That Japan Visa – Don’t be afraid to apply!

Japan has always been a dream destination for Filipinos. If you ask 10 Filipinos which country they would like to visit first, half will answer Japan not only because Filipinos love Japanese food but because we all grew up watching Japanese anime and reading Japanese manga as a kid. Who does not have a Hello Kitty and Kerokerokeroppi stuff? Who does not know Voltes 5, Bioman and Shaider (I am not old haha), Mojacko, Doraemon and the all time famous Slam Dunk! The famous Meteor Garden Series from Taiwan, to those who don’t know, was adapted from Japan’s Boys Over Flowers Manga.

Many Filipinos are still afraid of traveling to Japan because of the impression of difficult visa requirements (they are much more lenient now – I haven’t heard of any tourist getting denied a visa recently)  expensive goods (you just have to know where to eat and where to buy – I’ll help you with this), no English translations (their bus, train, and other public transportation all have English, and there are also maps, apps, magazines, and brochures to guide you along the way), etc. but in reality, it’s not so different from traveling to our neighboring non-English-speaking countries. If anything, you can count on the Japanese to be the most polite, most helpful people you can ever encounter as a traveler. Clearly, there is no reason for any fear or doubt. It’s also one of the safest places in the world! I managed to travel on my own, and I’m sure you guys can do it too! I also travelled with my mom and my Kyla there. 

Best Time to go to Japan 

Spring is the most popular time to go to Japan as this is this the Sakura or Cherry Blossoms Season (between end of March to 1st week of April in Tokyo and to 2nd week of April in the Kansai Region) Spring in Sapporo is in May. 

Autumn is also one of the best time to go to Japan…Trust me! (between last week of November to 1st week of December – 2nd week of December in both Tokyo and Kansai Region)

Winter – if you love snow then go! (between 2nd of December to end of February)

SummerI honestly wouldn’t recommend coming to Japan during summer as it will be quite humid plus you wouldn’t be able to enjoy Disneyland during this time as most of the locals come to this place during summer. You don’t want to be in line for hours.

Note that the peak time differs in every city*** although Mt Fuji is near Tokyo, their peak season is earlier. 

Afraid to apply for Japan Visa?

To those who does not know…Japan Visa is free for Filipinos. You just need to submit your application form and requirements. 

Dubai: The Japanese Consulate is located at the 28th Floor of the Dubai World Trade Center Building which is located in the big roundabout of Sheikh Zayed Road.

Philippines: The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines does NOT accept direct applications. You need to contact an accredited Travel Agency that processes Visa Applications to Japan. All you need to do is submit all the requirements to them and they will be the one to process and submit your application to the Japanese Consulate. A Japan Visa is FREE, however, these travel agencies charge for a service fee. Fees: 800 PHP – 1500 PHP

My Mom and my Kyla submitted their requirements to Discovery Tours as they have the lowest Visa Processing Rate. They are located in Makati City.

NOTE: If in case you are a Philippine national living or residing in a foreign country and you wish to avail a Japan tourist visa, kindly inquire with the appropriate Japan Embassy in the country that you’re living in.  I applied from Dubai and my mom applied from the Philippines and the requirements were almost the same as the above, maybe even less.

When Should I apply?

It is safe to apply one month before your intended travel.

Dubai Opening Hours:

Visa application: 9:00-12:00 (SUN-THU)
Visa collection: 12:00 – 13:30 (SUN-THU)
※ No appointment is required.

Visa fees: Filipinos – Free

For Other Nationalities, please check this link: Visa Fees for 2017
Fees must be paid in cash on collection day. They do not accept cheque/credit card.

What are the Documents Required? 

1. A fully completed Visa Application Form, which has been signed by the applicant or parent (or guardian) if the applicant is below 16 years old. To download the application form, click here: English 
2. Two passport size photograph, which must have been taken within the past 6 months.
3. A signed and stamped No Objection Letter from the company which states the applicant’s full name, nationality, passport number, position, salary, purpose of the visit. If self employed, a copy of the Trade License.
4. Last 3 Months Bank Statement and/or Financial Records.
5. Itinerary or Schedule of Stay. To download itinerary format click here: English 
5. Copy of the hotel reservation  – I suggest booking your hotel online through or Make sure that the hotel booking is flexible which means you will not be charged unless you cancel one day before your trip. 
6. Copy of Return Airticket – You can get a reservation  from the airline or through a travel agency. Make sure that you Do NOT pay for/buy the ticket until your visa has been granted. Note that Embassy does NOT and will NEVER require a booked return ticket to be submitted during the application process.
6. Original Passport and passport copy – Passport must be valid for more than 6 months and has more than two blank pages left.
7. A Copy of Residence Visa, which should be valid for more than 6 months.
8. Travel Insurance which covers the date of travel.
9. In the Philippines, the Japanese Embassy requires an ITR (Income Tax Return).
***If you are working abroad and you would like to go to Japan with your family but they are living in the Philippines and you will be sponsoring or paying for all the travel expenses, you need to submit the same documents mentioned above for each family member but the bank statements that they will be submitting are your bank statements. You also need to submit a letter addressed to the Japanese Consulate that you will be paying for all the expenses including flight ticket, accommodation, food, transportation, etc.
If your child is a minor, you need to secure a DSWD Clearance if he or she will be travelling with a family member who is not a legal guardian. For information on how to obtain a DSWD clearance, please click here. 
Since we do not pay taxes in Dubai, you need to submit a letter addressed to the Japanese Consulate stating that we do not pay taxes in Dubai. I also submitted my 3 months payslip with a company stamp.

How long does it take for a visa to be released?

To my knowledge, for Filipinos, it usually takes minimum 2-4 business days. The Embassy will give you a small paper which mentions when you need to come back to get your passport.

How long is the Validity of the Visa they will give?

As a temporary visitor, the Embassy of Japan only grants 15 or 30 days of stay. (If you’re visiting a relative, they can allow up to 90 days).


airplane-takeoff-512Flights to Japan:

International Airports:

Tokyo – Narita International Airport and Haneda International Airport (Domestic and International)

                          Osaka – Kansai International Airport (Kansai Region – Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara, etc

                           Sapporo – New Chitose Airport

You can check flights with

Cebu Pacific  Philippine Airlines Airfarewatchdog  Expedia

hotel-512  Hotels: 



Let me know once you get your Visa! For more information about hotels, getting around, where to go, where to eat…check my other posts! 

Tokyo through the Looking Glass – Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku

Osaka, Japan will make you feel like you have entered into a time machine

Japan is Kyoto – Part 1 Kyoto Station

Beautiful Arashiyama in Kyoto Guide

Japan is Kyoto – Part 2 Kiyomizudera Temple

Japan is Kyoto – Ginkakuji Temple 

Fujisan, Japan…by the way…that’s a manhole! Kawaiiii

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this post. Please feel free to share this post as well so you can help other Filipinos who would like to apply for a Japan Visa.


As you have noticed, some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase at NO extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I have used and firmly believe in. I really appreciate your support as this helps me make more of these travel guides.  Thank you.

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  1. Meri Grimberger | 3rd Sep 17

    Hi! May tanong lang po gaano po katagal yung process ng pagapply ng visa pag agency ngprocess bale tourist visa lang po may bayad pa po ba yon? Kasi ako philippines pass pero asawa ko german pass ano po yung need nmin pra mkakuha pareho ng visa salamat

    • | 5th Sep 17

      Hello Meri! Are you based in the Phlippines? Processing is 4-5 days. The cheapest is through Discovery Tours. Their office is in Sagitarius Bldg, HV Dela Costa St, Salcedo Village, Makati, Philippines.
      Phone: +63 2 818 7716. You can give all of your documents to them and they will submit to the Japanese Embassy. They only charge a minimal fee. As far as I know, 800 Php. Germans don’t need a visa to Japan. They can get visa upon arrival. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information 🙂

  2. Bethalyn Chavez Tuazon | 8th Sep 17

    Hi Ms.Camille!
    Have read your article and it was so helpful for those who wants to visit Japan. I am currently working in Dubai. Gusto ko po sanang mgtanong kung saan ako puede mg-apply as caregiver sa Japan. If you can recommend any manpower or agency po na puede akong mg-apply po. If there is any age limit and requirements needed po.
    Thank you and God Bless You!

    • | 12th Sep 17

      Hello Bethalyn, thank you for your message. Honestly, I am not sure as to where you can apply as a caregiver but I would recommend contacting the Japanese Embassy here in Dubai so they can advise you the right procedure and the right agency.

      E-mail Address:
      (For General)
      Address: 28th Floor, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
      P.O.Box 9336

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