If the cost of shipping your belongings abroad has left you some savings at the end of your stay in Japan, you will want to transfer some money to your new country. The most common way to transfer money is to use a wire transfer (SWIFT) offered by most major banks, but only in their main branches (i.e. often only in the Tsukuba Centre branches). Typically such transfers cost around 3000 yen, and the recipient of the transfer will have to pay around 2000 yen of fees. Carrying your cash in yen abroad and then exchanging may not be a solution either, as the fees on cash exchange are often very high.
One cheaper solution might be to open a postal account (giro) in Japan and in the destination country and then to make an "ordinary transfer" from postal account to postal account. For such transfers, the charges are only 400 yen! You can find more details on the postal transfers at http://www.yu-cho.japanpost.jp/e_s0000000/ssk20000.htm. Please note that some countries (eg. Canada) cannot accept this kind of transfer.
If you have a family member who can deposit the money into your account, you can send an international money order through the post office. It costs about 500 yen to get the money order. Send it by registered mail for extra protection. Then, have your friend or family member deposit the money when it arrives. It takes a bit longer, but is cheap.
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The International Women's Network (IWN) is a group of women who enjoy chatting with people from all over the world. We hold a monthly potluck dinner where we exchange information about the local community while eating a variety of foods. No reservation is needed to attend the potluck. Just bring one dish of food and show up at the meeting. Newcomers are always welcome! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the international city of Tsukuba with us!
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