...is with GoLloyds Japan (see below for more options). It's also the cheapest I've seen at 2,000yen a time.

GoLloyds is a go-between from Japan to your home-country bank account. You transfer money domestically from your Japanese account to GL, who will then send it to your chosen target. Because it's a domestic transfer initially, it shouldn't cost you anything other than the GL surcharge.

  1. Go to this GoLlyods webpage and download the application form,
  2. Send GL a printed copy of the form, along with 
    1. a copy of your passport  
    2. AND a copy of one of the following (showing your address). Don't forget to copy both sides.
      1. your gaijin card
      2. health insurance card
      3. driving licence
      4. inhabitant certificate
  3. Write Dominic Beverley as your referrer!
    The address is
    GoLloyds Registrations
    Lloyds TSB Bank plc.

    ATT, New Tower (5F)
    2-11-7 Akasaka
    Tokyo 107-0052
    〒107-0052 東京都港区赤坂2-11-7 赤坂ツインタワー新館 5F

    It might be worth checking all this information on their website before applying.

    Transfering Money
    1. GL will send you a letter, in English, with the instructions for how to send money,
    2. Take the letter to your bank (any branch is ok) ATM
    3. On the ATM, choose the 振込 option (furikomi/bank transfer)
    4. Follow the letter's instructions for number input etc
      1. Remember that sending after 3pm will use the next day's exchange rates
    5. Save your bank details to the ATM when prompted (if you want)
    6. Wait 24-36 hours and check your foreign bank

    As all banks will, GL skims a little off your money through their exchange rate. It's pretty much the same as anywhere else, but if you're sending a vast amount of cash then you might want to shop around to be sure you're getting the best rate.

    • Currency website xe.com used to have a good service for this, but it no longer serves Japan.
    • CitiBank also offers this service with almost immediate transfer. You don't even need to have an account with them. The charge is 3,500 yen. More info on their site.
    • Some people have also reported being able to use a PayPal account linked to two personal bank accounts in different countries; paying into one and withdrawing from another.

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