Withdrawing Cash in Japan

Using an ATM machine is a rather simple task, but one that can be somewhat stressful when you aren’t sure what buttons to press. Add to that an ever-growing line of impatient people behind you and it could just be enough ruin your day! Let’s take a look at the process of withdrawing money.

This miniature guide is focussed specifically on using the ATM machines for the Mitsubishi UFJ bank – a ubiquitous company with a distinctive red coloured brand. More often than not, you’ll find a branch near to where you live, and because they are dotted all over Japan, it’s usually easier to use them for basic monetary withdrawals then a local bank. You can also use your bank card at most convenience stores to withdraw money, although you’ll usually be charged after 6pm.

Although the pictures in this post are of the UFJ ATM machine then, the process is quite typical and vocabulary needed won’t vary much for other banks and cards. Let’s take a look!

First up then, check for an English button! There’s usually one on the touch screen, and that will make your life a lot easier. But we’re not about taking the easy route here, are we? What fun is living in Japan if you’re just going to avoid learning how to do things properly, eh? So let’s get to it. First, you’ll notice the bold yellow characters:

お取扱中 (おとりあつかいちゅう) – In Service
お取扱中止 (おとりあつかいちゅうし) – Not in Service.

Following that, the two main slots:

通帳 (つうちょう) – Bank passbook
カード • 明細表 (カード • めいさいひょう) – Card • Statement/Receipt

And finally below that above the main screen:

紙幣 (しへい) – Notes
硬貨 (こうか) – Coins

Alrighty. That’s the basic vocab for the ATM machine itself, although realistically you could have figured it out from the slot shapes anyway ;). Always useful to know these words though! Let’s move onto the process of withdrawing money itself.

Insert your card and you’ll be greeted with a screen like the one below:

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9 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

      • Lee Aloy October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am #


        I am sorry to ask this silly question. Are you Japanese?
        am hoping to find a Japanese friends here please shot me an email:

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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