Japan has always been my dream destination so when Cebu Pacific introduced their Piso Fare promos I just couldn't help it. I had to book that flight to the land of my dreams! But after booking, I realized "holy sh*t! I need a visa!" Ideally, you don't book a flight for countries with visa requirement. But in my opinion, it helps. It might go to waste in some instances but generally I believe it helps. So, go, book that piso fare trip to Japan and follow the steps below on how you can get a tourist visa to Japan (please note that these are for people going without a guarantor in Japan. A guarantor is someone who lives in Japan and invited you to visit).
The Japan Embassy offers many different types of visas depending on your purpose for visiting Japan. They offer tourist visa which is often valid for 30-90 days, conference visa, spouse of Japanese visa, diplomatic visa and so much more. You can visit the Japan Embassy website for more information on the correct type of visa you should apply for.
Unfortunately, you cannot apply directly to the Japan Embassy if you are a tourist. You will have to go through one of their accredited agencies. In my opinion, this actually makes things easier. But on some special circumstances, you may be allowed by the Embassy to apply directly to them. For the list of accredited agencies, you may click on this link.
No. Ideally, you don't book a flight until the visa is issued. I have heard stories of people getting denied even when they submitted a copy of their itinerary along with the required documents. However, I still think it helps if you submit an entry and exit flight so they are assured that you will be coming home and will not overstay in Japan.
For a 5 to 7 days stay in Japan about 50,000.00PHP is enough for a tourist traveling alone. Contrary to popular belief, a huge amount in the bank certificate will not guarantee a tourist visa to Japan. If you have a lot of money to present, they will doubt your purpose of travel. You have so much money to spend so you are a risk to overstaying. 50,000.00PHP is enough for 5-7 days in Japan which makes you less at risk of overstaying because you don't have money to spend in Japan anymore and you will have to go back home.
Step 1: Secure all the required documents. You may visit the Japan Embassy for a sample of the detailed itinerary and to download the guarantee form and application form.
Step 2: Choose the accredited travel agency you would like to process your visa application. My family and I chose Discovery Tour because it is very near where I work. Processing fee for tourist visa is 800.00PHP per application. All documents submitted must be in A4 size and original (except for the ITR which they accept a photocopy of).
Step 3: Submit all documents to the travel agency. Should you choose discovery tour, they will give you a receipt which you need to present when you come back to collect all your documents. The passport should be ready for collection in 3-5 days.
Step 5: Call the agency after 3 days to check if passport is ready for collection. If yes, rush to the travel agency! If no, wait further. Stretch your patience.
Step 6: Check the pages of your passport if a Japan visa was stuck to it. If you find none, then I am sorry you got denied. If there is, congratulations! You may now visit Japan on the duration set in your visa. All documents submitted will not be returned to you. Only your passport.
Now go and have fun in Japan!