are looking for an accommodation in Japan, our portals TokyoRoomFinder andJapanRoomFinder have plenty of apartments and rooms in share houses available all over Japan. Send us an enquiry if you like one of them!

Cyrielle Ugnon Administrator
Cyrielle is a French woman living in Tokyo since October 2018. She loves food, traveling and people.

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