Kanji Cheat Sheet: Using the ATM in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot

Living in Japan can be confusing sometimes, especially when it comes to daily tasks like going to the bank. A lot of what you might do at a bank in your home country with the assistance of a teller is often done at the ATM in Japan. While some ATMs in Japan have an English option, others do not.

I can still remember my first time going to the bank to sort out my affairs by myself and how intimidated I felt by all the unfamiliar kanji. Pretty much the only words I could read were the English origin words キャッシュカード (cash card) and クレジットカード (credit card).

Your typical Japanese ATM menu.

Despite a relatively successful trip, I left the bank a little nervous that I had told the banker the wrong thing or pressed the wrong button and sent all of my money to some stranger in a remote part of Japan by mistake!

Not to worry, with these four words you can do everything you need to do at the ATM:

English Japanese Romaji
Deposit money 預け入れ azukeire
Withdraw money 引き出し hikidashi
Send money to someone 振込 furikomi
Transfer money 振替 furikae

Getting paid

Now that you know the basic words for withdrawing and transferring money, the next thing you need to know is how to check your account balance (残(ざん)高(だか)).

残()高() is an interesting word because it is made up of the kanji found in the words 残(のこ)る(left over) and 高(たか)いいい (high), presumably because the amount of money you have left (残る) is high (高い) in your account (残高). Banking humor… you’ve got to have a memorization method, right?

If you want to check your account balance, you are going to have to learn some common Japanese banking terms. Luckily, most of this information can be found by simply looking at your bank card.

On the bank card, you’ll find …continue reading