Wandering Japan: Initial Preparations/Requirements

Alright, back again. So as intended, I will be sharing my Japan adventure and I will be starting from the day I decided to set foot on the land of the rising sun which was about 4 months prior to the trip(not really much of a time).

Now, as a disclaimer. I am not in any way an expert traveler in fact, I rarely leave my city and is someone who gets lost easily even in my own country. My travel was far from perfect(but overall fun) and due to my inexperience, I missed some target places to visit in my itinerary but I still hope this could might be of help to someone out there(maybe for those who have little to no knowledge, they can check this for encouragement to start).

Also, I’m from the Philippines so most of the process I did especially those visa related paperwork is exclusive here so non Filipinos might not be able to relate.

Ok let’s go.

Decide and set

So first thing I did is to decide I wanted to visit Japan. By that I mean, set the foundation details like when will it be? how many days? can I afford it? etc.

In my case, I checked for working holidays with long weekend to make it easier to file my vacation leave(because I’m a corporate slave LOL :D) I really wanted a 7 day vacation but due to work conditions, I am only able to reserve 5 days.

So from then on, I did some online research about Japan and eventually decided on which part/region in Japan I will visit(which was kansai). This resulted to making my rough itinerary plan.

Book the basic

To make the plan more solid, I will have to start booking the flight and accommodation I will be having. Unfortunately, this is where I missed the best part to save on cost. I am unable to get those great flight deals from budget airlines, I just went with the normal fare which is pricey. I still managed to get a decent affordable hotel accommodation though but still not super bargain price like some experienced travelers are capable of.

Booking accommodations is very easy online through websites like agoda, booking, etc.

Get a VISA

Unfortunately, Japan requires people from our country to obtain a visa before entering. So aside from the standard passport, this is needed. There are many types of Japan visa but I can only share about tourist visa.

Japan embassy does not directly accept visa applications. This is done by accredited travel agencies, some known reliable agencies are “reli tours” and “discovery tours” which also asks the cheapest fee so they are recommended agencies to deal with. I went with reli tours and was satisfied with their service.

You may visit their respective websites for detailed process and requirements.

please note that depending on their evaluation, the Japan embassy will grant or reject the application and will not disclose the reason why. I’ve read a lot of cases from forums wherein the applicant failed and did not receive a visa. Possible factors are low financial capability seen in bank certificate and income tax return, employment status, etc.

So booking your flight/accommodation before passing the visa application is a risk, evaluate this carefully and decide which needs to be done first.

Overview

Basically, you need to have your passport and visa to enter Japan. Then you will need to book your flight and accommodation.

For an amateur like me, it took some efforts getting things worked up but it’s all worth it. Japan is a great place to visit.

With enough research and planning, getting there with minimal cost is very possible contrary to some belief that Japan is always expensive.

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