Getting our Bank Accounts, first Phone & Internet connections in Tokyo
After getting the Zariyo Card stamped with address, the next step was to get a Bank Account opened in Japanese Bank and then get a permanent mobile connection & Internet for Home.
The making of Bank Account is a Huge deal as before that you have to get your Hanko prepared which is a Japanese stamp. That Hanko will serve as your identifier for all future transactions with the bank. God forbid, if you lose that Hanko, Japanese banks can be merciless in how fast they disown your identity.
I got the Hanko made from Shibuya delivered in 2 days for around 1000 Yens. You can make an expensive one as well but frankly, I never intended to use it. Anyhow, after the Hanko, we headed to the Banks, and after talking with All the Banks, the only bank that would offer us an Account in which they would give us a Card which could make transactions online was Mizuho Bank. I am not talking about Credit Card here, this is a Prepaid card which could make transactions online. All the other banks would offer cash cards only which would only be able to take out Cash from ATMs. So obviously, we went with Mizuho Bank. There was only one Mizuho Bank in our area which had English speaking staff so either one should take along a Japanese English speaking friend or Look for a Bank which has English speaking staff. After tons of paperwork, it was a success.
Next step was getting a Phone connection. There are only a handful of options. Between Y Mobile and Docomo, I went with Ymobile. Frankly, they had an English speaking Chinese on the counter and could explain the package to me properly. Japanese mobile connections are EXPENSIVE. A basic mobile connection with 8GB of mobile data and a House internet connection with Unlimited data would cost 10,000 Yens (100$) for first month and around 8,000 Yens (80$) for remaining portion of contract (This doesn’t include a cell Phone). If you terminate the contract earlier than 2 years, you got to pay around 20,000 Yens early termination fee; although, I think this fee has been discontinued. But since we got the contract before this was done, if I terminate the contract before my 2 years period, I need to pay the Fee. After a ton of paper work again, i got the SIM. Mind you, I used my credit card from my Home country for the first month as I hadn’t received Mizuho Bank card yet. You can always change the payment method later on by visiting a Y mobile Shop.
So now with the Bank account made and Mobile data in hand, I am all setup to explore Japan