The beautiful country of Japan is one of the must-visits in Asia because of their unique culture, food, technology and much more. Visiting the iconic Mount Fuji is one of the famous travellers bucket lists. Who wouldn’t want to visit Tokyo or the imperial palaces, the countless shrines and experience the J-pop culture?
Applying for a visa is nerve-wracking and stressful. Applicants are scared to get rejected by the consulate for whatever reasons it might be. As a Filipino citizen, our passport can sometimes be a challenge to visit certain countries in the world.
In my recent trip to Japan, I need to get a Japan Tourist Visa. I’m going to share my experience on how I managed to score a Japan tourist visa. It was surely worth it!
Last May 2015, I went for a solo trip to Japan. It was the first time I traveled solo and Japan was first visa-required country I ever visited. Since I found a cheap round trip tickets to Japan, I tried my luck and applied for my Japan Tourist Visa.
You can also seek help from the Accredited Travel Agencies to assist you with your visa application. The good news is that getting a Japan tourist visa is now relaxed. Just bring all necessary required documents and fill out your visa application correctly.
Check out my DIY Travel Guide in Tokyo for 7 Days.
The requirements may vary on your personal circumstances. Always refer to the Japanese Consulate / Embassy websites.
1. Philippine Passport
Damaged passports will not be accepted and must have at least two blank pages left! It is also ideal if you have at least six months left on your passport before it will expire.
2. Visa Application Form
You can download the Visa Application form here (source from the Japan Embassy) or ask the Accredited Travel Agency for a copy.
3. Photo specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm with white background
Don’t forget to paste the required photo on your application. Check the photo guidelines of the Japanese Embassy here.
4. Birth certificate of applicant
Must be NSO copy and issued within one year of the date when you lodge your visa application. In case you don’t have an NSO copy, you need to submit the certificate of non-record together with the copy of your Local registration.
5. Marriage contract (if the applicant is married)
Same notes apply as in the birth certificate requirement. If you have an old or valid Japan Tourist visa, you don’t need to submit a copy of the Birth Certificate or Marriage Contract.
6. Daily schedule in Japan
Complete with the address and telephone numbers of your accommodation.
7. (if visiting friend) Documents or photos etc. to prove relationship
8. Invitation letter from Guarantor in Japan
You can download the form here. The form should fill out the form manually (handwritten).
9. Bank certificate
10. Income Tax Return (form 2316)
The original and photocopy are needed. If you are eligible for Multiple Entry, you are exempted from this (#9 & #10) requirements.
11. Residence Certificate (only applicable if Guarantor is Japanese)
12. Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall (only applicable if Guarantor is not Japanese)
Here is a copy of the Guarantee Letter. You can download this in the Japanese Embassy Website or get a copy in the Accredited Travel Agency
Tourist Visa Fee
I processed my visa at an accredited agency here in Cebu, which is Friendship Manila for P1,200. Prices of different accredited agencies may vary.
EXTRA TIP: If you’d like to travel by train around Japan then you should get a Japan Rail Pass! Japan Rail Pass is a multi-use discounted ticket, valid for travels on all JR national trains in Japan, including Shinkansen bullet trains and Narita Express. You can select 7, 14 or 21 consecutive validity days.
2. Discovery Tour Inc.
3. Rajah Travel Corporation
4. Reli Tours and Travel Agency
5. Attic Tours Phils. Inc.
6. Friendship Tours and Resorts Corporation
7. Pan Pacific Travel Corporation
The validity of the documents should be up to three months from the date of issue unless stated in the requirements. The documents would not guarantee your visa; the approval will all depend on your personal circumstances.
What if I don’t have an Income Tax Return? Can I still apply for a Japan Tourist Visa?
I wrote on my personal travel blog on how I got my Japan tourist visa without an income tax return. Please check out the link here.
I’ve mentioned in my letter of explanation that I am not employed by any companies here in the Philippines. I am one of the volunteers of non-profit organizations here in the Philippines which are The Kindred Nomads and Let’s Do It Philippines, so I still have reasons to come back to the Philippines. I also had my other international travels aside Japan, so I mentioned in my letter that I will be traveling a lot.
I’ve also mentioned that I am interested in the Japanese cultures, traditions, animations, fashion and the touristy places for photography purposes.
There are lots of things to do in Japan and two weeks was not enough. I was able to go back to Japan during the autumn season in November 2015, and the ticket I got was way cheaper than the first trip.
I hope you will find this guide useful. Good luck to your Japanese Tourist Visa Application and don’t always forget to check the Japanese Embassy website for updates. Here’s the DIY Travel Guide to Tokyo and List of Cheap Hostels in Japan.
Things To Do in Japan
Here’re some of the things I did during my Japan’s first trip last May 2015 and second trip in December 2015:
- Eating sushi and lots of Japanese foods – I’ve been a fan of sushi since I ate it first in Japan, and you can buy it for at least 100 JPY a plate.
- Visiting the Hachiko statue in Shibuya – it’s the famous loyal dog in Japan who waited for his master from the train station.
- Shibuya crossing – the busiest street in Tokyo
- Buy souvenirs at Don Quixote
- Visiting Shinto shrines for free like Meiji Shrine and Yasukuni Shrine
- Nightlife in Roppongi which happened during my first trip for two nights
- The chance to see Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree
- Visited Ginza where Tsukiji Market, Ginza Shopping Street, Ginza Kabukiza Theatre, Tower and Ginza Yonchome intersection are located.
- A visit in Harajuku where I ate crepes and the chance to have a photo with a cross-dresser at Takeshita Street
- An overnight bus ride experience with Willer bus going to Osaka
- An onsen experience is a must – it’s a public bath where you can just be yourself naked
- A day trip to Yokohama
- The Osaka experience at Osaka Castle and the Universal Studios Japan
- The Kyoto experience at Fushimi Inari Shrine, Arashiyama or the Bamboo Forest, Kinkaku-Ji or the Golden Pavilion, Ginkaku-Ji or the Silver Pavilion
- Feeding deer in Nara
- The roller coaster rides at Nagashima Spa Land
- My first autumn experience in Japan
- Visited the zoo at Ueno Park
- Kawagoe, Saitama – The Little Edo Tour
- Seeing the glimpse of Mt. Fuji from the window seat going to Hong Kong
If you have any questions or would like to share your personal experience about getting a Japan Tourist Visa, just comment below!
OTHER VISA APPLICATION ARTICLES:
- Guide on How to get a UK Visa – Tourist, Marriage & Residency
- Guide on How to get a USA Tourist Visa
- Guide on How to get a Schengen Visa (for Europe travel!)
- Guide on how to re-apply for a Schengen visa if you get rejected – Remonstrance Process of Schengen Visa
- Guide on How to get Japan Visa
- Guide on How to get AUSTRALIA Tourist Visa
- Guide on How you can travel to visa-free countries around the world based on Kach’s travel experiences to 69 countries!
About the Author
Roxanne M. Tamayo is the blogger and photographer behind iTravelRox. She is an aspiring digital nomad and a volunteer, among others. Her one-country-a-year travel started in September 2013, until she got the idea of solo backpacking during her trip to Palawan in September 2014. The rest of the story is ever progressing.