How did I get my Japanese Visa in Three Days!

In preparation for my 2017 trip to Osaka and Kyoto, I applied for a Japanese visa last December.

I already laid out my itinerary, booked the plane tickets and even bought a couple of winter coats few months back. If the Japanese embassy didn’t approve my application, it would definitely be a waste of money and effort. I just thought then that why wouldn’t they approve when I am surely going there as a tourist.

As of time of writing, applying for a tourist visa requires the following:

  • Philippine passport (must have at least two blank pages)
  • Visa application form
    • Remember to put N/A to fields that are not applicable for you.
  • Photo (must be pasted in the application form)
    • must have a white background
    • size: 2″ x 2″ or 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm
  • Birth Certificate (must be issued within one year by NSO)
  • Marriage Certificate (if married, must also be issued within one year)
  • Daily Schedule in Japan
  • Bank Certificate
    • You don’t have to worry too much about your transactions, only the total amount of your account(s) will be shown in the bank certificate.
    • Don’t know how to request for one? You may check this handy guide.
  • Income Tax Return/BIR Form 2316 (original and photocopy)
    • The agency just needs to see the original copy but they will return it back to you. It won’t be forwarded to the embassy.

You need to submit the complete requirements to any travel agency accredited by the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines (complete list here). As of July 30, 2007 submitting an application directly to the embassy is no longer an option. I guess it’s because verifying if the applicant has the complete requirements saves them a great deal of time (especially for other types of visa that requires a lot of supporting documents).

The visa itself is free but you have to pay a processing fee to the agency where you decided to submit your application. We chose Reli Tours & Travel Agency because it offers the cheapest processing fee of PHP 950.00 for tourist visa. We applied to their branch located in Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati. They’re agents there aren’t the nicest though.

We submitted the requirements early on a Tuesday morning. We were told that they’ll just gonna contact us if our passport are ready for pickup but we’ll only know the result once we have it on hand. The next Friday, I received the text advisory. That afternoon, we went back to the agency and got our passport with approved visa!


  • If you’re gonna submit your application to Reli Tours & Travel Agency, Dusit Thani branch, be there early. We picked up our passports in the afternoon and we’re surprised by the long queue. Thankfully, those who are just there for pickup don’t have to fall in line.
  • As an addition to the requirements above, I think it’d be better to include your booking details as well. Of course, that is if you already booked your flight. I forgot to include mine but I think it would help.
  • I read that the Japanese embassy usually process visa applications on a Wednesday. If that is true, you may want to submit your application on a Monday/Tuesday if you want to get your passport back within the week.

Good luck and have fun during your trip!

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