This section gives you some idea of what to expect when you arrive. You will find the following information on daily lives:
• Postal Service (Undelivered Item Notice)
• Mobile Phones & Internet Services
• Social Security and Tax Number System (“My Number”)
• Commuter Pass / Student Discounts
Postal Service (Undelivered Item Notice)
If you are not at home when the mail-carrier delivers mail such as a parcel or registered letter that requires your signature, they will take these back to the post office and leave a notice of delivery instead.
You can request re-delivery by phone and/or online（depending on the delivery company）using the reference number on the notice. These notices have an expiration date, after which the post office will return the item to the sender. Therefore, please ensure to check your mailbox regularly for these notices and order re-delivery as soon as possible.
Opening an Account
You may apply for a bank account at the arrival orientation. Based on your scholarship sponsor, you will open a bank account at either SMBC or Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank). If you are a self-sponsored student, please consult with the Student Office.
Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank)
Other than the above sponsors
Consult with the Student Office
Note: Some banks require account holders to submit their Individual Number (“My Number”) in order to make international money transfers. You need to notify your bank before changing your address or leaving Japan.
Items Generally Required to Open a Bank Account
- A copy of the Residence Card (with your address indicated on the back)
Closure of Accounts
When closing a bank account, please follow the necessary procedures at the service counter of the relevant banks. Accounts should only be closed after ensuring that all outstanding debts have been paid. This is especially relevant to those who have arranged for house rent, utility, internet, mobile phone, and credit card bill payments to be automatically deducted from their bank accounts.
Items Generally Required to Close a Bank Account
- Residence Card (with your address indicated on the back)
- Bank Passbook
For further information about Banking Services in Japan.
International Money Transfer
There are several ways you can receive/send money.
To have a credit card in Japan, you need to obtain the approval from a credit card company. International students often encounter issues when they apply for a credit card after arriving in Japan, so we advise you to bring your credit card from your country of residence.
Mobile Phones & Internet Services
Mobile phones and SIM cards can be purchased easily in Japan throughout the phone shops, on the internet, at convenience stores, appliance stores, or at airports.
However, we recommend you to attend “Campus SIM Session” which will be held sometimes in October. At the session, the English speaking customer service is available and you may consult with them about your request.
No reservation is required before attending the session. Details will be announced at the entrance guidance.
What to bring to the Campus SIM Session
The types of internet services available at a property vary depending on the type connection facilities available.
- GRIPS IH GRIPS International House I
- TIEC Tokyo International Exchange Center
- Misato Misato Housing Complex
National Pension System
Under Japanese law, all registered residents of Japan aged 20 to 59 years are required to be covered by the National Pension System（Universal Pension Coverage）. Those over 20 are required to start monthly payments into the pensions system.
However students with limited income may apply for the “Special Payment System for Students” under which they will be exempt from paying monthly pension premiums during their time as a student.
If, as a student, you are unable to afford the payment, please apply for this exemption, rather than simply not fulfilling the required payments.
- Application for National Pension Contribution Exemption／Payment Postponement
- How to fill in the Application
Social Security and Tax Number System (“My Number”)
For those residing in Japan under a mid-term or long-term visa, once you have registered your address at your local municipal office you will be issued with a social security and tax number, known as “My Number”（Individual Number）.
This number will be required for various types of administrative procedures, including social security and tax procedures as well as disaster countermeasures. Since you will be asked for your individual number for tax procedures at the research institute where you work and other places, please be sure to obtain your individual number and individual number notification card when you file your resident registration.
As a rule, once you receive your number, it will not change throughout your lifetime. If you leave Japan and then re-enter the country, you will be given the same number.
Please refer to Individual Number (“My Number”) for further information.