How to Use a Japanese ATM – Kanji and Vocab for Using an ATM in Japanese – FULL GUIDE

Japanese ATMs can be difficult and confusing to operate in Japanese! Although some ATMs have English options available, many do not. So if you have already opened a Japanese bank account – the next step is learning how to navigate an ATM in Japanese.

It might take some getting used to at first, but if you stick with this guide and learn the ATM related Japanese vocabulary, you will be scrolling through the system like a pro!

In this article, we will walk you through the ATM related Japanese vocabulary and information about Japanese ATM transactions. Let’s kick it off with the “numbers” screen you will see on ATM after inserting your cash card or passbook.


Japanese ATM screen 1

Japanese ATM Vocabulary 1 – Pin Code and Transaction Amounts

Let’s begin with the ATM number keypad and the buttons and words associated with it. Knowing how to navigate the number pad and what the buttons do on a Japanese ATM are important for making your transactions!

暗証番号あんしょうばんごう – PIN Code

Anshō bangō (暗証番号) – This is your Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you made when you first opened your bank account. You will need to enter this number for any transaction except deposits (for most banks).

If you ever forget this number, you will have to go to your nearest bank branch and ask them for help to recover it. You can bet on a lot of paper work, “verification”, and waiting – so please please don’t lose this number! You will be saving yourself many headaches!

削除さくじょ – Delete/Backspace

Sakujo (削除) – Oops! You meant to press the “8” but you missed and hit the “0”! NO PROBLEM! Just hit the Sakujo/さくじょ button to backspace it and re-enter!

Kanji: 削 – “reduce”, 除 – “remove, exclude”.

取消とりけし – Cancel (Transaction)

Torikeshi (取消) – Whenever you want to quit a transaction and start over – or just cancel altogether – you can press this button. This will cancel the transaction and return your cash card or passbook to you from the machine. In most cases, if you want to start a new transaction you have to do so from the beginning.

The kanji is 取 – “take” and 消 – “erase, clear”.

訂正ていせい – Correction/Clear

Teisei (訂正) This handy button is exactly what it looks like. It just clears whatever you entered in up above.

It has the kanji 訂 – “revision” and 正 – “correct, right”. This button is often yellow and usually on the bottom of the keypad.

確認かくにん – Confirm/Proceed

Kakunin (確認) – This is a word that appears often in Japanese finance-related situations. The kanji comes from the Japanese words 確かめる – “to confirm”, and 認める – “to realize”. A variation of this may be 確定 – which also means to confirm.

It is necessary to press this button for almost every page in an ATM procedure. Sometimes you will not be able to return to the previous page after pressing 確認 – so be careful that you entered everything the way you wanted to!

This button is often green – making it quick and easy to find and press!

Japanese Yen Buttons

– sen

If you have already read our article on Japanese numbers and counting in Japanese, you know that 千 (sen – 1,000) is the counter for thousands in Japanese.

It is also the smallest Japanese yen bill – which you can choose to withdraw if you so desire.

– man

The next step up is the 万 (man) which is 10,000. If, for example, you are withdrawing money in ten-thousands (such as 70,000¥) – just tap “7” and “万” and you will receive 7 万 bills.

You can also select 万 bills in sequence with 千 yen bills. For example: 53,000¥ → tap “5”, “万”, “3”, “千” and you will receive 5 万円 bills and 3 千円 bills. Easy!

– yen/en

Even though almost all ATMs in Japan only distribute yen, Japan is still a very procedural culture 😀

Almost all of the time, they will want you to select the 円 button before confirming your transaction. So if the 確認 button seems to not be working, double check that you have selected 円!

Japanese ATM transaction vocabulary

Japanese ATM Vocabulary 2 – Transaction Types

Now we will move on to the different transaction types available on a Japanese ATM. After reading this you will know the different words in Japanese for the different transaction types and what they mean!

This will help you know the Japanese necessary to really fly through your ATM transactions. It’s no fun to have a line pile up behind you! Let’s learn the following Japanese ATM related words →

ひきし – Withdrawal

O hiki dashi This is probably the transaction you will use most often! This is your cash withdrawal option. Make sure to note that some ATMs charge different transaction fees depending on the time of day – as well as the day of the week.

There are no overdraft fees in Japan. If you do not have enough money to withdraw the transaction will be cancelled. So please be careful about this!

残高照会ざんだかしょうかい – Balance Inquiry

Zandaga shōkai A balance inquiry will obviously require your PIN code, and does no more than show you your balance. Some ATMs will give you the option to print the amount on a receipt for you.

ATMs often give you the option to 取消 – end the transaction and return your passbook/cash card. Or you may be presented with the option to continue on to make another transaction (like deposit or withdraw).

預入あずけいれ – Deposit

O azuke ire – You don’t need a PIN code for this one! Just throw your cash in, make sure to check the ATM counted the bills right, and you’re all set!

Again, keep the ATM transaction fees in mind for this, and try to plan accordingly to save yourself on transaction fees. If you use ATMs owned by your own bank, the transaction fees are often lower – or waived altogether, as opposed to other bank ATMs.

振込ふりこみ – Money Transfer to Another Person’s Account

O furi komi – At some ATMs, such as JP Post (ゆうちょ) this will be written as gosōkin (ご送金そうきん) – “send money”. So please don’t worry if you can’t find the お振込 button right away!

Use this transaction to send money from your bank account to either another person’s bank account, or to a company. For example, many landlords will require you to send money from your bank account directly to their bank account or company account to pay rent.

Be extremely careful when you furikomi that you double check all the information through every part of the process before sending it off by pressing that kakunin button!

You don’t want to lose that money 😉

通帳記入つうちょうきにゅう – Passbook Update

Tsūchō kinyū A Passbook update is kind of like an ultimate balance inquiry. The ATM will print your recent transactions onto the pages of your passbook. This is especially helpful if you happen to have a bank account without online banking. It is a bit archaic, but nice to know that you have the option if ever needed. 🙂

振替ふりかえ – Money Transfer Between Accounts (Same Person)

O furi kae – Much like the O furi komi (they even sound alike!), the お振替 is used to transfer money between accounts. The main difference is – like the title says – it’s a transfer between 2 accounts you own.

These transfers typically need to be made between two accounts that are both in your exact name. Even transferring money between spouses is not counted as a transfer between two of your own accounts. Because there is no joint filing in Japan, an official transfer of a large sum of money between spouses may be subject to a gift tax. Please be very careful with this!

Japanese bank passbook vocabulary

Japanese Passbook Vocabulary

When you first open your bank account, you will receive a passbook from your bank. This is like a ledger that records your bank transactions – and also holds all your account information.

口座名義こうざめいぎ – Account Holder

The Kouza meigi is, more often than not, going to be your name in katakana. It is usually printed in the order found on your passport and/or residence card – often family name first and given name(s) second. Do you need to brush up on reading katakana? It’s all in our Japanese beginner cheat sheet that’s available for download!

This name will be printed on your passbook – as well as on your cash card. If you are making a credit card or making rental payments with your bank account, you will need to pay attention to fill out your name on the forms the exact same way it is written in your passbook.

金融機関名きんゆうきかんめい – Financial Institution/Bank Name

Kinyū kikanmei – Your bank name, just in case you forget it 😉

You may not need this too much, but it is a necessary bit of information to put on your passbook – for instances such as registering your bank information with your employer.

支店名してんめい – Branch Name

Shitenmei – This is the branch name of your Japanese bank account.

You will need this information when filing for automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Such as for paying credit card bills or rent. Additionally, you will need to give this to your employer to receive direct deposit payments.

店番てんばん – Branch Code

The tenban (branch code) is often a 3 digit number, and is usually printed in kanji in your passbook. This is the corresponding code to the branch’s name (above). Like the branch name, this is also information you will need for automatic withdrawals.

預金種目よきんしゅもく – Deposit Type

Yokinshumoku – There are typically only 3 main deposit types. Normal deposit account, normal savings account, and a time deposit account.

Futsū yokin (普通預金) – This is the standard bank account offered by Japanese banks. It is similar to a regular checking account you may have held overseas, and (for the most part) functions in the same manner.

Tsūjyō chokin (通常貯金) – As the name suggests, this account is a standard savings account.

They offer slightly higher interest rates than the 普通預金 (checking) account. However, in Japan this usually means .01% or so – not very high.

Teiki chokin (定期貯金) – This is a time deposit bank account. This is certainly an option for long term savings. The primary advantage of these account are, like any time deposit, higher interest rates.

The minimum amount requirement for this type of account is often ¥100,000 – but it can vary depending on the bank.

Also, like any time deposit, this type of account may require notice in case of early withdrawal or penalties may be applied.

Larger banks often allow you to deposit into foreign currency accounts (外貨預金/外貨定期預金). Examples of these are SMBC and Shinsei Bank. These often have much higher interest rates than accounts in the Japanese yen.

口座番号こうざばんごう – Account Number

Kōza bangō The last word on our list! This is your account number. Usually this will be printed on your cash card as well as your passbook – along with your account holder name.

Japanese bank passbook vocabulary 2nd page

Japanese Passbook Vocabulary #2

We saw the first page, now let’s look at how to read the passbook pages that keep records of your balance!

普通預金ふつうよきん – Normal Bank Account

Futsū yokin – We already discussed the different deposit/bank types above, but this is the normal (standard) Japanese bank account.

This will be printed somewhere on your passbook pages – usually in the top right corner.

年月日ねんがっぴ – Year (Japanese era)/Month/Day

Nengappi – This one is pretty straight foreward! It literally means year, month, day. It’s just the date of the transaction.

Notice that in the example above the year is written “2”. This is because the passbook dates often follow the Japanese era calendars. In this case 令和2年 – year 2 of the “reiwa” imperial era.

摘要てきよう – Summary

Tekiyō – The “summary” is a short description of the transaction. It can be either the type of the transaction, or the name of the company that is withdrawing from or depositing into your account.

If you look at the examples above (num. 7-14), you can see the summary can be a number of different things. “Tokyo gas” (7), “deposit” (9), and even the “ATM procesessing fee” (14) is recorded on the passbook.

支払しはら金額きんがく – Payment

Oshiharai kingaku – This column represents the money going “out” of your account.

This includes payments, fees, and withdrawals. Details regarding the transaction may also be written here if the transaction is money going in to your account.

あずかり金額きんがく – Deposit Received

Oazukari kingaku – This is essentially the opposite of the previous term. This column represents the money going into your account.

The vice versa of the oshiharai kingaku, the o azukari kingaku can also contain details regarding the transaction – if the transaction is a withdrawal.

差引残高さしひきざんだか – Remaining Balance

Sashihiki zandaka – This one is also fairly self-explanatory! The remaining balance just prints how much money you have in your account total after the transaction.

Now you know how to use an ATM in Japanese!

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