Applying Tourist Visa Japan The Philippines Visa Requirements

Tips to get approved in Applying Japan Tourist Visa (November 2017)

Applying for Japan Visa in the Philippines is easy but horrible if not done right.

Read this article in: Tagalog

Avoid visa rejection, read this: 12 Lessons Learned from Denied Japan Tourist Visa

This is my personal experience in applying a tourist visa to Japan. 

I was 20 years old, employed in the Philippines for 2 years as a Digital Marketing/Web Developer with a salary of less than PHP 40,000 per month. More and more Filipinos are traveling to Japan because of Cebu Pacific’s effect and I was one of them and that I couldn’t prevent myself from paying a PHP 4,500 roundtrip fare to Japan. I confirmed my flight and there is no turning back.

I did my own research and listened to people who’ve been to Japan. Now that I got all my requirements ready, I went and submitted my application. I received a call right after one day to get my passport and tadaa! I got a lovely Japan Tourist Visa sticker in my passport. To my surprise, it was approved the same day I applied.

Well, I find applying Japan Tourist visa for Filipinos easier than getting a Chinese tourist visa. Here’s how I did it.

Basic Requirements

  1. My Passport of course – I put details on my passport’s Emergency Contact Page and I make sure that contact numbers were active. Don’t apply if your passport will expire in 6 months.
  2. Application Form – download here. It’s better if you fill out those fields first before printing it out.
  3. Photo with white background. I asked the Kodak Studio that the photo’s size will be used for Japan Visa. Trust them, they do it every day. The size they gave me was 4.5cm x 4.5cm. I pasted (not stapled) it on my application form. I made sure my face is clear, no earrings, no glasses, just my face.
  4. Birth Certificate
    • It must be issued within one year from PSA Main Office/Serbilis Outlet Center (Nationwide).
    • If the birth certificate from Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) is unreadable, or has incomplete
      information, please submit the birth certificate issued by PSA together with a birth certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar.
    • If the birth certificate is “late registration”, please submit in addition, a baptismal certificate and school record (Form 137) from high school or elementary and School Yearbook (if possible).
    • If there is no record in PSA, please submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” from PSA together with a birth certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.
  5. Itinerary in Japan – let’s talk about this below.
  6. Bank Certificate – magkaiba po ang certificate sa statement
  7. Income Tax Return

Application Form

I fill out my application online to have a clean print. I put N/A if I have no answer or if it’s not applicable. You can fill it out here: Japan Tourist Visa Application Form.pdf

5 Days Itinerary in Japan

I actually don’t know where to go and I just want to go around wherever I want. But the Japanese Embassy in Manila needs to know where will you be in Japan. I only got less than ₱ 40,000.00 in my bank when I applied.

Ok, I went to TripAdvisor and listed some tourist spots to visit. I did not put any expensive places such as Tokyo Disneyland. Instead, I listed down places such as Shibuya Crossing or any other free public places you can visit and put dates on it. I also reserved a cheap hotel at and have them listed in my itinerary with its address and contact number in case they will check. These will make you a budget traveler in the eyes of Japanese immigration officers. I had my itinerary written that is affordable in accordance with my salary and bank balance.

Thinking of your bank balance?

Regular office worker with big savings – the Embassy might think that you have enough money to support your stay in Japan thus breaching your visa condition.

Regular office worker with small savings – the Embassy will check if you can afford traveling in Japan thus checking your itinerary if your savings will support you.

Before I went to Japan, I withdraw enough cash for my whole trip using my other savings account. When I arrived, I did not actually follow my itinerary, I even took Shinkansen which is way too expensive than riding a bus. But cases like this must be well planned and you must think like a detective.

Bank Certificate

It says CERTIFICATE, so please don’t submit a bank statement or your application will be denied. Bring the bank’s receipt with you in case they might need it.

Income Tax Return

Submit one original and one copy of ITR 2316.

Some Filipinos don’t have this. For me, it is not safe to apply if you do freelancing without an ITR. That means you are not paying personal income tax, that’s tax evasion. It’s safer if somebody with good financial documents or a guarantor from Japan will sponsor you. I don’t know how to do it right though but I know some agencies that can help you with this.

Employment Letter

I don’t think this is required but this made my application process faster with no questions being asked. I guess this added great points of approval. I wrote my letter as simple as possible.

Company Name (colored company logo to increase legitimacy)
Contact Number

The body content includes my work duration, my job position and my monthly salary. I also write exactly like this:
“He will be in Japan for 5 days for travel purposes. He will never do business in your country.”

Signed by my company’s managing director, not my HR.

Note: As of January 1, 2018, COE or Employment Letter is no longer required. Source:

Submit your application

You can go to one of the accredited agencies of the Japanese Embassy in Manila.

(Currency: Philippine Peso)
Source: Japan Embassy in Manila, Philippines (November 2016)

Universal Holidays Inc.
Discovery Tour Inc.
Reli Tours and Travel (no guarantor)
Reli Tours and Travel
Attic Tours Phils Inc.
Friendship Tours Manila
Pan Pacific Travel
Rajah Travel and Tours

The morning of Thursday, I went to Reli Travel and Tours in Dusit Thani in Makati since that was the nearest agency from my office. I submitted all the documents and forwarded to a Japanese guy. He checked and accepted all the documents without any questions. I paid ₱ 950.00 for the service.

Japan Tourist Visa is free for Filipinos but the Japanese Embassy in Manila only accepts bulk applications from accredited agencies.


The next day, Reli Tours called me saying that my sealed passport is ready for pick-up. I jumped straight there and got a visa in my passport. Finally, I can cancel my hotel bookings and create a travel plan I wanted.

I was happy of course but quite annoyed with the agency. They put Reli Travel and Tours sticker on the back of my passport as a form of advertisement and cannot be removed, otherwise, your passport will be torn up and nobody wants to go to Japan with a damaged passport.

I saw some other agency’s stickers on my friend’s passport as the embassy’s mandatory, I guess.

About the author

Mark Adelan


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  • Awesome experience! I have never heard of an applicant who got am approved visa the same day! Lucky! May I ask what month you applied for visa? Was it Reli Tour Megamall or Mga? I will definitely share your on my next update.

  • I got mine in a week. Maybe that was because I have a guarantor so they had more to look up to.

    I can relate to the Reli sticker. I was thinking about trying another agency for my November visit but I can’t because of it. Scared to have another ugly sticker in my passport 😂

    • I actually asked Reli about the stickers. Should we consider it vandalism? According to them, it’s for the Embassy to segregate passports from different agencies. But the sticker has their contact number, doesn’t make sense at all, it’s ugly.

  • Hey Mark! your post was super helpful! i laughed at the 6th one. My boyfriend and I met online (but not in the creepy dating sites lol) our relationship 100% genuine. I got denied once because I didn’t submit the enough proof such my certification of employment and enrollment. (I’m a working student) and at that time,i applied for a tourist visa w/o guarantor and i didn’t tell that my boyfriend is a Japanese. my bf has no job at that time and he was afraid that i might get denied since my guarantor would be a jobless guy.

    anyway, i want to ask one thing about the 6th advice. Is it really necessary to travel together? we have never traveled abroad, but he has been to Philippines thrice. we have bunch of pictures together too. Do you think we have a chance?

    Thank you and thanks for dropping by our semi-inactive blog haha

  • Hello, It’s 5th working day now and I am still waiting for a message from the agency. I applied for a 30 day visa but the delay makes it seem like I’d only get to use it for 2 weeks. 🙁

    • Hi Joy, I suspect they are doing further investigation on your case or there’s a little delay since Christmas and New Year is coming. Did you request for 30 days stay in Japan? is this for Tourist Visa?

      • Yeah tourist visa.. it’s my second time to apply, it took only 5wd before when I applied through Reli Megamall. This time I am applying for 30 days through Reli Southmall now 8 WD and counting. 🙁
        It’s snowing in Japan now I wanna be there!

        • Normally, the embassy issues 15 days for Filipinos. You requested 30 days stay in Japan thus making your application longer than normal. For sure they are doing further background check in your case ;).

          30 days in Japan for Christmas is too long 🙂

  • Hi all ,

    I am applying with my 4 years old daughter, its our first time to travel outside the country. Do we have big amount of chances to be approve ? or I should apply first my self ? as I have heard a lot of successful Solo first time travellers ? please advice

    • Hi there, I’m not an immigration specialist but if I were in your case, I would try to go to some visa-free countries first or produced a strong evidence that I will come back in the Philippines. I would also give them family documents such as marriage contract and birth certificate of my daughter. A well written itinerary is a must in this case.

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