Kyoto Styudy

First Week in Kyoto

There are some procedures you need to complete before starting life in Kyoto such as obtaining a Residence Card, subscribing to National Health Insurance, opening a bank account and subscribing to a mobile phone carrier.

Issuance of a Residence Card

Residence Card

Foreigners who will stay in Japan for a period of more than three months will be issued a Residence Card when passing through immigration. You will also be required to register your place of residence at the local government office of the municipality in which you reside within 14 days of settlement in your residence. You will need to bring your Residence Card with you when registering your place of residence.

*You must always carry your Residence Card with you. In addition, you must report any changes to the matters listed on the Residence Card as well as changes to the educational institution to which you belong (i.e. if you have changed schools or dropped out) to the regional immigration office, etc.

Enrollment in National Health Insurance

Foreigners who will stay in Japan for a period of more than three months must enroll in National Health Insurance. It is important that you enroll, otherwise you may be faced with expensive medical fees if you go to a hospital or clinic to treat illness or injury. You will be given a health insurance card once you subscribe.

*In principle, enrollment in National Health Insurance is completed after arriving in Japan. If you delay enrollment, you may be charged back payments.

●National Health Insurance subsidy system

In Kyoto city, there is a national insurance subsidy system for international students.
Privately-financed international students who do not receive any scholarship from the Government of Japan nor other scholarships of the equivalent amount are granted 700 yen per month under the
»”Kyoto City Foreigner National Health Insurance Premium Subsidy Project”.

Opening a bank account

Open a bank account at an ordinary bank or a Japan Post Bank near your school or home. You will need to bring your Residence Card with you to open an account.

●Items required to open a bank account

  • 1. Residence Card
  • 2. Health insurance card
  • 3. Student ID card (students only)
  • 4. Your seal (although some banks will allow you open an account with a signature)
  • 5. Money to deposit (you must open the account with at least 1 yen)

Subscribing to a mobile phone carrier

You can purchase a mobile phone and subscribe to a mobile phone carrier at the outlet stores and distributors of each mobile phone carrier or at consumer electronics retailers such as Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera. There are a variety of plans, with each mobile phone carrier having its own billing system and campaigns, etc., so choose the mobile phone that best suits your needs.

●Major Japanese mobile phone carriers

  • ・DoCoMo
  • ・AU
  • ・SoftBank

●Items required to subscribe to a mobile phone carrier

  • 1. Residence Card
  • 2. Passport
  • 3. Credit Card
  • 4. Japanese bank account (bank card / passbook) ※If electing to have charges deducted from your bank account
  • 5. National Health Insurance card ※If electing to have charges deducted from your bank account
  • 6. Written consent of a parental authority *For minors
  • 7. A copy of the ID of the parental authority *For minors

Prepaid mobile phones

The normal mobile phone contract period is two years and a contract cancellation fee will be charged in the case of early termination. So, another option is to purchase a prepaid mobile phone. SoftBank and AU currently offer prepaid phones which can be used to make outgoing calls and send e-mails.
You can recharge credit on prepaid phones at mobile phone stores, convenience stores and online.

●Items required to purchase a prepaid mobile phone

  • 1. Residence Card
  • 2. Passport
  • 3. Credit card or cash

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