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Banking and Financial

The Student Services office will help with advice regarding money transfer, credit cards, bill payments and all other related matters. The banking system in Japan is not very competitive and offers poor services compared to most other countries. Many students have some difficulties adapting to what is basically a cash-only society and to Japanese language only services.

Students studying at Yamasa on a long term basis with student visas usually open a bank account during their first couple of days with assistance from the office staff. It is then relatively easy to have bills such as gas, electricity and water paid by deductions from your bank account.

Short term program students CAN open bank accounts, so it is possible for money to be transferred to you. But if you are a short term student then please note that it is best to bring traveler checks so that you have some safe but accessible funds available when you arrive. Credit cards are of limited utility in Japan and it can be very difficult to get cash using credit cards. Most ATM machines only accept cards issued by Japanese banks. Traveller's checks usually offer the best Yen exchange rate. They offer a better rate than cash and are much safer.

Credit cards are usually accepted by the larger stores for payment purposes, however please note that many stores and restaurants will not accept payment except by cash. For withdrawing money from ATM's or at banks, please note that Visa card is more widely accepted than Mastercard or American Express.

Q - I'm looking forward to arriving at Okazaki next month. But there is a question I would like answered before I go. The bank clerk told me, I can pay with a Euro-Card at every shop, so that I do not need to carry lots of money with me. Two days ago I talked to a girl who had been in Japan for two months in 1999 and she said that it is nearly impossible to pay with Euro-Card and you can't get money at a bank or cashpoint. Do you know if I can get money at the local bank in Okazaki with my Euro-Card. What would you recommend?
Eva Rudert, Germany

A - You can withdraw money using a visa card at the Okashin Bank near Yamasa. Many small shops do not accept credit cards although this is changing. We would advise you to bring both traveller's checks and a Visa card. Its also best to have around 20,000 yen in cash when you arrive or to make a similar withdrawal at Nagoya Airport.

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Hattori Foundation (est.1919) - The Yamasa Institute
1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN 444-0832
Tel: +81 (0)564 55 8111 Fax: +81 (0)564 55 8113 Email: Inquiries

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