Japan Tourist Visa Application for Filipinos – from Single Entry to Multiple Entry

We first applied for a Japanese Visa in 2015 when my son and I went to Tokyo. It was a gift for my son’s 7th birthday. We were not able to go there during his exact birthday but it’s never too late to celebrate it anyways.

Japan Visa for Filipinos needs to be applied via listed accredited Travel Agencies only. Japan embassy does not accept walk-in or personal application. You can chose from the list of accredited Travel agencies here.

For our application, we applied thru the agency Discovery Tours, located in Makati City. Our application costs us P800.00 only. By far this the cheapest application I have inquired to among all other travel agencies from the Japan list. They were also able to have our visa approved in 3 days only. We were approved for Single Entry only, with 15 days stay. The visa is valid only for 3 months.

So, here’s what you need to do to apply for Japan Visa:
1. Select your travel agency near you – From the agency’s website, you can find the steps on how to apply for the visa. You can also refer to their list of requirements here.

2. Prepare your documentations – I am a private employee when I applied so I prepared my COE, ITR, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Bank Certificate. Of course do not forget your passport valid for 6 months during your travel dates.

*for Birth and Marriage Certificate – make sure that they are recent copies obtained from PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority).  It will not be accepted if the certificates are more than 1 year old.

*for Bank Certificate and Bank Statements – there is no required amount set by the embassy.  Make sure that you bank has enough balance to prove you can sustain your trip to Japan.  My advise is to always keep it realistic.

3. Fill up the application form along with a photo with specifications set by the embassy. It is important that you follow the guidelines for the photo requirements.

4. Create an itinerary – the form can be obtained from the agency itself. You need to fill your day to day activities and the location of your activities.

5. If you are being sponsored by a Japanese national, you need to comply with additional requirements like Guarantee letter, Proof of relationship, Bank Certificate and ITR of guarantor.  Your guarantor can also be someone from the Philippines but that guarantor will have to provide Bank Certificate, Proof of Relationship and other proof of income.  Your guarantor does not need to be traveling with you.  Your guarantor can be your friend, but you have to provide proof of relationship.  Pictures will do.

6. You need to apply directly. The agents from the agency are very helpful with your needs. They will also answer questions you might have in order for you to fill in your details correctly.

7. The agency also offers tour options you may want to check rather than doing your Japan trip a DIY. You can also purchase passes that you can use in Japan rails.

When our visa was already released, we were notified by the agency to pick it up personally. You need to bring identification and the acknowledgement receipt with you when you claim your passport. This receipt is given to you by the agency after your application process.

Japan Visa for the second time….

So, basically, my son and I went back to Japan but this time, we went to Osaka and Nagoya. We applied for the multiple visa as we already were previously approved with the single entry. The requirements will still be the same, except that there is an additional form you need to fill up stating the reason why you wanted to apply for a Multiple entry visa. When I answered the question, I said that I would like to explore more of Japan in the next 1-2 years. That I am targeting to visit Sapporo during the winter etc. I guess you can provide other reasons as long as they are legally acceptable. Your application could even be more successful if you were previously approved with a Japan visa provided that you have no immigration issues with them in the past.

So, there you go!  That’s what I went through to obtain a Japan visa. Let me know you if have questions so I may somehow assist you before you start your application.  No fees required.  🙂

Discovering Japan Endlessly – Kyoto Part

Kyoto is a dream destination in Japan.  Before, i used to think that Kyoto is Tokyo but forgive me for the serious error in perception.  These two cities are different and far away from each other.  Though both offers unique charm that you simply can’t resist to discover.

From Osaka, it will take more than an hour to reach Kyoto via the the Keihan Line.  We are still using the Kansai Thru Pass from yesterday so we are still entitled to unlimited train rides excluding JR Lines.  Osaka to Kyoto will cost around Php600 to Php700 with multiple transfers from our home base Taisho station.

Our first stop is of course the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine.  From the entrance itself, we are greeted with the Torii gates full of locals and tourists alike.  And of course, by Hello Kitty……

….and the array of food from both sides leading to the shrine!

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As we approach the entrance, more and more tourists roam around the place.

You will have to walk a series of stairs towards 2 Torii gates before reaching the main shrine.  What you notice about the people visiting this place is that everyone is very disciplined when it comes to taking chances in every photo ops.

The Fushimi Inari shrine is a must visit.  Eventhough the crowd is tough, you’ll just have to endure.  And with the many tourists walking inside the shrine, it’s difficult to snag that peaceful and stolen shot of these Torii.  This shrine is where most of the businessman come to to worship the god Inari.  Each of the toriis are donated by these businessmen carved with Japanese characters I don’t have a clue what is.

But I managed to get a clear shot inside the pathway without photobombers.  The lantern add up the peaceful feel of the place.

inari

The pathway leads up to the top of a mountain so it’s a long but easy walk as the pathway is already concrete.  We no longer went to the top most of the mountain and went on a different route to see this.  In here, you can refresh yourself with the cold water from the mountain, or make a wish using these wooden palettes with Kitsune (Foxes) drawing.

Before leaving, we also managed to have a snap with 2 locals in their kimonos.

Should you want to visit the shrine, come dressed in Kimonos for the a more closer feel of the place.  I would advise though to do it during spring or winter as it can get uncomfortable dressed in kimono during the summer.

Our next stop is the Tofukuji Temple which is a bit far from the station Tofukuji.  Still managed to reach it by 10minutes, the place has less tourist around so we got all the best shot we can get.

The walk back towards the station is also pleasant.  You will surely enjoy your walks and will never notice the distance.

Once again we got on the train to our next stop – Sanjusangendo Temple.  Again, this is going to be another walk from the station near a busy street.  Upon reaching the temple, I got to know that there is an entrance fee which is pricier that the others and one thing, you can’t take pictures inside.  So, I told myself, what’s the point?  This temples houses 1,000 statues that looks like below: (photo not mine)

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 6.00.35 PM
photo from Pinterest

It would have been great to see this, but to not have a photo of it is a miss.

After Sanjusangendo, we now went to other side of Kyoto (literally) and went to see the famous Bamboo forest.  Before reaching the forest though, you will have to walk towards the Togetsukyo bridge which has stunning views.  I can only imagine how amazing this place is during the autumn as the entire hill is full of trees (but still in green colors).

As we race with the sunset, I thank God for this beautiful view.

toget

The walk towards the forest is a bit far from the bridge.  As we came from the other end of the attraction, we still enjoyed the sceneries around it.

From the entrance of the forest, you can never be lost as the influx of visitors are visible.  There are directors from the pathways so just follow those signs.

From inside the forest, exit towards the river to get a closer look.

From the river, we headed towards the train station now riding the monorail, still using our Kansai pass.  Before you board the train though, go to this small entrance on the side of the station and you will find the Kimono Forest – a lighted pathway in the shape of cloth racks.kimono

From the monorail, we went to our last stop at Gion District.  Unfortunately, I ran out of battery already so I wasn’t able to take any more pictures.  Something to look foward to next time I visit Kyoto again.

So, an entire day will not be enough to explore Kyoto to be honest.  I missed a lot of attractions so next time, allot at least 2 days to go and see the other ones with equally stunning sceneries and memories to offer.

My next part will be our Nagoya adventure which you can read here.