Banking

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Banking

Postby Lsorondo » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:17 am

Can anyone tell me which banks are in Amakusa? Is there an HSBC? I
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Re: Banking

Postby Rollins » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:15 pm

The only banks you find here will be Japan based and mostly only local to Kumamoto, such as Higo Bank or Kumamoto Family Bank. JA Bank is a national bank and has several small branches spread across Amakusa. Don't believe you will find any international banks in Amakusa.

One of the first things you're going to do when you come to Amakusa is set up your Japanese bank account, so you'll have to manage that separately from any existing accounts you have. It'll be up to you to transfer money from your Japanese bank account to your American account, something that you'll learn a lot about through your various orientations.
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Re: Banking

Postby Lsorondo » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:19 am

I was just wondering, so that I could wire money into that account directly rather than travel with thousands of dollars in cash -__-
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Re: Banking

Postby Cytrix » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:36 pm

Afraid the whole travelling with thousands of dollars (well only two-three) is just something you have to do before you get set up here. Just plan not to get mugged on your way over. For me, coming to a case-based society (from a 99% card-based back in NZ) was really strange, but you get used to it here. You'll be set up with a bank within the first 2-3 days of arriving so you won't have to worry so much. Also the hotel at TO will have a safe you can use, either at the front desk or in your room
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Re: Banking

Postby Rollins » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:03 pm

Agree with above. You'll have to bring as much as you think you need for your first month before you get paid. Recommendations vary widely from placement to placement so your predecessor will be the best bet on how much you'll need.

I had some experience (not in Amakusa, but previously in Japan) using my VISA debit card at a Japan Post ATM, although this will incur extra fees. I've also heard 7-11 ATMs take some foreign debit cards. However, I still recommend the cash route. ATMs aren't 24/7 in Japan and you may end up taking a lot of money in one go anyway to avoid the usage fees (which happen based on usage, not on amount).
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Re: Banking

Postby captainseery » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:53 am

Do you recommend bringing the initial start-up costs in cash? I was going to change some money before leaving (a few hundred maybe) and use my debit card when I got there - probably getting a lot out in Tokyo for fear of scarce ATMs in Amakusa. From when I was there before, I found that the best bets for foreign cards were, like you say, 7-11s and the post office. I never had any trouble using my card. But I'm very hesitant to bring that much in cash with me on the plane and risk it getting lost in the chaos of flying. Somehow I feel a lot better carrying cash around with me in Japan than in the US.
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Re: Banking

Postby Rollins » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:59 am

Bring a good amount of cash. How you get it to Amakusa is your own call although I recommend getting it all before you come to Japan. I went to a Bank of America and got it all taken care of a few weeks before I left (it may take a few days to transfer through a bank. Not all banks will have Japanese yen on site). Remembering from my time, I changed about three thousand dollars beforehand, although a lot of that went towards buying my pred's car.

Once you get on the plane to Japan, you're going to be pretty busy and making your way out to a bank/7-11 may be difficult. You're pretty much ushered right off the plane in Narita straight to the hotel, so there's no time to change money at Narita. During your time in Tokyo, you have your nights to yourself although you may want to spend that with your fellow new JETs rather than trying to hunt for a ATM (and remember bank ATMs are harder to find at this time since they close at night). You could possibly go during lunchtime, but again, it may just be unnecessary hassle. Basically, Tokyo Orientation is going to be busy times so finding time for ATM hunting may be harder than you think. You could always get money changed at the orientation hotel, although they usually give the worst exchange rates compared to banks and foreign exchange offices.

You're going to need money on hand for a lot of things (buying things from your predecessor, first month's rent, paying for the luggage transfer from Tokyo, Amakusa city fees to get registered as a resident, getting to/from Kumamoto Orientation, buying groceries, things you want, gifts, Tokyo fun, etc.). Up to you how much you feel is necessary, your pred is best source for this since they know the cost of living in your area the best.

It's a personal call about how much money you want to have on hand at any given time. But if you're reasonably careful, having a lot of money on hand isn't that terrible. I just had my money always with me, either in my backpack or in my binder during orientation.
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Re: Banking

Postby watermark1079 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:51 pm

"Amakusa Nokyo Bank"
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