Lottery is a big dream for commoners in all ages in every countries. Japan is no exception to this. We have a big lottery chance twice a year in the season of summer and winter. Maximum payment amount of lottery is 1billion yen ( about 9 million dollars ). Thinking of American lottery payment, its scale is too small. By the way, winning probability of the first big winning is 0.0000005%, which is like the big winning is chosen out of 20 million people. This probability may make you feel nonsense to entrust your dream to this lottery. This time, I want to talk about lottery system and its history in Japan for those who will buy some in Japan to come true Japanese Dream.

In ancient times of Edo period, lottery was sold for the purpose of restoration of shinto-shrines and temples so shrines and temples having endorsed by Edo shogunate government sold lottery ticket to collet restoration expenses.

In Meiji period, the purpose of lottery sales was collecting funding for Sino(China)-Japanese War based on Temporary Fund Adjustment Act.

In our time, Japanese lottery called “Takara-kuji” is managed due to collecting treasury fund for local municipalities.

Is it possible for non-Japanese to buy lottery?

Even if you are non-Japanese, it is possible to buy Japanese lottery. However, to buy lottery, you need to be in Japan and receive lottery ticket directly from a lottery stand.

Act of buying lottery online is strictly prohibited under Article 187 of the Penal Code, that says

  • a person who acts as an intermediary in the sale of a lottery ticket shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than 1,000,000 yen.
  • Except for the cases provided for in the preceding two paragraphs, a person who delivers or receives a lottery ticket shall be punished by a fine of not more than 200,000 yen or a petty fine.

In short, all the lottery brokers online you could find is illegal ones and receiving lottery from these brokers is also regulated by the law.

Municipalities are the only selling agencies endorsed by the Minister for Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications and they outsource sales task to banks.

However, there are two ways non-Japanese people can buy lottery ticket from non-Japanese countries.

  • Letting your friend in Japan buy lottery and send it to your country
  • You come to Japan and you buy lottery yourself in Japan

However, I can’t guarantee if your effort of buying Japanese lottery this way can be paid off even without winning it. Anyway, If you come to Japan to buy lottery on your way for sightseeing, it is possible to switch your objective from buying lottery to sightseeing conveniently, which somehow convince you. But I never recommend that non-Japanese buy Japanese lottery, who are not totally Japanese resident in Japan.

Lottery Style

There are roughly 3 lottery styles, which are “opening lottery”, “scratch card lottery”, “number selection lottery”.

Opening lottery

Opening lottery is the one you buy a ticket that has fixed unique numbers on it, costing you around 100 yen per ticket and there is possibility to receive 100 to 1 billion yen after the winning announcement.

Unique numbers on a ticket is basically divided into Set numbers and Original numbers.

You can see the patten in pick in the right side of this ticket and there are two numbers written on upper side and bottom side.
The number “00” in upper side is set number and the number “012345” in bottom one is original number.

Original number starts from 100000 as the youngest number to 199999 as the oldest number, which has 10,0000 ways.
One set number is assigned to 10,0000 ways of original numbers

For example,

In contrast with Set number 01, Original numbers are from 100000 to 199999

In contrast with Set number 02, Original numbers are from 100000 to 199999

Scratch card lottery

There is sliver cover on a part of a ticket to hide the place where win or loose is printed behind. It costs your around 200 yen per ticket. After you purchase it and scratch a sliver cover, you can see the result. This style started from 1984

Number Selection Lottery

If ticket that you indicate the combination of numbers based on a certain rule matches the lottery number which is announced later, you can possibly win maximum 8 billion yen (7 million US dollars)

Numbers 3
Select 3 digits number
Numbers 4
Select 4 digits number
Select 5 numbers from number 1 to number 31
Select 6 numbers from number 1 to number 43
Select 7 numbers from number 1 to number 37
3 squares each horizontally and vertically, 9 squares in total are printed on card. There are 5 numbers in each squares except for the center square written as “Free”. You just select one number from each 8 squares

Deduction rate

Deduction rate indicates how much fee is deducted from your bet.

Total amount of payment for prizewinning ticket is regulated not to go over the total of 50 percent of entire sales and additional sales which is generated by carry-over so most of lottery’s deduction rate in Japan is less than 50%.

Tax imposed on lottery

According to Lottery Ticket Act Article 13, payment of lottery is tax-exempt. Therefore, no personal income tax will be imposed and no final tax return procedure is needed.

On the contrary, the case that tax is imposed on you is when you present some amount of lottery payment to your relatives or friends. If you present money or financial products which is worth 1,100,000 yen, some amount of taxes are imposed on you.

Apart from this, if you buy lottery in Japan and take its profit back to your country, you need to know all about tax and the timing when you should exchange yen into your country’s currency by referring to foreign exchange market.

One thing I can advice you is that it is impossible to grab all amount of lottery payment back in your country.You just firmly prepare for protecting your lottery payment from being deducted by various kinds of taxes or else if you want to buy lottery in Japan.

Receiving winning money

You can basically receive winning money at a bank which mediates selling lottery. If your winning money is less than 10,000 yen, you can receive it directly from a lottery stand.

To receive more than 10,000 yen, you need to fill in a black that requires you to tell your name, address and phone number on the back side of a ticket.,

To receive more than 100,000 yen, in addition to the above, you have to take your ID card and Hanko to Bank.

All amount of cash you can get within a day is up to 1,000,000 yen. If you want to get more cash, it takes a coupe days to receive because of bank’s transaction procedure.

After 1 year from the day of lottery announcement, if you still don’t receive winning money, it is a time limit and too late to collect money.

How municipalities use lottery profits

Lottery profit which is a reminder after deduction of winning payment and office expenditures becomes revenue of municipalities which is lottery selling agency.

How municipalities use this profit is regulated by a law. Mainly this profit is used to maintenance public building and road. But recently, municipality proactively assign profit to public service focusing on resident’s living like enhancing social welfare.

In some other cases, in accordance with the result of sales and financial situations of each municipalities, there is a system to divide profit to another municipality for one of the purpose of financial assistance

For the above reasons, some municipalities advertises lottery announcement with own public relations brochure which is published to residents freely in order to secure profit firmly at least from people living where the municipality has jurisdiction over.

However, the situation is opposite to what municipalities hope for. Naturally, the more number of lottery tickets a municipality sells, the higher the winning probability becomes. So people tend to gather to buy lottery ticket to a place where municipality has very good sales result.

4 things to be believed to win lottery in Japan

Cherish your mind that wants to win lottery

Inspire your subconscious mind to believe your winning lottery is said to attract the reality which you hope for.

Concretely, imagining what you want to do after winning lottery is the best way to appeal to your subconscious mind. Making all your effort to imagine how you can be happy after receiving money is the key to attract the reality.

Cherish your power spot

It is said that the most of lottery winners clean their toilets as always because they know a toilet is one of a power spot in a house.

Effectiveness of cleaning your toilet is not only raising your economic fortune but also your healthiness. In addition to your everyday cleaning, placing salt around your power spot is also bringing good luck.

Select the day you buy lottery

In Japan, there is unique almanac that has various information about fortunes, which is called “Rokuyo”. Rokuyo has 6 type of days that tell us good day or bad day.

  • Sensho
  • Tomobiki
  • Senpu
  • Butsumetsu
  • Taian
  • Shakko

You can make sure this Rokuyo on Japanese calendar.

Taian is said to be the best day to buy lottery.

Put your gratitude into your wallet

A wallet is a house for your money. Cleaning your wallet is the same thing as you raise your fortune by cleaning your room.

Make good environment for money to live in your wallet is calling a good power of money circulation. A dirty pond beside a river must have something to dam up the stream of water. Always check your wallet if your wallet is full of receipt or something.

And when you make a payment, you just put your feeling of gratitude towards bills you pay. Feeling gratitude will come back later with some fortunes.


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