The best options for sending money from Canada to Japan
There are over 100,000 Japanese immigrants in Canada. Mostly living in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, thousands of these Japanese Canadians send money back home to friends and family in Japan.
Whether you’re a Japanese national living in Canada trying to support a family back home, or a Canadian looking to buy property in Japan, there’s never been a better time to need to transfer money to the land of the rising sun.
There are now many banks and money transfer services available to help you send money overseas to Japan without facing poor exchange rates and high fees.
Compare international money transfer companies which allow transfers to Japan
You can use the table below to sort through different money transfer options to Japan. Use the table headings to sort through fees, minimum transfer amounts, transfer methods and more. If you’d like to find out more about a product, click the “more” link, or if you’d like to register with the service, click on “Go to Site”.
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Case study: Banks vs money transfer companies
The Japanese company that Haruto works for has asked him to oversee their operations in Vancouver. He agrees to the new position, but with young children in school, he doesn’t think that an overseas move is in their best interest. Instead, he decides to investigate ways in which he can continue to support his family financially by sending money home monthly to Tokyo.
Haruto starts by comparing a bank’s money transfer services with a specialist money transfer service company to see which will give him the most value for his money. You can see the results of the comparison below.
|Bank||Money transfer service|
|Exchange rate||$1 CAD = 86.99 JPY||$1 CAD = 89.75 JPY|
|Transfer fee||$25||$12 for a bank transfer|
|Amount received for $1,000 CAD||JPY85,877||JPY88,688|
|Transfer time||Three to five business days||One day|
|Transfer options||This is a bank to bank service only||This company sends online transfers|
Difference. There is a difference of almost 2,000 yen if Haruto were to send the money via the specialist money transfer company. Furthermore, the transfer fee is much cheaper, saving him $13 each time he sends money. In total, he will save over $35 each time he chooses the specialist money transfer service over his bank.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Japan
As you can clearly see from Haruto’s case study, it pays to do your homework when considering transferring money from Canada to Japan, especially in a situation where you plan on making weekly money transfers. Look closely at the following factors when comparing money transfer service providers to avoid paying more than you have to:
- Exchange rate. This is where you have the most opportunity to lose money without even knowing it. Compare different services to find the one that gives the best rates.
- Fees. Calculate the fees the transfer company will charge and factor them in with the exchange rate offered.
- Pick-up methods. This depends on your personal situation and that of the person to whom you’re sending the money. The flexibility of having options with one company can make things easier, especially if the money is needed immediately.
- Transfer time. For regular payments, waiting a few days may not be a problem but when you need the money fast, you may like the option of a quicker transfer.
- Transfer amount. If you have plans of sending large amounts of money at a time, you will want to check with the provider first. Most will have a limit on the amount you can send per transaction. Some limits can be as high as $10,000, while others can be lower around the $1,000 mark.
How to send money to Japan from Canada
Japanese nationals have many options available to them for sending money back home, including:
- Banks. Almost all Canadian banks which offer international money transfers will allow you to transfer funds to Japan. This includes the big five banks: RBC, CIBC, TD, BMO and ScotiaBank, as well as a large number of smaller banks. Some Canadian bank accounts may allow for multi-currency accounts, which can be used to keep your funds in JPY and convert them to other currencies when you want to, however, it may be difficult to find a multi-currency account that supports JPY. HSBC offer such an account.
- Money transfer services. Transfer services, including the ones mentioned in the table above and others like Western Union and MoneyGram, allow you to make transfers to Japan. Some of these services allow you to schedule regular transfers, forward contracts and limit orders. Shop around to find a company that suits your transfer needs. Furthermore, you can use PayPal to send funds to Japan as long as both you and your recipient have accounts.
Emergency cash transfers in Japan
Canadian visitors to Japan can also take advantage of money transfer services if they suddenly find themselves without any cash. Your options to receive emergency cash include:
- Money transfer companies. You can pick up emergency funds from branch locations of MoneyGram and Western Union. Ask a family member or friend to send you funds from Canada. So long as you have the transfer reference number and your passport, you should be able to retrieve the money easily.
- Travel insurance. When travelling overseas, it’s essential that you purchase travel insurance. An insurance policy can help you access money if you’re the victim of a crime or lose your wallet or purse while visiting Japan.
Western Union and MoneyGram cash pickup locations in Japan
There are a number of locations in major cities across Japan where you can pick up money from a transfer service company. Here are some of the locations:
MoneyGram – Tokyo
Kyodai Remittance-Shinjuku 2
1 F Root Bldg
Open Monday through Friday 10:30 am to 6:30 pm Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
7F Union Roppongi
Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 7 pm Saturday 10 am to 4 pm Sunday closed.
SBI Jyutaku Loan Kanazawa
Open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm Closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
Kyodai Remittance – Nagoya
1 F Marukoshi Bldg
Open Thursday through Tuesday 10 am to 6 pm Closed on Wednesday.
Western Union – Tokyo
1F The 2nd Daikoku Bldg, 1-6-19 Yaesu
Open Monday through Friday 10 am to 7:30 pm Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
1F Oshima Bldg
Open Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 6:30 pm Saturday 10 am to 3:30 pm
TIS Kyoto Shop
C/O Tis Kyoto, JR Kyoto Station
Higashi-shio koju cho, Shiokoju-kudaru
Open Monday through Sunday 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
Ticket Shop Tokai Kyotoekimae-Ten
1F ON Bldg, 544-2 Higashishiokojicho
Open Monday through Sunday 11 am to 8 pm
Tips for picking up cash in Japan
Japan is a safe vacation destination for Canadian travellers. However, you should always exercise caution when picking up money in any country in the world. If possible, collect funds during the day and use a taxi to get to and from the pickup location. Try to take a friend with you and avoid public transportation.
How to send money to Japan
Sending money from Canada to Japan will be relatively easy once you learn the steps. If you plan on sending the money via your bank and you already have a bank account, you can typically do the transfer online. For money transfer service providers, be prepared with the following information:
- Recipient name. With cash transfers, it’s important that the name you put on the transfer documents matches perfectly with the recipient’s identification. Double check that the agent has correctly input the name with no errors before leaving the branch location.
- Amount sent. The agent at the pickup location is going to ask a number of questions to make sure that the money is being given to the individual it was intended for. Make sure that you let your family member know the exact amount of money that you sent.
- Tracking number. Transfers are tracked using a distinct set of numbers. For security purposes, the recipient will need to give these numbers at the pickup agency.
- Your name. Your recipient should also know your full name and contact information.
You will be given documentation once the transaction has been sent. Provide your recipient with the correct information and keep those papers in case there’s a problem with picking up the money.
Finding a reliable company to send your money from Canada to Japan can provide you with peace of mind. Explore the options available to you, including both banks and specialist money transfer companies, to find the one that meets your needs for the best price.