This is how to manually pay your gas, electric or water bills in Japan at a convenience store.
Every month a meter reader comes to the flat and reads the meter for whichever company he belongs to. Yes there are three separate visits, one for gas, one for electric, and one for water. If these companies got together they could save a fortune!
The meters are all outside the flat in a box on the wall. This is good because no one needs to be in for the meter to get read.
The man reads the meter, prints off a service statement and posts this through the door.
This service statement tells you how much the bill for that month will be. About a week later (or at the end of the month sometimes) the actual bill arrives through the post. This is what a gas bill looks like.
To pay it you can take it to a convenience store which handles bill payments (such as Daily Yamazaki or Lawson). You give them the bill. If you want to be polite you could say o-ne-gai-shimass. (おねがいします).
They’ll scan the bill and take the money from you – at some combinis you may have to press a green button on the touch screen monitor. They’ll then stamp the bill in various places – the last one I paid got stamped in four places. They then tear off the stamped receipt part of the bill and give that back to you. This receipt is proof that you have paid you bill.
And all is done until the next bill!