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Requirements to Travel to Japan From Philippines, From Pearl of the Orient to Land of the Rising Sun

Mt Fuji snowcapped
Hey there, fellow "bakasyonista"! Let me take you on an exciting journey from the Pearl of the Orient, the Philippines, to the captivating Land of the Rising Sun, Japan! Now, you might wonder how I made this dream trip happen. Well, let me spill the beans and share with you all the requirements to travel to Japan from the Philippines.

Planning the Adventure

It all started with a desire to immerse myself in the beauty of Japan. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene temples in Kyoto, I knew this journey would be unforgettable. Before I could hop on a plane, I had to get my paperwork in order.

Traveling to Japan for the first time can be intimidating, especially with the numerous requirements you need to comply with. It doesn't help that there are horror stories circulating about Philippine immigration, NAIA airport shutdowns, and flight cancellations. However, don't let these negative thoughts dampen your spirits and hinder you from experiencing the wonders of Japan. Instead, stay positive and determined to turn your dream of traveling to Japan into a reality, especially if you're an anime enthusiast, a Japanese cuisine connoisseur, or a Mario aficionado.

Visa, Oh Visa!

Yes, you guessed it right! The first step was obtaining a visa. As a Filipino traveler, I needed a visa to enter Japan for tourism purposes. But fret not! The process was surprisingly smooth. I gathered all the necessary documents, such as my valid passport, filled-out visa application form, and a passport-sized photo with a white background.

Acquiring a Japan Tourist Visa is a breeze and won't put a dent in your wallet. It only requires two simple steps: first, complete the necessary requirements specified by the Japanese Embassy. Second, select from the list of accredited travel agencies to handle your application. In my case, I opted for Attic Tours in SM Megamall to process my visa, and it only cost me PHP 1,200 (USD 25 / Y EN 3,065). There are more cheaper options like RELI Tours (Php 950 for tourist traveler) just right beside Attic, but you have to endure the long lines to avail of the cheaper fee.

Here's the Updated Requirements to Travel to Japan from Philippines for 2023

1. Passport (Holder's signature required) - For applicants 13 years old and above, you need to immediately sign the signature line on the third page of the passport booklet upon receipt of your passport. For minors 12 years old and below, leave it blank.

2. Application Form - With a facial Photo (4.5x3.5cm) must be attached. Photo taken within the last 6 months. The background is white. 

  • You need to write your Full Name and birthdate at the back of the Photo. 
  • You need to use a glue not scotch tape or stapler. Spread glue on all the sides of the photo not the middle part then paste it to the application form. 

NOTE: You don't need (3) and (4) if you have a used Japanese visa on your passport. 

3. Birth Certificate (issued by PSA withing 1 year) - 

Where to get PSA Birth Certificate?  

PSA Birth Certificate online:

If you are a busy person then you can easily get your PSA Birth Certificate online through PSAhelpline as of post time their fee is only P365.00, while at PSAserbilis is only P330.00. If you are near Savemore or SM Hypermarket or SM Department store you can get your PSA Birth Certificate there for just P155 but with this option you need to personally pick-up your PSA Birth Certificate at SM after 4-5 weeks. You need to bring a government-issued valid ID and the receipt to pick up your PSA Birth Certificate at SM.

In case you go there and claim it personally, your representative will need to bring his government-issued valid ID and an authorization letter from the owner. 

If you're asking how much does it cost to get PSA Birth Certificate when you walk in? Walk-in applications at serbilis outlets will just cost you P155.00. 

Additional Requirements:

  • If the PSA Birth Certificate is unreadable, submit Birth certificate issued by Local Civil Registrar. 
  • If the birth certificate is "LATE REGISTRATION", submit Baptismal Certificate and School Record (Form137)
  • If there is no record of birth in PSA, submit Birth Certificate issued by Local Civil Registrar and Negative Certificate issued by PSA.

4. Marriage Certificate (issued by PSA within 1 year. For married travelers only, ofcourse)

Additional Requirements:

  • If the PSA Marriage Certificate is unreadable, submit Marriage certificate issued by Local Civil Registrar. 
  • If there is no record of marriage in PSA, submit Marriage Certificate issued by Local Civil Registrar and Negative Certificate issued by PSA. 

5. Itinerary in Japan - Here's an example:

Itinerary in Japan for Visa Application

* This is not your final itinerary for Japan this is only for your Visa Application you can revised it for your actual visit. 

Here's an 8-day itinerary for Japan:

Day 1: Arrival in Japan

Day 2: Tokyo

  • Tokyo Disneyland

Day 3: Tokyo

  • Visit the Senso-ji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street
  • Explore the Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park
  • Enjoy the bustling Shibuya crossing and Harajuku district
  • Take in the panoramic views of Tokyo from the Tokyo Skytree
  • Discover the high-tech district of Akihabara
  • Visit the Imperial Palace and its surrounding gardens
  • Go shopping in Ginza, Japan's premier shopping district
  • Experience traditional Japanese culture at a tea ceremony or kabuki theater show

Day 4: Kyoto

  • Take a bullet train to Kyoto from Tokyo
  • Visit the iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine with its thousands of torii gates
  • Explore the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and its stunning views of Kyoto
  • Stroll through the traditional streets of Gion and experience the geisha culture
  • Visit the famous Nijo Castle and its beautiful gardens

Day 5: Kyoto

  • Visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) and its stunning architecture
  • Explore the Ryoan-ji Temple and its famous rock garden
  • Take a stroll through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Tenryu-ji Temple
  • Visit the Kyoto National Museum and learn about Japan's rich history and culture

Day 6: Osaka

  • Take a day trip to Osaka from Kyoto
  • Visit the Osaka Castle and its surrounding park
  • Explore the bustling Dotonbori district and try some delicious street food
  • Visit the Umeda Sky Building for stunning views of Osaka
  • Experience the exciting nightlife in the Namba district

Day 7: Tokyo

  • Take a bullet train back to Tokyo
  • Visit the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
  • Explore the modern Odaiba district with its futuristic architecture
  • Visit the teamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum for a unique interactive art experience
  • Go shopping in the trendy district of Shimokitazawa

Day 8: Departure from Japan

In case the applicant will shoulder part/all of travel expense

6. Bank Certificate - 

Q: What is the minimum amount required in a bank certificate for a Japan visa application 2023?

A: There is no specific minimum amount required to be stated in the bank certificate when applying for a Japan visa. The Japanese Embassy typically looks at the overall financial standing of the applicant, including income, expenses, and available funds to determine if the applicant has the financial means to support their trip. It's important to provide accurate and detailed information in the bank certificate to demonstrate your financial stability. 

In my personal opinion, you should have enough money to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip. According to Budgetyourtrip, the average daily expenses for a tourist in Japan is P7,500 (¥18,967/$137), so on average, a one-week vacation in Japan will cost around P52,500 (¥132,770/$957) per person. Therefore, if you have P60,000 to P70,000 in your bank account, I believe that would be sufficient.

7. Photocopy of Income Tax Return (BIR Form 2316)

  • It must have amount of gross income and stamp of recipient, if tax is not withheld for example self-employed. 
  • In my case since I'm self-employed I just submitted a copy of my BIR Form 1701A and the receipt from GCash since there's no stamp on it because it was submitted online. 
  • If you don't have Income Tax Return (BIR Form) and there is no ADB (Average Daily Balance) on your Bank Certificate, submit Bank Statement to prove transaction for the last 3 months.
  • Clear photocopy and latest form. 

In case a guarantor in the Philippines will shoulder part/all of your travel expense

8. Guarantee Letter

9. Proof of relationship between applicant and guarantor (ex. Birth Certificates)

10. Bank Certificate of the guarantor 

11. Photocopy of Income Tax Return of the guarantor 

Here's how to accomplish the Japan Visa Application Form:

Japan Visa Application Form Page 1

Japan Visa Application Form Page 2

**Japan Certificate of Eligibility 

If you're a foreigner planning to visit Japan for non-temporary purposes, obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is mandatory. This document is a prerequisite for applying for a long-term Japan Visa, such as a Work Visa, Student Visa, or Marriage Visa. However, applying for a COE entails having a sponsor or proxy in Japan to handle the application on your behalf since it is the Immigration Services in Japan that issue the COE.

The primary aim of the Japan Certificate of Eligibility is to streamline the visa application process. Once issued by the Japanese Immigration Services, it indicates that you meet the entry requirements set by the Japanese government.

It's important to note that the Certificate of Eligibility for Japan is not the same as a visa. It's a necessary step before you can apply for a Japan visa.

Congratulations­čÄç­čÄć, you've completed the first step towards making your dream of visiting Japan a reality! Obtaining the necessary documents and meeting the requirements can be a daunting process, but it's essential to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip. Now that you've taken care of the initial steps, you can start planning your itinerary, researching the best places to visit, and immersing yourself in Japanese culture. Whether you're an anime fan, a foodie, or a nature lover, Japan has something to offer for everyone. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene beauty of Kyoto, Japan is a destination that will leave a lasting impression on you. So, get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime and experience all that Japan has to offer!

Don't forget to use Klook to save on your travel cost:

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