Whether you've got a student loan to pay, parents to reimburse, or savings to deposit in your home bank account, here's a few ways you can transfer money out of Japan and into your home country's bank account.


Transferwise logo Initially created by a guy from Skype with (financial) support from Richard Branson, this transfer service really is one of the easiest and best out there. The only hitch is you have to do a furikomi (振込) as part of the process. But here's how Transferwise money transfers work:

  1. Set up an account with Transferwise.
    You will need to provide some proof of identity, but this can all be done through their app. They'll also send you a letter to confirm your address.
  2. Start the transfer on your smartphone. You'll lock in the rate.
  3. Go to the bank, transfer your money to the Japanese Transferwise account.
    Once they get your money, they keep the yen but pay you from their account in your country, so it happens pretty quick. (As I write this, I've just finished an international money transfer with Transferwise and the money was in my home account within 1.5 hours.)


For this option to work, you'll need to set up two PayPal accounts. One connected to your domestic bank account and a Japan one. The big hitch for most people with this option is you'll need a Japanese credit card. This method is one I've heard about from a friend, so I'm not sure whether it abides with PayPal's T&Cs. Here's how to transfer money with PayPal:

  1. Add money to your Japanese PayPal account from your Japanese credit card.
  2. Send the money from your Japanese PayPal to your home country PayPal.
  3. Transfer the money out of PayPal to your domestic bank account.

Mum's the Word

There's generally no one more trustworthy than your own mother, but if you know someone who fits that bill, get in touch with them. You'll need their help.

This option for sending money back home most likely breaks your cash-card contract with the bank (because you'll have to tell your mother your PIN, so be aware of that. Here's how to get money to your home country with a bank card:

  1. Open a bank account that gives you a cash-card (debit card) you can use overseas.
  2. Send that card to your mother.
  3. Your mother goes to an ATM and withdraws cash for you, then deposits it in your domestic account.

International Money Transfers

The above methods of sending money home are all quite outside-the-box ways of getting your money out of Japan. Of course there's the original way of sending money through the banking system with wire transfers but this method is relatively expensive, can take quite some time (weeks, in many cases), and the paperwork is quite a headache. Hopefully, the above options make getting very well earned money where you want it a little easier.

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# Trev 2018-09-11 05:43
I tried an international money transfer once. The forms were a real headache and it took 6 weeks for the money to get to my account back in America. 6 WEEKS!!!

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