Thursday, September 08, 2016

Japan is a wonderful island country in the Pacific Ocean. It has a variety of climates, but it’s generally a rainy country with high humidity. Japanese cuisine is one of the finest in the world. They have some serious gastronomy, too, where clean eating meets culinary artistry. If I could gobble only one type of food for the rest of my life, it would be Japanese. Everything there is great; the food is to die for, the attractions are breathtaking, and most importantly, its gem, the people are so well-mannered! No wonder it was added to UNESCO’s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

I know that getting a visa is the stumbling block most Filipinos encounter when planning to visit this beautiful nation. Truth be told, having a Philippine passport is such a hassle for those who love traveling a lot. Fret not, preparing and obtaining the requirements can be a walk in the park. 

Step 1: Prepare the requirements:

1. Passport
  • Must be valid for 6 months before your intended travel.
2. Application form
  • Duly dated and signed application form; can be handwritten and typewritten.
  • I downloaded the application form thru the website of Japan Embassy.
3. Photo 
  • Specs: 4.5cm x 4.5cm colored with white background (no smiling and no hair accessories).
  • Photo should be pasted on the application form.
4. NSO Birth certificate 
  • Must be issued within a year.
  • I submitted the receipt, too.
5. Detailed itinerary
  • Your day-by-day schedule, hotels, and activities.
  • Here’s the sample itinerary from Japan Embassy Manila.
6. Bank certificate
  • You should have at least 50,000 PHP for 3-5 days. Add 10,000-20,000 PHP just to be safe (plane ticket and hotel bookings are excluded here).
  • I got my bank certificate within the day. BDO charged me 100 PHP for it.
7. BIR Form No. 2316/Income Tax Return
  • Your ITR from the previous year.
  • It’s alright if you don’t have the 2316/ITR form. Just explain on your cover letter why you can’t provide it. Like Alvin, he just finished his internship and passed his board exam in 2014. As support to our letter, we submitted his certificate of internship and his PRC board certificate.
8. Certificate of Employment and 3 months’ pay slips
  • COE should indicate your position, how long you’ve been working with them, salary, and approved leave of absence. 
  • You can’t skip this because it is very important to show that you have a reason to return: evidence of employment or strong social ties.
9. Booking details
  • We bought our plane tickets before applying for a visa and reserved our hotel room at
10. Cover letter
  • I included my reasons why I wanted to travel to Japan. You can email me for the sample cover letter.
STEP 2: File your application with an accredited travel agency
  • Show the original documents, then submit the photocopies.
  • The nearest accredited travel agency from Alvin is the Rakso Travel and Tours in Mega Mall and we hate parking in SM, so we opted for Boardwalk Travel and Tours near Greenhills Shopping Center. If you are too lazy to make your day-by-day itinerary, they will also do it for you. If my memory serves me well, we paid around 1,600 PHP for the handling fee.
STEP 3: Get your visa
  • After one week, we got the notification from Boardwalk that our visas were approved.
  • Some of my friends who applied through an accredited travel agency got their visa after two working days. So if you are in a hurry, opt for an accredited agency.

This post is for the sole purpose of tourism. For those who are visiting their friends/family, you may visit Japan Embassy’s website and other blogs for your inquiries. Happy travels!

Eleni Xx

Osaka, Japan

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