General information for daily life and support for foreign nationals


In general, we recommend that you open a savings account at a bank or a Japan Post Bank (Yucho Bank) close to your place of residence or your campus. As some scholarship foundations only send funds to designated banks, some scholarship recipients may be required to open an account with a specific bank. For example, MEXT Scholarship funds are deposited monthly into a Japan Post Bank account.

As the Kyoto City National Health Insurance Subsidy can only be received via a Japan Post Bank account, that is often a convenient type of account for international students residing in Kyoto City who will enroll in National Health Insurance (NHI) for more than six months.

Items Generally Required to Open a Bank Account
  • Passport
  • Residence Card (with your address indicated on the back) or National Health Insurance Card.
  • Personal seal (inkan) (Some banks accept a signature as a substitute for a personal seal)
  • Cash for deposit. (Some banks do not require this.)


The items required to open an account vary depending on the bank. For example, some banks require account holders to submit their Individual Number (“My Number”) in order to make international money transfers.


When closing a postal savings account, please follow the necessary procedures at the service counter of the relevant bank. Accounts should only be closed after ensuring that all outstanding debts have been paid. This is especially relevant to those who have arranged for utility bill payments to be automatically deducted from their bank or postal savings account.

Items Generally Required to Close a Bank Account
  • Residence Card (with your address indicated on the back)
  • Bank Passbook
  • Passport
  • The personal seal (inkan) that was used when opening the account
Mobile Phone & Internet Services
Mobile Phones

Mobile phones can be purchased in mobile phone shops throughout Kyoto City. The documents required to open a mobile phone account vary depending on the provider. It is best confirm the required documents directly with the mobile phone shop. Most providers will require a Residence Card, passport, a Japanese Health Insurance Card, or a bank book.

Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased on the internet, at convenience stores, appliance stores, and at airports. Once purchased, SIM cards may be used immediately.

Mobile Telephone Companies
Mobile Telephone Company with Services for International Customers
  • GTN Mobile
    Service available in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Nepali

The types of internet services available at a property vary depending on the type connection facilities available. Please consult with the real estate agency or house owner about which internet service providers are available.

Kyoto University uses the Eduroam service (, which provides a wireless LAN roaming service across multiple universities and academic institutions. Persons visiting Kyoto University from another institution that uses Eduroam are requested to complete the necessary log-in procedures at their faculty/department of affiliation in order to use the service.

For further information:

Eduroam Information and Usage
(Website of the Kyoto University Institute for Information Management and Communication)

Counseling and Consultation Services for Foreign Nationals
Specialist Consultation Provided by the Kyoto City International Foundation
Examples of issues for which consultation is available

Consultation is available on legal issues, visas, tax-related matters, social insurance, pensions, work-related issues, and mental health.

Consultations are provided twice per month. A reservation is required. Consultation time: 13:30–16:00 (Consultation duration: approx. 30 min.) Schedule

Language Available in English and Chinese
Venue Kyoto City International Foundation (Kokoka)
Access: Kyoto City Subway Keage Station
Fee Free of charge
Reservations Tel: 075-752-3511 (or apply in person at the Kokoka)
National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan

Consumer Hotline for Tourist
The Consumer Hotline for Tourists offers telephone consultation for foreign visitors to Japan who experience consumer issues involving stores, restaurants, bars, transportation, or lodging during their visit.

Examples of issues for which consultation is available

Case 1: Purchase of defective or damaged goods.
Case 2: Restaurants or shops charge unusually high prices, or coerce you into making a purchase.
Case 3: Extremely high repair costs charged by a rental car company.
Case 4: A hotel room that is not as it was described at the time of reservation.

*Note: Consultation is not provided on matters other than consumer issues, such as tourist information, lost property, police matters, accidents, or medical issues.

Service Hours 10:00–16:00 (Weekdays)
Closed: Weekends and December 29 to January 3
TEL 03-5449-0906 (toll charged)
Language English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese
Japan Legal Support Center

Legal Information for Foreign Nationals
Accepts inquiries and provides free information about the Japanese legal system, bar associations, and other relevant organizations.

Examples of issues for which consultation is available Inquiries are accepted on issues such as loans, divorce, work, accidents, visas, natural disasters, etc.
Service Hours 10:00–17:00 (Weekdays)
Closed: Weekends and December 29 to January 3
TEL 0570-078377 (toll charged)
Language English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Tagalog
Support for Job-Seeking Students of Kyoto University