How to Send Money From Japan to Your Home Country

Here’s a quick look at different options for remitting your Japanese currency to your home country. There are plenty of reasons to need a service like this: repayment of loans in your home country, giving monetary gifts to friends/family, or for moving your savings if you decide to move to a different country.

In my experience, the easiest option is TransferWise, but that could just be because my bank in Japan doesn’t have a very good remittance option. If your bank is better equipped to handle international transfers perhaps you might feel like going through your bank is the better option. Whatever the case may be, it’s best to have an understanding of the options available to you so you can make the best choice for your needs.

Quick comparison

Service Fees Amount received (sending ¥30,000) Amount received (sending ¥300,000)
JP Post Bank ¥7,500 + handling fees
Shinsei Bank ¥2,000 + handling fees $254.59 USD / £199.59 GBP / €226.12 EUR / $355.69 SGD $2,709.58 USD / £2,124.17 GBP / €2,406.53 EUR / $3,785.57 SGD
TransferWise Depends on amount sent $272.72 USD / £217.96 GBP / €242.93 EUR / $382.24 SGD $2,739.01 USD / £2,183.43 GBP / €2,432.66 EUR / $3,834.38 SGD
Western Union Cash pick up: ¥390 + handling fees

Bank transfer: ¥790 + handling fees

$274.23 USD / £218.91 GBP / €244.89 EUR / $372.14 SGD *Western Union has a maximum sending amount of ¥100,000, so that amount is used for this

$914.09 USD / £729.70 GBP / €816.30 EUR / $1,240.47 SGD

*Above info taken from the respective websites according to exchange rates of June 5, 2020.

*JP Post Bank does not have an online tool for estimating currency exchange.

Bank transfer

The fees and process of an international bank transfer will depend on which Japanese bank you use.

ゆうちょ銀行 (Japan Post Bank) charges ¥7,500 if making an international remittance at a window, or ¥3,000 if using the online  ゆうちょダイレクト (Yucho Direct) service. This service will take 4 – 7 business days to process the exchange and for your money to be received. The entire process is handled in Japanese, so you’ll need to be a little bit prepared if you want to go this route. The high handling fee tends to make it a bit expensive compared to other options, though.

You’ll have to fill out a form like this if you’re making an international transfer through Japan Post Bank. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Shinsei Bank offers the GoRemit service which takes a ¥2,000 fee + 0.1% of the amount (¥1,500 minimum) and services are provided in English and online. Typically takes 3 business days to receive money.

Money Order (Western Union)

A great bonus to an online service like this is that service provided in English. Western Union also offers a service in which the recipient can choose to receive the transferred funds as cash at participating locations.

TransferWise

This is the option that I’ve found to be the easiest and simplest to use for my purposes. If you’re transferring much larger amounts of money, then it might not meet your needs, but it is a good starting point. If your bank in Japan offers online banking services you can do the entire process online as well!


You may also be interested in:

How to do a bank transfer at a Japanese ATM: Furukomi Explained

Japan Post Bank ATMs.