STEP 3-1-5. Review the Inkan (seal) registration

If you have not yet purchased an inkan (seal) (please refer to Step 1: What should you do before entering Japan), we recommend that you do so at this point.

Inkans (seals) are not generally needed at government offices; however, those who need to have their Inkans “registered” would need to take their Inkans with them to the municipal office.

Even if you do not yet see the need to have your Inkan registered, it is a good idea to have it registered at this point, because it will likely become necessary for certain procedures, such as when you open a bank account.

What is Inkan Registration?

When you conduct very important transactions such as selling or buying a house, borrowing money, or establishing a company, you will likely need to use Inkan called “Jitsuin” instead of a signature.

Jitsuin is the Inkan that is registered with the local municipal office. Those who need Jitsuins must go to the municipal office and have their Inkans registered as Jitsuins. The Inkan that is registered becomes your Jitsuin once it is registered.

See Chapter 2: Procedures at Municipal Offices, Section1-5: Seal Impression Registration of “Living and Working Guidebook” for the details.


How to purchase an Inkan (seal)

In Japan, there are seal shops in every town, but very few stores offer services in foreign languages.

There are shops that sell seals online.

The shops listed below provide services in English. For details, please visit the shop websites.

Inkan(Hanko) Seal – ONLINE SHOP –

Inkan(Hanko) Seal - ONLINE SHOP -
<<Step1>> Choose your favorite Calligraphic style.(11 styles)

Custom Japanese Name Seal | Buy Online Japanese Name Stamp for Foreigners | Japanese Name Seal For Sale –

Personalized Japanese Name Seal Online Shop
Personalized Japanese Name Seal: Shop Online for Authentic Japanese Name Stamps for Non-Japanese Individuals | Explore a Wide Range of Japanese Name Seals at ja...

Be careful! It is highly likely that Shachihata (rubber stamp type seals with built-in ink) is not accepted as Jitsuin.

Summary – Determine if you need to register your Inkan (seal) at the municipal office

Remember that you need to go to the municipal office to have your Inkan (seal) registered!

For how to register your Inkan, please go to this page.

You are all done with what you need to do at the municipal office!

Next, let’s review the information needed for various procedures at the municipal office.

Information to prepare for your visit to the municipal office

The information contained in this article is based on the information available as of August 31, 2023.