Applying for a Japan Tourist Visa in the Philippines: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lately, Japan has become a popular destination for many Filipinos to visit. And who wouldn’t want to explore the ‘Land of Ramen and Sushi’? Apart from its close proximity to the Philippines, Japan offers a multitude of attractions. Its pleasant weather, delicious food, rich culture, efficient transport system, and friendly people are just some of the reasons why it remains one of the dream destinations for many.

So, if you’re a Filipino and Japan is on your travel radar, then the initial step is visa application. Here’s a comprehensive guide to get you started on achieving your dream Japanese getaway. Let the saving begin!

Note: Creating your itinerary already? My Tokyo Travel Guide might help! 



You don’t have to personally visit the Japanese embassy to apply for a visa. Simply choose an accredited agency. Here’s a LIST OF AGENCIES authorized by Japan to process your application. If you’re wondering which agency is the best, I can’t provide a definite answer as I’ve only tried two from the list: Discovery Tour in 2015 and 2017, and Universal Holidays in 2023. The primary difference among these agencies seems to be their rates, and  just to  clarify, applying for a Japanese Visa is FREE; you only need to cover the processing fee, which varies per agency, and usually costs around P800-P1,500.

Universal Holidays, Inc.
Universal Holidays, Inc. in Makati


Unlike Korea, applying for a Japan Visa is relatively easy and requires fewer documents. Below is the list of REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.


1. Passport. Make sure yours is still valid for 6 months.

2. Application Form. You can obtain this form from the agency or download it HERE.Your responses can be computerized or handwritten. Use a black ballpen and write in all capital letters.

3. Itinerary in Japan.  This need not be very detailed. Just input the dates of your travel and what do you plan to visit or do on specific days. You may download the form HERE.

4. Original Birth Certificate from PSA. Ensure that your birth certificate is issued within a year. If you don’t have one, ordering it online is pretty simple. Just visit the PSA website and it will be delivered to you in just 2-3 days.

5. Visa Photo. The ID photo must measure 4.5 x 3.5 cm and be taken within 6 months from the date of application. Visit any photo studio in the mall and specify that it’s for a Japanese Visa; they are usually aware of the required size.

6. Bank Certificate. You can obtain this from your bank. Also, it’s important to note that a bank certificate is different from a bank statement. A bank certificate typically includes the total funds in your account and the account’s opening date. On the other hand, a bank statement details all transactions, including credits and debits in your account. Additionally, and I understand this can be a concern for some, Japan does not require your ADB or Average Daily Balance. So yes, you can breathe a sigh of relief. 🙂

7. ITR. For employees, you can obtain your ITR from your company. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need its counterpart for your application.

8. COE or Certificate of Employment. This is OPTIONAL if you want to provide extra proof or documentation to support your ability to fund your travel.


NOTE. If someone is covering or funding your expenses for your trip, you need to pass a LETTER OF GUARANTEE.



If this isn’t your first application, the requirements remain the same, except for the birth certificate. Also, you might want to consider applying for a MULTIPLE VISA, which requires a little extra payment, but I highly encourage it, especially if you plan to travel to Japan again. You can download the application form HERE.

Universal Holidays, Inc.
Universal Holidays, Inc. Office


Typically, Japanese Visa applications take anywhere from 2 to 7 working days. It’s best to check with the agency for their specific turnaround time. In my recent experience with UHI, my visa was approved within just 2 working days. They usually provide updates, from when your application is lodged to when it’s ready for pick up. Just to make it clear, my insights are specific to my UHI experience only; other agencies may vary. For my multiple visa application, I paid P1,500 because my previous multiple visa had already expired. 🙁

Sample email from UHI


Q: Do I need to book a flight first before applying for a Japanese Visa?

A: No advance booking required. However, I personally prefer to book a flight before applying for a visa. That’s just my preference, though.

Q: How much should be in my bank account?

A: There’s no exact answer to that. People who have applied for a Japanese Visa can’t precisely determine the required amount. Some suggest allocating at least P10,000 per day as a safety measure. So for a 5-day visit, that’s P50,000. But again, this doesn’t guarantee approval. From my perspective, even for a 4 or 5-day trip, I make sure to have at least over P100,000 in my bank. But again, that’s just me. 🙂

Q: Can I apply for a multiple visa even though I haven’t visited Japan before?

A: There’s no harm in trying; you’ll just need to pay extra. Even if you’re denied a multiple entry, you might still get approved for a single entry. That’s a better outcome than being denied altogether.

Q: How soon can I apply for a Japanese visa?

A: Travel agencies usually recommend applying for a Japanese visa at least 3 or 2 months before your planned departure.